Lite Apps: Why more developers are seeing the light

Posted by Mister Mobility

Shazam Lite is a stripped down version of the popular app. It is optimised to run on Android smartphones with limited capabilities. This new entrant to the world of lite apps was recently launched with availability in countries like Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Venezuela.

Why Lite Apps?

The rationale behind the growth of lite apps is that there are billions of smartphone users worldwide who use devices with storage, battery and network data limitations. These users do not enjoy a smooth experience with the regular apps, if at all such apps can even be installed on their devices.

Lite apps are designed to provide a smooth user experience for smartphone users at the bottom of the pyramid. In other words, users of low-end smartphones and of slow networks. Apparently, app developers are waking up to the reality that I pointed out in my 2013 article, The battle for mobile will be won and lost at bottom of the pyramid. Better late than never; right?


It was based on the same principle that I pointed out that Data Compression On Mobile Web Browsers is the future in another 2013 article of mine. I was right on the money. Major mobile web browsers now implement data compression or a Lite app that offers data compression. Lite apps are an extension of that. Non-browser apps are implementing low data consumption Lite apps.

Many mobile apps have become very bloated in more ways than one. They:


  • are huge in download size
  • take up lots of space on devices
  • require powerful processors to run smooth
  • require broadband data
  • consume chunks of data in use

All these factors of many modern apps make them useless to a huge segment of today’s smartphone users around the world.

The Lite Apps Club

The Lite Apps club was pioneered by visionary app developers, Opera, with the launch of Opera Mini in 2005. Opera Mini became the killer app to have on every basic phone. It is still a very popular app today. Facebook soon saw the lite (pun intended). Others have since followed. Here are some prominent members of the lite apps club:


  1. Opera Mini
  2. Facebook Lite
  3. UC Browser Mini
  4. Clean Master Lite
  5. Shazam Lite

Lite apps have gained huge popularity to bridge that gap. Opera Mini is a huge global success. Facebook Lite easily became the fastest growing version of Facebook. UC Browser is gaining huge traction. The bottom of the pyramid is where the action is.

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