Every time I meet my parents they don’t leave any stones unturned to ask my help to get rid of the “Insufficient Storage” issue on their smartphones. Mistake not, my parents use a smartphone with “64GB” of internal memory and yet somehow they end up clogging that memory in a month or two. On closer inspection, I realized that it was the innumerable WhatsApp forwards and media that had occupied the major chunk of the memory.
The recent article by WSJ reveals that this very problem has been troubling the Google Researchers in the Silicon Valley. Apparently, one in three smartphone users in India was running out of the space on their phones every day. The issue was promptly traced down to a bunch of good morning messages, memes, cute cats and other such chirpy forwards.
It so happens that the millions of Indians who are getting online for the first time take it upon themselves to send greetings from their phones. Invariably, most of the greetings start before sunrise and the pace only increase with the onset of the day. The trend seems to have been borrowed by Google Search which saw a 10X increase in “Good Morning images” since the past five years. Pinterest has also witnessed a ninefold increase in the number of people from India downloading such images.
Forwarding such messages per se is not a problem, however, it does clog up the smartphones and most of the users are clueless on how to delete the forward messages. Perhaps it is for this reason that Google unveiled the Files Go, an app that used artificial-intelligence tools to get rid of the “good-morning” messages. Google has trained the algorithms to spot such forwards on the basis of the image file and the size of the image.
The Files Go app has already garnered more than 10 million downloads and India accounts for the highest number of users. It has already cleared up an average of 1GB of data per user which is staggering. On the brighter side, such heartening forwards are better as opposed to lies and hoaxes that are rampant on WhatsApp.