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25 Jan 2018

Running short of memory on cellphones: Here's a fix

"Good Morning" WhatsApp-forwards are hogging phones' storage space

One in every three smartphones runs "out-of-space" every day in India, said Wall Street Journal.

This prompted Google to understand why millions of smartphones were freezing up.

Surprisingly, they figured out that "Good Morning" messages/images forwarded by Indian users on WhatsApp were hogging the storage-space.

Using AI, Google came up with "Files Go" app to clear those frustrating "good-morning forwards" at once.

Here's more.

In context

"Good Morning" WhatsApp-forwards are hogging phones' storage space

Sending greetings "like nothing better than to begin the day"

In its report, Wall Street Journal noted: "The glitch, Google discovered, was an overabundance of sun-dappled flowers, adorable toddlers, birds, and sunsets sent along with a cheery message. Millions of Indians are getting online for the first time- and they are filling up the internet."

Those messages that wish "Good Morning" are "bad" for devices

Files Go

Those messages that wish "Good Morning" are "bad" for devices

Wall Street Journal says Google Files Go, launched in Dec'17, was designed for a market like India.

Google worked hard for helping its users clear up the device storage-space with Files Go.

For months, Google engineers used AI tools and trained the algorithm to identify "Good Morning" WhatsApp messages/images from huge image databases.

Files Go helped users clean over 1GB on an average.

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Cheery greetings causing head scratching: Wall Street Journal

"The company (Google) used its giant image database and artificial-intelligence tools to train the app to weed out good-morning messages. The key to spotting them was looking for a certain size and type of image file," reported WSJ quoting Josh Woodward, Google Product Manager.


Files Go can delete files, share data without Internet

While Files Go was primarily launched as a solution for deleting files on devices and clearing up storage, it can also be used to share files even when the device is offline.

It is available on Google Play Store; it runs on devices with Android 5 Lollipop and above. So, most Android devices released in the last two years can use the app.

How to use the Google Files Go app?


How to use the Google Files Go app?

Once Files Go is installed, users need to grant permission for it access phone storage so that it can find which images, apps, and files can be deleted.

It shows the total amount of device storage used and the available space, too.

All the information regarding the unused apps, large files/media, temporary files, etc. is shown in cards and can be deleted quickly.


App shows WhatsApp messages, media separately

Files Go also shows media from Bluetooth and third-party apps like WhatsApp and ShareIt in smart cards. This helps users to decide which files can be deleted to free up storage.

WhatsApp images, especially the "Good Morning" forwards, are separately shown; they can select media individually for deletion.

Every card displays the amount of space that can be cleared by removing these files.

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