Uber’s initial plan was simple: People download their app and hail cabs from it. This app has been updated over time and has exponentially increased in size. This is fine if you have ample storage on your phone, but a lot of people out there don’t have phones with a ton of resources and that is why you see Lite apps being launched.
Uber has done that today with the release of Uber Lite in India. This is the company showing their intent to penetrate the developing market using the Lite app initiative we’ve seen being employed by other countries.
According to Uber, Uber Lite is a <5MB download (regular Uber app can balloon to over 150MB on your phone). They also boast that it has a 300ms response time (odd thing to brag about) which would let one book cabs fast even in low connectivity.
Although the app is significantly smaller than the regular Uber app, you still get the core functionality with the Lite version. It has a ‘re-imagined interface’ which has new features like Guided pickups that allow you to select you location with minimal typing, tap over type where it makes it easy to tap on your destination instead of typing and maps are optional to make the app fast.
Uber also plans updates to Uber Lite in the future. You’ll see such updates like a progress bar that follows the driver’s progress when you opt not to load maps and the ability to choose their preferred language during sign up.
Unfortunately, Uber is piloting this service first in India, which is one of the biggest developing markets. The company has serious competition in these kind of markets like for example in Kenya where we have other players like Taxify, Little, Mondo Ride and Mara Moja. By introducing Uber Lite, they could compete more effectively