Uber just released a Lite app version of its mobile application that’s only 5MB in size.
After giving up China and Southeast Asia to its rival company Grab, Uber is still struggling to remain in nearby regions. In an effort to do so, the ride-hailing company is now launching a Lite app version of its mobile application in India to reach as many people as possible.
According to reports, the minimal version of the Uber app is space saving at only 5MB in size. It also works on any network and can be installed and used on any Android phone. For now, the company is only launching the app in India. However, the company already has plans to roll it out in other developing markets in the near future like Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Uber Lite works just like the original Uber app. However, it was primarily built to work with older, data-limited Android smartphones and for locations where there is limited access to a stable Internet connection. Right now, it will be launched in three of India’s emerging markets: Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Delhi.
This new project is Uber’s way of conquering developing markets while competing with homegrown companies like India’s own Ola. It might seem new, but Uber’s move is not uncommon. In fact, other tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Skype all provide Lite app alternatives to their users.
“We know we’re not just a U.S. company, we’re a global company. Not only have we built this for the world, it was built in India,” Peter Deng, Uber’s head of rider experience, told TechCrunch.
“The team has traveled to markets around the world to do in-home interviews to understand the needs of the customers.”
Uber’s Lite app uses a rider’s GPS location to guess potential destinations, requiring minimal typing. The app will also keep a record of a city’s top locations so it can be used even without Internet connection. Other special features like language selection and offline ride-hailing are said to be underway for the Lite app.