Almost a year after the search giant launched the Files Go application, Google has rebranded its file manager app to Files by Google. The rebranding of the Files Go app reflects the expanded user base of the software, which is now estimated to have over 30 million active users monthly. The app is enjoyed not only by owners of Android Go smartphones in developing countries but also by people who own more powerful smartphones and can connect to faster mobile data connections. Google notes that the Files Go app is an example of how an application developed to reach the Next Billion Users, which mostly includes consumers that own devices with limited internal storage and live in areas with slower internet connections, can prove popular for other users as well.
The rebranding of the application is accompanied by the redesign of the application’s user interface, which now follows the new Material Design theme seen in other apps developed by Google. While the search giant did not modify the important features of the application, the redesigned app now focuses the attention of the user to the content stored in the device. Furthermore, the app also informs users on how much space in the internal storage has been recovered in the smartphone after they delete unused applications and files.
Background: Google originally developed the Files by Google app to help consumers in developing countries in resolving file and storage management problems, and this software comes pre-installed in smartphones that run Android Go. This application allowed users to easily remove junk and cached files, quickly browse the internal storage of the device, and transfer files and applications between smartphones at fast speeds without relying on mobile data connection. These features are incorporated in an application that takes up less than 10MB of the smartphone’s internal storage.
Since it was released last year, Google has continuously added new features to the application. In January, the tech firm improved the application’s support for SD cards as well as its compatibility with tablets. These added features allowed for the easier transfer of files between the main and secondary storage as well as between tablets and other devices. Later on, Google introduced the ability to search files, sync images with Google Photos, extract contents of ZIP files, and play media content directly on the application. The tech firm also enhanced the offline sharing feature of the app by securing the file transfer using the WPA2 encryption protocol and by increasing maximum data transfer speed from 125Mbps to more than 500Mbps. Files by Google also features the Advanced App Installs functionality, which inspects the application received from another user to ensure that it is from the Google Play Store.
Aside from Files by Google, the search giant also developed other applications that cater to the Next Billion Users. These apps include Datally, an application that helps users monitor their mobile data use and Tez, a mobile payments solution developed specifically for India. However, Google later rebranded Tez to Google Pay last August.
Impact: Files by Google is an example of a useful application that catered to a user base that is much wider than its initial target market. The change of name not only reflects this observation, but it could also signal the company’s intention to market the app to a broader audience by dissociating the application from a brand for entry-level, storage-restricted smartphones.