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Google Maps vs Google Maps Go: Which is Better?

The Go apps are lightweight apps designed for Android which may be limited in functionality but make up for it with their speed. Google has made a Go version of multiple apps including Maps, Assistant, Youtube, and so on.

google maps vs google maps go
Google Maps vs Google Maps Go

So, should you use a Go version of the app, or is the fully functional, complete package, more suited for you?

Google Maps Go vs Google Maps

So, what’s exactly the difference between Google Maps Go and Google Maps? Let’s talk about Google Maps and Google Maps Go in this article and find out which one is better for you. Before we start, Google Maps Go isn’t available for iOS, so we’re using their Android version for demonstrations.

Google Maps Go

Google Maps Go is a limited, bare-bone, lite version of Google Maps that requires very few resources and was launched in 2018. After the beta testing was done in January, the app had over 10 million users by September of the same year.

Currently, with 4.4 stars on the Google Play Store, it took around 1.5MB of storage to be installed on our test device.

But there’s a catch, you need to have Google Chrome installed for this application to work. Google Chrome comes preinstalled on most phones so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

However, if yours doesn’t have it then you might be better off not using this application.


  • Lightweight App
  • Simple User-Interface(UI)
  • Uses less Storage
  • Older Phones can use it


  • Doesn’t have a lot of features
  • Can’t download Offline maps
  • Requires Google Chrome to run
  • No 3D View Option
  • No In-app Navigation

How is Google Mpas Go different from Google Maps?

Google Maps Go is a pretty basic app for Maps. You could say it’s the lite version of Google Maps. It requires Google Chrome to run in the background and the UI is plain.

Unlike Google Maps, this application doesn’t provide you with either a 3D view or Turn-by-turn navigation. To use the navigation feature, it requires you to install Navigation for Google Maps Go.

This was done to reduce the resource consumption for older phones, and users that require navigation can just download another app.

The Go version also doesn’t support any Offline Maps so you have to use a data connection or Wi-Fi connection for viewing maps which can be a major inconvenience if you’re out and about someplace where there’s a lack of signal.

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Should You Use Google Maps Go?

If you’re the type of person who prefers a simple clean user interface and your phone comes preinstalled with Google Chrome, this might serve you better than Google Maps.

Keep in mind that you’ll be missing out on lots of features and you’ll need an internet connection as you can’t download offline maps on the Google Maps Go version.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a fully functional Maps application by Google released for Android and iOS in 2008. With over 10 billion downloads, it is widely used all around the world and has a 4.3-star rating on the Google Play Store.

But, it’s quite a heavy application, with a fresh install on our testing device requiring 153MB. It’ll only require more space as you download offline maps.


  • Fully functional app
  • 3D View and Street View
  • Provides location-based recommendations
  • Download offline maps
  • Dark Mode


  • Takes a large amount of storage
  • May run slow on older devices

How is Google Maps different from Google Maps Go?

Google Maps allows you to do what Google Maps Go does and more. Think of it like a complete package that also contains the lite Go version of the app.

This version of the app supports Dark Mode and provides you with location-based recommendations. This is really helpful if you’re in a new area and are unsure about which attractions to visit.

The app also allows you to download Offline Maps and provides in-app turn-by-turn navigation. Oh yeah, did I mention how it gives you a 3D view and Street View as well?

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Should you use Google Maps?

If you are the type of person who’s rocking a decent phone with good enough RAM and Storage, you’ll enjoy this application. It has all features you’d expect from a Map application, like navigation, saving offline maps, and more. If your phone can run it smoothly, this is a much better option compared to Google Maps Go.

Google Maps or Google Maps Go. So, Which Should You Use?

Google Maps Go and Google Maps are both similar apps at their core if you really think about it. But, If you have a good phone that can manage to run Google Maps smoothly then you should definitely use the full version as it just provides so many more features.

If you don’t have a phone that can run Google Maps smoothly but comes preinstalled with Google Chrome, then you should use Google Maps Go. It is lightweight and has a clean User Interface but you miss out on many features including offline usage as well.

With this article, hopefully, you were able to understand the difference between Google Maps and Google Maps Go. If you missed anything, here’s a round-up of what we’ve discussed, categorized by features for another perspective.

Google Maps Go vs Google Maps: Key Differences

1. UI: Google Maps Go has a relatively clean UI which even kids and older people will find easy to navigate. As it’s not packed with tons of features and misses out on information like ticket prices (if applicable), it’s easy to focus on what you’re looking for.

Google Maps offers a lot more settings and there are so many more features that you can use. The UI is pretty similar to that of the Go version but offers more detailed information. Google Maps also supports 3D view so it might be easier for you to navigate using this app.

 2. App Size: Google Maps Go takes significantly less space at only 1.5MB on our test device. It’s pretty light and thus runs smoothly on older Android phones as well. But there’s a caveat, you need Google Chrome installed to run it.

Google Maps is heavier at over 150MB on our test device. It does consume more resources but also offers more features.

3. Navigation: Google Maps Go doesn’t support in-app navigation. You need to download Navigation for Google Maps Go for it.

Google Maps supports in-app turn-by-turn navigation which provides directional turns for easier access.

 4. Offline Maps: Google Maps Go doesn’t support any offline maps. This means that the app requires an active internet connection in case you wanna view the map.

Google Maps supports downloading offline maps. You can even store large areas and get simple navigation with offline maps as well.

 5. Location: Google Maps Go doesn’t allow location sharing or provide location-based recommendations. You can, however, use other apps like Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger that support real-time location sharing if you’re in a pinch.

Google Maps provides location-based recommendations and also allows you to share your location with a loved one.

Google Maps Google Maps Go
Large app size Small app size
Fully Loaded Some functions available
Supports 3D View and Street View No Support for 3D view or Street View
Works without any other apps Requires Google Chrome to run
Provides turn-based navigation Requires another app for navigation
Save Offline maps No Offline maps
Provides location-based recommendations No recommendations

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Maps vs Google Maps Go: Which is better?
If your phone can run both apps smoothly, Google Maps is by far the better option because of the features it has on offer.

Is Google Maps Go the same as Google Maps?
No, Google Maps Go is a lighter, more bare-bone version of Google Maps with limited features and is part of Google’s Go family.

Is Google Maps Go free?
Yes, you can download Google Maps Go for free from the Google Play Store.

What is the difference between Google Maps and Google Maps Go?
Google Maps is the complete package whereas Google Maps Go is a more fast, lighter application with some functions of Google Maps designed for older phones that can’t handle Google Maps.

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