UPDATE: The app has now been pulled from the Play Store for all devices except those running Android Go, with users now confronted with a message saying, “Your device isn’t compatible with this version.”
Using Gmail on your phone is set to be a lot kinder on battery life and performance thanks to a new launch from Google.
The company has quietly released Gmail Go, a low-scale version of its popular email service, for all Android users to download on the Play Store now.
The new, “lighter” version of Gmail should offer a more user-friendly experience for those with older or less powerful smartphones, toning down the CPU and battery life demands of the full app.
Google snuck out the release under the radar, so it’s tricky at first to identify exactly what sets Gmail Go apart from its bigger brother. Its posting on the Play Store describes the new service as “the Gmail you love, now lighter and just as fast”.
Google has a range of “Go” branded apps for many of its services, including Maps Go, Gallery Go, and Google Go, along with others which are limited to only certain devices, such as Assistant Go and YouTube Go.
The most obvious difference for Gmail Go is its logo, which features the word underneath the famous white-and-red envelope icon. The app still features 15GB of free storage, multiple account support across Gmail and non-Gmail addresses, and smart spam filters, so it may be that most of the key differences are hidden in the background.
Along with some slight lag and darker text tones, the main noticeable difference, as spotted by 9to5Google, is the lack of a bottom bar in the app, meaning that the company’s Google Meet video conferencing service has not been included.
The news comes shortly after Google unveiled a major overhaul to G Suite, which has been rebranded as Google Workspace.
The new suite features all of the company’s core services – Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet etc. – but offers, according to Google, a more “deeply integrated user experience”, with improved interoperability of its various productivity services, blurring the lines between each product for a more fluid feel.