App developers worldwide are seeing the
lite, sorry, light, with respect to mobile data issues in emerging markets, and ride-hailing service, Uber, has joined the train. A trimmed down version of their app is on the way. Say hello to Uber Lite app.
The new, lite version of Uber’s app is lightweight, weighing less than 5MB, and has been designed to make booking rides easier and quicker where network connection is epileptic and slower. Like all lite apps, it is also designed to run smoothly on basic Android phones, to save on data costs.
Uber says that the Lite app is built in India, but designed for the world to connect “the next hundreds of millions of riders”.
Features of Uber Lite app
Uber has detailed the features of the new app, as follows:
- Auto Location Detection: Uber Lite guides works by detecting the user’s current location, so minimal typing is required. If it can’t detect your location because of GPS or network issues, it will suggest popular pickup points nearby for you to choose from.
- No Network: Uber Lite app caches each city’s top places so that even when you are offline, no network is needed to find and select them. The app also gets smarter as you use it. It keeps record of places you go most often and will suggest them for you to select first. That way, you do not have to type your destination every time.
- Look, Ma; No Maps!: To keep the app light and fast, maps in Uber Lite are optional, but available with just a tap if you want them. A progress bar will also be available to help you follow the driver’s progress should you opt to not load the map.
Uber Lite seems to be a well thought out app. We will see how it performs in everyday usage.
Lite Apps Globally
It is good to see global apps address the network issues that plague emerging markets. It is this same set of issues that video streaming apps like Linda Ikeji TV app must address if it is to see adoption and usage.
While lite apps are primarily targeted at emerging markets, in an interesting plot twist, developed mobile markets are also seeing a strong adoption of those apps.
Uber Lite app is initially available in India and will be available to other countries later in 2018.