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Google’s new Assistant Go brings Assistant to low-power phones

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Android Go is growing and growing. The initiative was first launched at Google I/O in May as a way to bring the core functionality of Google’s apps to phones with low-power hardware and less available RAM. Since then, we have seen apps like YouTube Go, Maps Go, and even a lightweight version of Android, called Android Go. Now, it’s Google Assistant’s turn — Google just launched Assistant Go.

Assistant Go, like the other Go apps, basically aims to offer a similar experience as the standard Google Assistant in a much smaller package and without taking up much RAM or processing power.

Of course, the tradeoff is that the app can’t do everything the normal Google Assistant can do. For starters, it currently only supports English, and it doesn’t do certain functions, like set reminders or control smart home devices. Thankfully, it’s not just a voice interface for Search — it does still integrate with other apps on your phone, like Maps.

While Assistant Go is currently only available in English, we expect that to change. After all, the Android Go initiative seems to be largely targeted at emerging markets, where lower-power phones are more common and RAM is a little harder to come by. It’s possible the company could launch a new version of Assistant Go in each language.

Assistant Go can be found on the Google Play Store, but we’re not sure what devices are compatible just yet. Google won’t allow users with phones capable of running the standard version of Assistant to download Assistant Go.

Google is making serious efforts to bring Assistant to as many people as possible. Not only do plenty of Android phones now have Google Assistant, but Google Home is getting increasingly popular, and more smart home devices also have Assistant built in. The company has even started partnering with other companies on so-called smart displays, which offer information like the weather and can be used for video calling. It makes sense that Google would want to do the same in developing markets, where it probably can’t sell as many Google Home devices or Android TVs.

It’s also likely we will continue to see the company launch lightweight apps. Apart from the previously mentioned apps, we have also seen Gboard Go, and Files Go, which is a file management app for Android that focuses specifically on clearing away files that you don’t need in order to free up space.

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