More than a month after its formal launch, Google Maps Go has reached got a beta programme on Play Store. The new beta programme allows users to test some of the upcoming features of the app - follow this link to sign up for the Google Maps Go beta programme. To recall, Google Maps Go app is designed as a lightweight version of the original Google Maps app. Similar to many other memory-efficient apps, the Google Maps Go app misses many great features of the Google Maps app. Therefore, here's what all the things you can do with Google Maps Go and what can't do.
The prime aim of the Google Maps Go app is to "run smoothly on devices with limited memory and on unreliable networks", and will be the primary offering for Android Oreo (Go edition) - aka Android Go - devices. It is just 0.09MB in size, and is a Progressive Web App that runs off the user's Chrome browser on Android devices. The app provides quick directions and map details with a single tap. Similarly, it offers real-time traffic information as well as lets users view live city transit schedules to take a bus or train for their journey. There is transit information for around 7,000 agencies, more than 3.8 million stations, and for 20,000 towns and cities. Google has also provided options to discover and explore new places, search and find local restaurants, businesses, and other nearby places, and even view reviews, ratings, and food images.
Additionally, the Google Maps Go app allows users to find the phone number and address of a place or save an often visited place to quickly find it later. Google affirms that there is detailed business information for over 100 million places. Moreover, the app is available in more than 70 languages.
Despite all these great features, the Google Maps Go has some limitations as well - especially, if we compare it with the original Google Maps app. The lighter version doesn't support turn-by-turn GPS navigation, which is one of the major features of the Google Maps app. Likewise, if you've installed the Maps Go app, you won't be able to share your real-time location with your contacts, download offline apps, add reviews, ratings, and photos for your favourite places, and set home and work addresses. The app also doesn't allow you to report any data problems, edit information about an already saved place, measure the distance between multiple places, or add private labels to places.
Having said that, if you still want to check all the new features of the Google Maps Go app, you can participate in the beta testing programme. You can become a tester, by giving your consent on the Android App Testing page on Google Play and then install the app from the Play Store. Notably, now that the beta programme is available, the app is now also listed on APK Mirror - so users that don't have access to the app via Google Play can sideload it now. The beta programme was first spotted by Android Police.
It is worth noting here that you can anytime leave the testing programme and switch to the public version of the Google Maps Go app by uninstalling the testing version and then install the public version for the Play Store. The transition process would take a few hours, and the public version will be available for download on your Google Play once the process is completed.