Google has slowly but surely been introducing “Go” versions of its apps to phones that lack the processing prowess to handle its full offerings. The latest of these? Apparently, it’s Gboard. According to a report from Android Police, Google is currently rolling out a lightweight version called Gboard Go to phones with low RAM that run Android 8.1 or later.
Gboard Go is pretty much the same as the standard version, and installs right over the top on phones that could work better with it. It is missing a few features — like the ability to search for GIFs and send stickers — though that may not be a big deal for those who don’t use those features all that often. It also seems as though one-handed typing is not possible on Gboard Go. The real advantage to the keyboard is how little RAM it uses — according to reports, it only takes up 40MB, instead of the standard 70MB.
So how can you get your hands on it yourself? Well, it’s simple to install on phones with limited RAM — and if you don’t have limited RAM, we don’t see any reason you would want it in the first place. You also need to have Android 8.1 or later to use it, so it’s pretty much limited to Pixel and Nexus phones.
Of course, this isn’t the first “Go” release we’ve seen from Google. The company launched the file management service Files Go toward the end of last year, as a way to easily clean up extra files and save space on your phone. It has also launched YouTube Go, which is only available in select countries and is basically aimed at bringing YouTube to phones with limited processing power and slower internet connections. Then there’s Maps Go, which is also aimed at devices with between 512MB and 1GB of RAM and limited internet connections.
Google has even launched a lightweight version of Android, called Android Go, which is a super-slimmed-down operating system that cuts back on things like animations and a complex user interface to ultimately take up far less space and RAM.