For smartphone users in India, figuring out how to clear space on the device can often be a challenge. Yes, 32GB storage phone with microSD support might be the new standard here, but this is often never enough given the love for WhatsApp forwards in India and phones tend to fill up fast on storage. In fact, Wall Street Journal has reported on how WhatsApp forwards, especially ‘Good Mornings’ are causing phones to fill up in India. The report also looks at the Google Files Go app, which has crossed 10 million downloads on the Play Store since its December, 2017 launch.
According to the WSJ report, Google Files Go app is designed for a market like India. In fact, Google’s team of engineers worked for months, training their AI and database to identify ‘Good Morning’ messages, even those where they are written on top of images. Google also told WSJ that Files GO has cleared up on average more than 1GB of data per user. So how does the Google Files Go app work and how can it clear up space on your phone? We explain below.
What is Google Files Go App? How to download?
Google Files Go app was first announced at the company’s annual Google for India event in December, 2017. The app is more than just about clearing up space on the smartphone. It also allows users to share files from their mobiles, even when they are offline. India is a mobile-driven market with more internet users coming online for the first time via their smartphones, which is one of the reasons why this app was launched and appeals to the user base.
Google Files Go app can be downloaded from the Play Store. It supports Android 5.0 Lollipop and above versions of the OS. So most users in India who have bought an Android phone in the past two years should be able to access the app.
What can the Google File Go app do? How does it clear space on the phone?
As soon as the user will open the Google Files Go app, it will ask for permission to access the storage of the phone. Users need to grant this in order for the app to figure out which files, apps, photos, etc should be deleted. Once a user grants permission, the app shows the total amount of used storage on the phone out of the total available storage.
As the user scrolls down, information is displayed in card formats with Files Go showing which unused apps can be deleted, temporary app files to delete, downloaded files, large files, photos, etc. It will also showcase media from ShareIt, bluetooth, WhatsApp, etc., which the user can delete to get back storage space. In fact in WhatsApp media, the infamous Good Morning messages were also visible for deletion.
Below each card is the amount of space that one will get if they remove these files from their phones. So suppose a user wants to keep all WhatsApp messages for some reason, but wants to clear up the Bluetooth files, then they can just tap on Clear Media for Bluetooth files and those will be deleted.
Even in WhatsApp messages, it is possible to individually decide which pictures should be deleted. A user can just tap on the particular card and it will expand. The user can then individually select each picture which they wish to delete from the phone.
What is the Files Tab on Google Files Go? How can it transfer files without Internet?
Files Go app is not just about deleting all those WhatsApp Good morning messages. It can also be used to transfer data securely to another user without relying on the internet. The app relies on a secure Hotspot. For this, switch to the Files Tab at the bottom, scroll down and the option for Transfer Securely without Internet should be visible.
Now the user can tap on Send. The app will ask for location and permission to make calls. Grant those as well as permission to modify storage. Next, set up a name. The user also needs to make sure the friend to whom they wish to transfer a file also has the app. The user will then have to tap on the receive option. Once their friend has accepted the transfer, a secure connection is created. Now a user can just choose which file to share, and it will be transferred in seconds. We managed to share 77 MB video file in just over 20 seconds on the app.