If you browse the Play Store, you'll come across a litany of optimization apps that claim to speed up your phone. More often than not, they're just conduits for malware, and Google is now tackling that problem by introducing a service of its own.
Files Go is the company's storage management and offline file transfer service, and it leverages Google's machine learning smarts to declutter your phone. The app has automated filters designed to locate the detritus on your phone — age-old forwards, photos and videos that have been backed up to Google Photos, and unused apps.
Files Go then offers suggestions on how you can get rid of those files and apps to free up storage on your phone. The app itself is lightweight — coming in at just 44MB — and uses minimal system resources.
Google designed the Files Go app primarily for Android Go platform — with the app being one of nine Google services that come bundled out of the box. With Android Go tailored for devices running limited internal storage — usually 8GB or less — there was a need for a storage management app that could identify and delete files and apps taking up a lot of space. When you're talking about usable storage of just over 5GB, every little bit helps.
As well as being a storage management utility, Files Go also offers seamless files transfer — similar to Lenovo's SHAREit — and a new feature that made its debut last month also turns the app into a file manager. Here's what you need to know about Google's Files Go.
Declutter your phone with Files Go
First and foremost, Files Go was designed to get rid of files that are taking up too much space on your phone. Once you install the app, it goes through your gallery and analyzes the phone's storage, serving up recommendations on what files and apps you can delete.
It does all this automatically, and one area where it is particularly useful is in deleting those annoying forwards from the likes of WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned communications service has over 200 million users in India, and its usage is ubiquitous — you won't find a smartphone user that doesn't have the app installed. WhatsApp has permeated into every corner of Indian society, and the app usually accounts for a large chunk of storage.
It isn't that the app itself takes up a lot of space — if you're active on WhatsApp and set all incoming media to automatically download, it won't be long before your phone is cluttered with hundreds of images and videos. At least that's the case for a majority of Indians, and Google is looking to solve that particular problem with Files Go.
Files Go has automated filters that detect these forwarded photos, and you'll see cards with suggestions on images and videos to delete. The service also automatically detects whenever photos and videos have been backed up to Google Photos, making it possible for you to delete those files from your phone's internal storage.
Use Files Go to transfer files offline
Files Go has a built-in file transfer service that works seamlessly, and it doesn't need your phone to be connected to the internet. Like other services that offer the feature, Files Go sets up a hotspot that two devices can connect to, allowing files to be transferred between the two phones.
So if you're looking to send a file, all you have to do is hit the Send button from the Files tab, and enter a nickname. Files Go will set up a hotspot, and the recipient will be able to see your nickname once they hit the Receive button on their device. It's as easy as that, and Files Go lets you send audio and video files, as well as documents.
Files Go also doubles up as a file manager
Files Go also has a file browser integrated into the service, and Google rolled out an update that introduced a search option. You'll be able to search through documents, images, videos, and audio files, and the feature works offline as well.
Although Files Go was designed for entry-level devices, its usability extends to all Android phones. There are hundreds of millions of phones with 16GB of internal storage or less, and Files Go is the ideal app to declutter your phone.
It's lightweight and doesn't drain your system resources; and it surfaces cards whenever it detects that your phone is running low on storage, offering recommendations on content that can be deleted.