Earlier this week, Google officially launched its mobile augmented reality platform in China via a partnership with Xiaomi. Today, the company is continuing this return to the populous market by releasing Files Go via four local app stores.
Files Go is smart storage manager originally intended for India and other developing markets, but was later expanded globally due to wide interest. Given the similar region and audience, its launch in China is not too surprising.
The app features a host of capabilities like peer-to-peer file transfers, search, Google Photos integration, and more on top of its ability to suggest files to delete to reclaim device storage. This includes identifying duplicate photos, GIFs, unused downloads, and more.
Since the Play Store is blocked in the country following Google’s exit in 2010 over a refusal to censor Search results, the company has turned (via TechCrunch) to local app stores for distribution. This includes those maintained by Xiaomi, Huawei, Baidu, and Tencent. Each big players, with the former two also hardware markers, the move should provide wide exposure.
It is the second Android app that Google has directed towards China in recent years, with Google Translate launching through a direct download of the APK. Meanwhile, this partnership model can be seen with Wear OS watches and apps, and very recently the ARCore platform and third-party AR apps.
Files Go may not be a significant app, but comes as Google has recently made investments into local companies, including a gaming startup, and opened a Google AI Center in Beijing. The latter comes as its TensorFlow machine learning library is popular among local developers. Earlier this year Google also partnered with WeChat’s Tencent on patents and future technology.