I have spent time using Android go, the stripped down version of Android OS targeted at delivering smoother performance on entry-level devices. Android Oreo Go Edition does that for the most part: it makes a difference. But there are weak spots. I had to write this Maps Go review to share my disappointing experience with the Go version of Google’s map app.
A few days ago, I needed to make it to an appointment here in Lagos. I had the address, but though I was fairly familiar with the neighbourhood, I needed to be able to pinpoint the street. At the time, I had my Lumia 950 on me, plus access to a friend’s Android Go Edition smartphone.
Of course, you already know that Google apps are not available for Windows smartphones, so the Lumia 950 was knocked out of the picture. I grabbed the Android Go smartphone, launched Maps Go, and typed in my destination. The poor performance was immediately apparent as it struggled to load a map showing my destination street.
But it eventually did. Up next, I needed to zoom in to see detailed info of how to get there. Trouble. Zooming on Google Maps Go is a painful experience. I couldn’t get a proper zoom, even after repeated tries. What of turn-by-turn navigation? It does not exist here.
Maps Go plainly tells you that turn-by-turn navigation is available only on the Google maps app.
So, you might as well install Google Maps and delete Maps Go. I didn’t though.
Eventually, I had to make do with an approximate location of the street I was headed and rely on my knowledge of the area to keep me from getting lost. I survived the trip and found my way.
Google Maps Go Review: Final Words
You will find Maps Go helpful in some way. Just temper your expectations. The experience is nothing like using the full-blown Google Maps that you and I have come to love and depend on. Maps Go does not seem to be an app you can fully depend on in a strange land. Don’t depend on it too much. If your low-end smartphone can handle it, install and use the full Google Maps app instead.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.