Google has today announced the launch of Google Go, a new app that provides a lighter, faster, way to search, with everything you need just a tap away.
As more Kenyans use mobile phones as their primary and sometimes only internet device, online is not somewhere they ‘go’ anymore, it’s where they live – connecting with the people, places and things that matter to them. Weak data connectivity and low RAM or storage space often make it hard for people to get the most out of the internet – Google Go is built for these challenges.
“Users come to us to experience the web and access accurate information quickly. Unfortunately they cannot always decide on the type of device they have, or the kind of connection they are on,” said Charles Murito, Google Country Manager, Kenya. “Google Go offers an easy way for users to specify an additional language for search and switch easily between English and Swahili,” he added.
Google Go is designed from the ground up to provide a seamless experience, irrespective of what device or network the user is on. Everything internet users need is just a tap away. Users can easily search for information or see what’s trending in Kenya; find an inspirational quote for a loved one with an image or GIF search; discover places nearby; browse videos; access their favorite apps and websites; and discover top destinations in Kenya.
Taking up less than 5 MB, the app is quick to download without using much data, and takes up minimal space on users’ phones. In addition, Google Go uses the latest version of Google’s advanced compression algorithm, using up to 40% less data to display search results. Search results are also cached on the device, enabling internet users to quickly re-access previous searches, even when offline, without incurring further data costs. In the absence of internet access, Google Go retries failed search requests in the background and alerts users as soon as the results are ready. With Google Go, web pages load quickly, even in data-saving mode, or on 2G connections.
What this means for the user is a lighter, faster way to search. The app loads results instantly as one types, and provides smart word suggestions to make searching faster, with minimal typing. The home page icons make it faster and easier for people online to discover new content and find information with a single tap. Besides this, voice search has been improved to work better on slow connections, and even recognises local accents. Users can also add the search bar widget to their home screen for fast and easy access to what’s trending.
Google Go is available in Kenya and 25 other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Google Play Store. It is available for devices running Android v4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above. It will come pre-installed on all Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, which will be available in stores soon.