Google launches new app in South Africa – aimed at reducing data costs

Google has announced the launch of Google Go, a new app that will allow users to search and browse using less data.

“Users come to us to experience the web and access accurate information quickly. Unfortunately users can’t always decide on the type of device they have or the kind of connection they are on,” said Google Africa CMO, Mzamo Masito.

“Google Go is designed from the ground up to address these issues and provide a seamless experience irrespective of what device or network the user is on.”

Taking up less than 5 MB of space, the app is quick to download without using much data, and it takes up minimal space on your phone, Google said.

It uses the latest version of Google’s advanced compression algorithm, using up to 40% less data to display search results.

Search results are also cached on the device so you can quickly re-access previous searches, even when you’re offline, without incurring further data costs.

When there’s no internet access, Google Go retries failed search requests in the background and lets you know as soon as the results are ready. Web pages load quickly, even in data-saving mode or on 2G connections.

“What this means for the user is a lighter, faster way to search. It loads results instantly as you type and smart word suggestions help you search faster with minimal typing,” Google said.

“The home page icons make it faster and easier for you to discover new content and find what you’re looking for with a single tap. Voice search has been improved to work better on slow connections. Add the search bar widget to your home screen for fast and easy access to what’s trending.”

Google Go is available today in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Google Play Store for devices running Android v4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above.

It will come pre-installed on all Android Oreo (Go edition) devices.

Read: SA justice department confronts Facebook over data breach

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Google launches new app in South Africa – aimed at reducing data costs