Google opens Maps Go beta to US-based testers

It has fewer features than the full Maps, but it can still help you get to where you want to go.

You can now take the lite version of Google Maps for a spin if you're in the US. Google has opened the beta version of Maps Go to US beta testers, giving you a way to look up directions or transit info even if you're an area with poor connection. Google launched Android Oreo Go December last year, but Maps Go didn't become available until mid-January. It was only compatible with very, very few (mostly Oreo Go) devices, though, and availability was limited to a few locations. Android Police has noticed the rollout first and has managed to install it even on regular non-Go Android phones.

We can confirm that you can now install it in the US straight from Google Play even if you have a flagship device. If you'll recall, Oreo Go is a barebones version of Android created to run on low-end devices that have small memory and storage. Google created a suite of Go apps, including Maps Go, which are around 50 percent smaller than their full-featured counterparts to go with the platform.

While Maps Go has fewer features than the full Maps app -- Engadget Senior Editor Richard Lawler says it's like using Google Maps back in 2011 -- it still has what you need to be able to help you find your destination. You can download it right now from Google Play, so long as you join the beta testing program first.