Google had recently released Android Oreo (Go edition) which is a lightweight version of Android OS meant for smartphones with lower RAM (i.e., 512MB or 1 GB RAM). At the event, Google also announced Google Files Go app and said that a lighter version of Google Maps was also on its way. Now, Google has kept its promise, and launched the Google Maps Go app. The app is now available to download from Google Play Store.
With a download size less than 5MB, the Google Maps Go is a lightweight version of the main Google Maps app and is basically meant for use with the Android Oreo Go edition. The app will be available exclusively for Android smartphones running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher and with a RAM capacity of 1GB or lower.
However, unlike Google Files Go which is available even for phones with higher RAM, Google Maps Go will be available to download from the Play Store on low-RAM phones only.
The app description on Play Store states, "Google Maps Go, the lighter version of the original Google Maps app. Designed to run smoothly on devices with limited memory and on unreliable networks without compromising speed to provide your location, real-time traffic updates, directions, and train, bus, and city transit information. You can even search and find information about millions of places, such as phone numbers and addresses."
As per an Android Police report, the Google Maps Go app essentially provides a shortcut of the Progressive Web App (PWA) version of Google Maps. Nonetheless, the Google Maps Go app offers similar features as the main app, including detecting your location, providing directions and traffic information and travel duration estimate for cars, two-wheelers, public transit and walking.
The Google Maps Go app is an ideal one for countries like India where an increasing number of people are beginning to make a transition from a feature phone to their first smartphone.
Shashidhar Thakur, Vice President-Engineering at Google, stated that the main aim of developing Google Go is to help new smartphone users "come to the Internet," and help them access the web easily.
Android Oreo (Go edition) has been launched with a clear focus on the Indian market in a hope to get millions of users to experience Android on affordable hardware.
Google Maps Go is the third app – after Files Go and Google Go - from Google's Go series of lightweight apps. Google also said that similar lightweight 'Go' versions of the Google Assistant and Gmail app are on their way.
Meanwhile, smartphones running Google's lightweight Android Oreo (Go edition) can be expected to hit the Indian market in the next few months.