Uber launches a low-data Lite app that's just 5MB in size

Uber launches 5MB Uber Lite app in India

Sure, an application developer could code something that performs well on all imaginable hardware, but then they have to cut back on features, which in turn can degrade the overall user experience of a product or service. For many people with older or budget Android phones, it's still something they must contend with every day.

Uber's competitor Ola also has a Lite version of its app which was launched last December in India.

Uber has been working on spreading its presence to these new and emerging markets and has found that slow performance of their application has caused many to look elsewhere. It's been created to save space, weighing in at only 5MB (or about three selfies as Uber's helpfully points out), and run on any Android phone.

"Uber Lite" will pilot first for Android users in Jaipur, Hyderabad and Delhi and roll out across the country this summer before its launch in other countries.

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Instead, the app uses Global Positioning System to locate a user, and suggests nearby pick-up points, thus reducing the need to type.

Uber Lite is designed specifically to be small and responsive. There is no Maps view with real-time auto tracking, and this app uses Global Positioning System location to find the rider if the network is lost.

Among others, Uber Lite boasts a 300-millisecond response time (at least in theory), making the booking process a breeze, and offering guided pickups requiring minimal typing, maps "only when you want them", as well as caches of your city's top places so you don't need a network connectivity for them to surface. Should you opt not to, a progress bar (coming soon) will show your trip's progress. You get to see how close an Uber is to your location, view fare estimates, and choose from UberGo, Pool, Premier, Moto, and UberXL.

Uber Lite is now being trialed in India, which is likely to be its most popular market, and more features such as language selection and offline requesting are coming soon. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

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