Google to Shut Down YouTube Go

Does this now start to put Google's Android Go apps and its OS versions in limbo?

YouTube Go

In focussing on low-end devices, Google started developing lightweight Android apps so that they could work on smartphones that had low phone specifications including RAM and storage – majorly used in emerging markets.

Google brought Android Go Apps like Google Go, Maps Go, Gallery Go, Google Assistant Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Gboard Go, and Files Go.

These stripped-down apps were intended to work on entry-level smartphones.

Google is now shutting down YouTube Go which it launched in 2016 and arrived in Kenya a year later. The app allowed you to share offline videos with others and had two tabs, unlike 5 from the main app: Home and Downloads. 

The app later expanded to other countries a year later and brought new features like the ability to download, stream or share videos in high quality.

Well, Google is shutting down the app starting this August.

“Specifically, we have improved performance for entry-level devices or those that watch YouTube on slower networks. We’re also building out additional user controls that help to decrease mobile data usage for viewers with limited data,” Google said in a statement.

The company stopped providing updates to the app that had over 500 million installs in October last year.

Over the past five years, Android OEMs have started shipping their entry-level devices with better spec configurations thus cutting the need for light optimized Android apps.

This new update by Google starts to put its Android Go versions and apps in limbo?

Google already has Android 8 Oreo Go EditionAndroid 9 Pie Go EditionAndroid 10 Go Edition, Android 11 Go Edition and Android 12 Go Edition.

Does this mean that its other Android Go apps still face the same uncertain future? Will we see Android 13 Go Edition launch later this year?

We’ll wait and see.

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