How To: Google Maps vs. Google Maps Go — Which App Is Right for You?

Google Maps vs. Google Maps Go — Which App Is Right for You?

Google's "Go" line of apps are lightweight counterparts designed to be limited speedy alternatives to their full-featured sibling apps. There is a Go version of Photos, Search, Maps, and more — but are they the right apps for you?

The general idea of Google Maps Go is to give you the core functionality of Google Maps while conserving system resources like RAM and storage. Is Google Maps slow on your device? Do you feel like it's getting overrun by extra features? For these and other reasons, Google Maps Go might be the right app for you.

Option 1: Google Maps Go

Google Maps Go has a limited feature set, takes up less space, and requires less performance from your phone. It's rated 4.2 stars on the Play Store. It takes up 208 KB, but you have to have Google Chrome installed for it to work. Most phones come with Chrome preinstalled, but if yours didn't, Google Maps Go is not recommended.

Pros

  • Faster performance than Google Maps
  • Simpler UI
  • Easier for a child or old person to use
  • Uses less storage space
  • Works well on older phones

Cons

  • Barebones app with limited features
  • Doesn't allow 3D viewing, and you can't change the angle of the map
  • Doesn't allow you to add places on maps or photos
  • No option to download offline maps
  • Needs a second app, Navigation for Google Maps Go, to get navigation
  • Requires Google Chrome, which is a resource-intensive app
  • If Google Maps is preinstalled on your device, you may be unable to uninstall it

Use Google Maps Go If

You should use Google Maps Go if you already have Google Chrome on your device, you do not want to use voice navigation, you don't mind needing to use data for your map to work, and you don't mind a few missing features. If Google Maps is running slowly on your device Google ,Maps Go is a good lightweight alternative.

Option 2: Google Maps

Google Maps is the fully-loaded app with a comprehensive feature set we know and love. Google Maps has a rating of 4.3 on the Play Store. It uses at least 128 MB on a fresh install, but on our testing device, it used 394 MB of storage including cache.

Pros

  • Fully loaded feature set
  • Voice navigation
  • Location-based recommendations
  • Offline maps

Cons

  • The app will run slower on some devices
  • It takes up considerably more space on your phone
  • There are more features which make the app more complex and harder to navigate

Use Google Maps If

If you have enough room and your phone has enough RAM and power to run the app. It is generally the better app if your device has space and can run it smoothly. Generally, Google Maps should be used by the masses; only if you are having problems with it should you consider using Google Maps Go.

Cover photo and screenshots by Spencer Depas/Gadget Hacks

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