Google has quietly launched a new lightweight version of Google Maps, called Google Maps Go.
The new app was spotted in the Google Play Store on Wednesday and has been specifically designed to work on devices with limited memory and mobile data connections.
Google Maps Go offers many of the same features as the version of Google Maps we’re all familiar with, including location information, real time traffic updates and directions.
According to its listing in the Google Play Store, Google Maps Go works on devices running Android 4.1 and above and is available in 70 languages and features up to date and in-depth maps for 200 countries and territories, as well as business listings of more than 100 million places.
Unfortunately, there is one major problem that is going to prevent most people from using Google Maps Go, at least for the time being.
If you try and download the app from the Google Play Store, it is likely to show your device is not compatible with this app.
It appears that the this new version of Google Maps is only compatible with devices running Android Go – Google’s new lightweight mobile operating system designed for budget devices in developing markets.
Google says that devices running Android Go open 15 percent faster compared to other versions of Android.
Earlier this month, Google launched Files Go and new file manager that helps users cut back on mobile data use and easily share files with their friends, amongst other things.
But unlike Files Go, which is available to all Android users, isn’t yet compatible with the devices running other versions of Android. It’s not if Google plans a full roll out of Google Map Go across all version of Android.
However, there is a way that you can try out Google Maps Go if if you are not running the Android Go operating system via something known as PWA or Progressive Web App.
You can do this my opening Google Chrome on your smartphone and copying this link into the address bar.
Maps Go should then open in Google Chrome.
Next, you need to tap on the three dots in the top right and from the drop down menu select “Add to Home screen”.
If you check your Home screen, you should see a Maps Go shortcut icon has been added.
You can use Google Maps Go if you are running low on mobile data or battery power.
Source: Android Police
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.