Google launches lightweight search app in SA aimed at reducing data costs

12 April 2018 - 19:37 By TimesLIVE and Bloomberg
Image: 123RF/sam74100

Google has launched a lightweight app in South Africa that promises to help reduce the amount of date needed to display search results by 40%.

Google Go , much like the Facebook and Twitter Lite apps, requires less storage space on device, taking up only 5mb. Launched for Android phones, it is designed to function more efficiently on slower networks, while the app also allows previous searches to be accessed offline.

A second language from search results may also be selected by users.

The interface of the new Google Go app
The interface of the new Google Go app
Image: Google

The app is the US technology giant’s latest attempt to extend its reach into emerging markets such as sub-Saharan Africa, where Facebook is also making inroads. Younger consumers are increasingly demanding quicker internet speeds and cheaper phones to go about their business, while MTN and Vodacom see the digital space as their fastest-growing market.

The new app will be available in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and will be pre-installed on Android Oreo, Go edition devices. The company also plans to make it available in other emerging markets, including India, Brazil and Indonesia, Masito said in an interview.

It can be downloaded right now on the Google PlayStore.