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Google Go First Impressions: Search simplified for first time smartphone users

Google Go is a minimalist app that is lightweight and offers features available on main app. With zero learning curve, Google has beautifully tailored the app for first time Indian smartphone users.

Google Go intext


  • Google announced Google Go, an app for smartphone newbies

  • It's a lightweight app with a simple UI with more taps, less typing

  • The app keeps the interest of entry level devices in mind

At the Google for India event on Tuesday, the search giant released Google Go, a streamlined application that will come preloaded on all Android Go devices. Google says the new app will help ‘discover and explore popular topics’ on the web with just few taps. It is aimed at those of millions of users who will be experiencing internet for the first time. We tried the app and here is what makes it different from main Google app.

App Size and Features

Google Go’s USP is that it weighs less than 5MB in size and takes just under 15MB after installation. While the regular Google app takes system language, the Google Go prompts user to select second language. This shows how Google is constantly working to tweak its products according to Indian user base. The idea behind having second language apart from the system language is to allow first time Internet users get easily acquainted with the web.

Once you set up the app, the immediate visible thing is the search bar at the bottom. It resembles the search bar on second generation Pixel smartphones and shows recent search at the bottom.

In terms of the home screen, it has search bar where users can search in the default system language or the second language selected at the time of setup. The results get displayed almost instantaneously as you type the query and there are quick access to second language or option to go back to the home screen. Google Go users can also share the search result via mail or other social messaging platform.

Google Go s tap-first user interface helps users express themselves

The search bar is followed by Voice search, where users can search with their voice. It is followed by Images, which has access to multiple images categorised as Bollywood, Good Morning, Good Night, Inspirational quotes, nature etc. It is one of the easiest ways to find a Good Morning message and share with your family group on WhatsApp. The omnipresent search bar allows to search for images that are not listed in the categories.

Similarly, Google Go users can also select GIF from the GIF search option. Google Go also supports features like weather and translate within the app while clicking on YouTube and Maps open them in the dedicated app. The app also offers quick access to third party apps like Facebook, Twitter and has option to pick from many other apps across segments like entertainment, sports, news, shopping, banking to name a few.

The app looks so barebone that it is nearly unbelievable to see so many applications connected to the application. Google has also thrown in an option to set your own custom wallpaper and users can even force select to load ‘Google Lite’ web pages by default.

Initial Thoughts

Google Go is a really clean app with sleek user interface that puts search at the center of the experience. The circular icons perfectly align with Google’s material design guideline and further enhances the search experience.

Overall, the app is neither heavy on data nor does it have any learning curve. By adding support for multiple local languages, Google has beautifully tailored the app for first time Indian smartphone users. By connecting to other services like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Google is making the onboarding experience simple for any smartphone user.

Google Go is one app that perfectly aligns with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.

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  • Published Date: December 8, 2017 5:04 PM IST