Uber on Tuesday launched a lighter and trimmed down version of its app in India. Uber Lite, as the name suggests is small in size and is optimised for phones with low connectivity and older Android OS. Uber Lite is currently being piloted in three cities of Delhi, Jaipur, and Hyderabad and will be rolled out across the country soon. Uber also plans to expand this app to more countries later this year, according to Hindustan Times .
With Uber Lite and any other ‘Lite’ app, the aim is to provide users with the service even on low internet connectivity and older phones. Uber says that its app is optimised to work in connections as low as 2G in India. The app is sized lesser than 5MB and is compatible with phones running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and higher.
The UI of Uber Lite is interestingly more appealing than its parent app. One core difference between Uber and Uber Lite is that the latter doesn’t come pre-loaded with Maps. Users can choose to open the map and check the status of their Uber cab.
How Uber Lite works
Uber Lite first shows your location along with popular nearby places to make choosing a pickup zone easier. You can also choose to adjust your pickup location on the map. Similarly, Uber Lite will also show options for drop points like your saved places or popular landmarks.
You will then be offered with a list of rides to choose from along with the fare rates. After the cab is booked, you will be displayed with the driver’s contact details. Uber Lite also gives users the option to share their ride status with other contacts, or access the emergency contacts.
Uber Lite tick marks all necessary requirements for a Lite app but the real test will be done when it is used on poor internet connectivity. The company will be introducing more features soon with one being the choice of regional languages.
Uber Lite vs Ola Lite
Uber’s competitor Ola also has a Lite version of its app which was launched last December in India. Ola Lite is even smaller sized at just 1MB, and runs on devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop and above.
In comparison, Ola Lite has a lot going on in the app and even comes with ride options for rentals and outstation. The app also comes with the option of ‘Share Pass’ which lets users ride at original fares and no peak rates.