Android phone users the world over connect to basic Google apps such as Gmail and YouTube in spite of not having top-notch smartphones or best-in-class networks to run them on. Keeping this in mind, Google started working on de-bloated versions of these apps some years ago. Now, they're offering it to all Android phone users.
The lighter version of Gmail is now available on Play Store for all users, while it was initially made available to only users with feature phones or devices that are running less RAM and processing power. The Gmail Go app creates an experience that is almost identical to the standard app but takes up less storage and processing.
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The Gmail Go app was originally launched back in 2018 though this time round the design appears to have gone through a complete overhaul. However, some of the user experiences have remained unchanged such as the depth used to indicate the visual hierarchy. This is understandable as such an addition would add to the need for processing power on the device.
While the Play Store listings of the fully loaded version and the lite versions of the applications are almost similar, the Go variant indicates that this is the "Gmail you love, now lighter and just as fast." However, the screenshots appear to be the same in both cases.
On the app icon itself, the only difference is a Go badge at the bottom though this is hardly surprising, given that the apps themselves are visually identical in the manner in which they're organised. While emails on the list can be swiped using left / right actions, there is also support for multiple accounts and inboxes. A big difference is that the bottom bar doesn't include Google Meet as it is still be integrated to Go.
As mentioned earlier, there is no layering which means Google has done away with the shadows. Gmail Go now uses only a white outline for the searches and the long compose mail tab. The frame rate appears to be limited which causes a bit of a lag during scrolls or while opening the navigation draw.
Google's latest de-bloating of Gmail matches with its attempts to get lighter versions of other popular apps such as YouTube, Gallery, Maps etc. However, this might not really add value to users outside of the target groups, though we found it to be a nice option to have.