Gboard Go, a lightweight keyboard app, now rolling to entry-level Android smartphones

Gboard Go is a lightweight keyboard app that will likely be bundled as part of Android Oreo (Go edition).

  • Published: January 23, 2018 4:53 PM IST
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Google has been steadily launching ‘Go’ versions of most of its Android apps. After launching Google Go, YouTube Go and Files, Google is now launching Gboard Go.

According to Android Police, the new Gboard Go app has started rolling out for smartphones with lower amount of RAM and running Android 8.1 or later. The Gboard Go is also expected to appear on Android Oreo (Go edition), an optimized version of Oreo that will power budget smartphones this year.

Gboard Go mainly looks and works similar to the standard Gboard app, but lacks features like ability to search for GIFs and send stickers. It seems Google has removed only those features which would not be a deal breaker in terms of user experience. The keyboard’s biggest advantage is that it only takes up 40MB of memory as opposed to standard version, which consumes over 70MB of data.

The app is not immediately available for download, and is only meant for devices that have little RAM and if you have a premium device then it is probably not worth downloading the Go version of Gboard. It is also available only for devices running Android 8.1 Oreo or later, which means it is only meant for less than 1 percent of active Android smartphones.

At Google For India event last month, Google showed how it plans to connect next billion people by offering a customized version of Android for devices with lower amount of RAM and internal memory. The OS will help people from developing countries to upgrade from feature phone to smartphone.

Indian smartphone maker Micromax has already confirmed that it will launch Bharat Go, a smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition) later this month. Lava, Intex and Karbonn are also expected to support the operating system with their devices later this year. The Android Oreo (Go edition) will come bundled with Google Go for search, Files Go for file explorer, Maps Go for navigation and YouTube Go for streaming videos out of the box.

Android Oreo (Go edition) will power devices with 512MB and 1GB of RAM and around 8GB of internal storage. The smartphones will use either Qualcomm or MediaTek chipsets and support 4G LTE connection.

  • Published Date: January 23, 2018 4:53 PM IST