Android Go was announced at last year’s Google I/O but wasn’t made available to developers and manufacturers until last month. Specifically designed for devices with between 512MB to 1GB of RAM, this reworked version of the OS is specifically tailored to lower-end devices.
With that, Google is already dropping “Go” versions of some of their core apps, with YouTube Go and Maps Go being some of the first. Next up is Gboard, Google’s phenomenal keyboard app for Android (and iOS) devices. Gboard Go is the lighter version of the app, which uses less RAM than the full version at the cost of some features.
Gboard vs Gboard Go
There’s no Play Store listing for the Gboard Go yet, but those that have sideloaded it have reported the app using around 40MB vs the 70MB of the full version (that’s about a 57% reduction). It’s not bad, but the lesser RAM usage comes at a cost. Gboard Go sacrifices GIF search, stickers, and one-handed mode — which could be deal breakers depending on how you use the app.
Gboard Go installs right on top of the regular version, so if you want to give it a whirl — and you have a device running Android 8.1 — you can do so by sideloading it. Download link provided below.
via Android Police