(Credit: Lance Whitney)

An app that started life as way to free up space on Android Go phones for people in developing regions has blossomed into a full-fledged file manager with a new design and a new name.

SEE: Organize your Android phone's home screen

Formerly known as Files Go, the app has been rechristened Files by Google, the search giant said in a blog post. The new name is a reflection that although the app was originally designed for Google's Android Go operating system, it has evolved past its origins to benefit the Android community at large. Along with the name change is a small redesign that places the focus on your files and other content as soon as you open the app.

Android already offers a built-in file manager through which you can browse, find, and access your images, videos, downloads, and other files. But Files by Google takes file management several steps further by helping you share and back up your files as well as offering ways to free up storage space.

Files Go was designed to resolve storage issues for Android smartphone users in regions such as India, Brazil, and Nigeria. The goal was to help people with limited space on their Android Go phones still be able to play videos and music and share apps without gobbling up their mobile data. But Files Go took an unexpected turn as it started to catch on with Android users around the world, capturing an audience of more than 30 million monthly users.

"We've noticed that people across the globe are using it, no matter what type of mobile phone they have or how fast their internet connection is," Google said in its blog post. "We often find that products designed for the Next Billion Users work just as well for everyone -- including people with a fast 4G connection and a top of the line smartphone who want to organize their files and save on storage as well!"

To use Files by Google on any Android phone or tablet, download the app from Google Play. By default, the app opens in Browse mode where you can look for and open downloaded files, images, videos, audios, documents, apps, and recent files. Open a specific file and you can upload it to an online storage site or send it to someone via email. At the main screen, tap on the Share tab and you can send a file directly to someone else with the Files by Google App without using any mobile data. Tap on the Clean tab, and the app pinpoints junk files, unused apps, and other files that you can remove to clear up space. Get rid of unneeded files, and Google now gives you a pat on the back.

"When you clear out files you no longer need, we now celebrate how much you saved by telling you what you've freed up room for--whether it's enough to take a few more selfies, or to download a whole movie," Google said.

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  1. Google has revamped and renamed its Files Go file management and cleanup app to Files by Google.
  2. The app helps Android users browse, share, and clean up their files.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."