Google Go has been released from its cage and unleashed on Android devices around the world. It's basically weightless but still maintains useful functionality allowing you to search for things in a smarter way. Let's take a look at what it actually is and if you need to bother downloading it.
What is Google Go?
Google Go is a lightweight app, at just seven megabytes, allowing you to do a bunch of fun things the more expensive, heavyweight phones can do. It allows users to use Google Lens features like searching and translating with your camera, calculating restaurant bills by pointing at the order as well as dictating text on your browser and using voice-activated search.
It was first created in 2017 for internet users who were not as familiar with search tools, have entry-level phones or spotty internet connection. Prior to its worldwide Android release, it was available in limited countries and only on Android Go devices (entry-level Android OS).
These days, most websites automatically switch to a mobile-friendly version when you view them on your smartphones. Unfortunately, the results can still be cluttered and difficult to navigate - especially if you aren't rocking a huge phone.
The last few iterations of Google Chrome have been taking care of this problem with a 'Simplified View' option. Here's how to switch it on.
Do I need it?
While you'll likely already have access to many of these features, the important thing to note here is the app's size. Being under 10MB, it'll likely run more seamlessly than your other clunky apps while giving much of the same functionality. Plus, it's less likely to chew up your data. In fact, Google believes it will save around 40 per cent of your data.
"If you lose connectivity when you using Google Go, it will remember your place and even retrieve your search results for you once you're back online," Google said on its blog about the release.
This means it's an extremely useful tool while travelling overseas or when you're in areas with patchy internet, like most of Australia.
I use an Apple device, what about me?
While the Google Go app is only available on the Play Store, there are a number of similar Google apps for Apple users. For example, you can download the Google app on iOS, which allows you to use Google Lens features like the handy search and translate image. You can also use it to automatically calculate your restaurant bill and even split it by however many people ate with you.
While you won't be able to fit in its lightweight sibling (the Google app is 193.6MB), you won't completely be overcome with FOMO.
The Google Lens has been out for nearly two years now but its impact was not quite as revolutionising as we'd all hoped. Apart from a few nifty tricks like trying to analyse what's in your camera, its lacklustre release has been, well... lacking. Thankfully, following a new update, Google Lens will introduce some fun, and more importantly, useful new features.