Low-end hardware, weak networks usher in popularity of ‘lite’ mobile applications

By: | Updated: October 9, 2018 3:28 AM

Companies including Facebook, Twitter, Ola, Uber and even Just Dial have launched a ‘lite’ version of their original apps, which consume less data, takes less space in the phone’s memory and their updates are lighter compared to the original app.

Many observers feel users uninstall heavy apps from their phones which reduce their activity on the platforms.(Thinkstock)

Prevalence of low-end hardware among users and weak networks in emerging countries have made companies develop ‘liter’ apps to ensure smooth functioning of their platforms.

Companies including Facebook, Twitter, Ola, Uber and even Just Dial have launched a ‘lite’ version of their original apps, which consume less data, takes less space in the phone’s memory and their updates are lighter compared to the original app.

Meanwhile, the ‘lité’ apps which these companies have launched are just functional and a user will have to compromise on better experience and many features. For example, in the Uber Lite app, it won’t show the user a map like in the main app and in Facebook lite version, the company has done away with all the animations, made the icons smaller and loads photos and videos only on the user’s request.

While the telecom industry and the government are pushing for 5G network being available in India soon, the reality, according to reports and other indicators, is telecom and mobile performance infrastructure in India is still lagging.

Moreover, many observers feel users uninstall heavy apps from their phones which reduce their activity on the platforms.
According to tech research firm Dazeinfo, as of June 2017, 178 million people in India were on the 2G network, that’s 40% of the total mobile users. Further, a report by telcom company, Ericsson gave a higher estimate by saying 2G will still account for 211 million subscribers by 2022 and 3G will be used by 740 million customers in India by 2022.

The migration of users to faster internet connections is growing and usage of 2G and 3G bandwidth falling. However, if a user is on a 4G network, it doesn’t mean that the user has a high-speed net. India ranks 109 out of 122 countries for mobile internet speed and 76 out of 133 for broadband internet speed, according to speed test website Ookla.

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