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Uber launches Uber Lite; less data use for emerging countries

Uber Lite

The term ’emerging economy’ just makes you think of slow internet data in many parts and yes, Uber knows that too, more so because they have the numbers on usage in these parts. They are now saving the world, one Uber request at a time by launching Uber Lite, their stripped down version of their mobile app, to cater to regions like Africa and the Middle East that are behind in technology advancements such as fast connectivity and with many mobile phone users owning older smartphones to access the internet.

For now, Uber Lite Uber Lite will be in 3 Indian markets of Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Delhi but the rest of the emerging world where Uber operates will see it roll out before 2018 ends.

The Uber Lite app is only 5MB in size, compared to the Uber app that’s about 38MB in the Google Play Store.

Wired reports that ‘Uber Lite also does not automatically load the data-hungry map, which shows your ride inching its way toward (or somehow, away from) you. Instead, Lite will give you an ETA for your driver, and once you’re inside the car, for the trip’s end. Users can still open the standard map, with a tap. This slimmed down version of the app still offers the support and safety features you get in the full version.’

Uber shared that with a reimagined interface, Uber Lite has been designed to make booking rides easier and quicker in spotty connectivity and slower than average internet speeds, on basic Android phones, and for people with limited data plans through the following new features:

  • Guided pickups: Uber Lite guides users through the request experience by detecting their current location, so minimal typing is required. If it can’t detect your location because of GPS or network issues, it will surface popular pickup points nearby from you to choose from.
  • Tap over type: Uber Lite makes picking your destination as easy as a tap of a button. The app caches the city’s top places so that even when you are offline, no network is needed for them to surface. And the more you use Uber Lite, the smarter the app gets, learning where you go most often and surfacing those options for you to tap first, so you don’t have to type your destination every time.
  • Maps only when you want them: To keep the app light and fast, maps in Uber Lite are optional, but available with just a tap if you want them. And coming soon, a progress bar helps users follow the driver’s progress should you opt to not load the map.

You can sign up to be one of the first testers of the Uber Lite app here.


Tech Blogger & Marketer.