While the G.I had been a generally successful design it was clear it needed further improvement before it was fit for combat. The G.I was thus developed further into the G.II. The wings now only had two pairs of interplane struts on each side of the fuselage and the box shaped tail unit was replaced by a simple horizontal and vertical stabilizer assembly. Experience with the G.I had shown it to be underpowered and the G.II had more powerful six-cylinder 150 kW (200 hp) Benz Bz.IV engines installed which increased the bomb load. The increase in power also enabled the installation of a second defensive machine gun aft of the wings between the propellers which were still mounted in a pusher configuration. The crew still consisted of three men, a rear gunner, a pilot and a bomb aimer who doubled as a nose gunner.
While the Friedrichshafen G.I remained a prototype the G.II went into production with 35 aircraft being built by Friedrichshafen (18 built) and Daimler (17 built). The G.II saw active service from early 1916 with German bomber units on the Western Front and in Macedonia where it was mostly used for tactical bombing operations. At first these were conducted in daylight but later, as losses mounted, most attacks were conducted at night.