Maps Go Review: Tame your expectations

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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.

Maps Go Review - Navigate hands free

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.

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