Uber has launched Uber Lite for Android users in Kenya, which takes the number of Uber related apps in the country to 3.
As the name suggests, Uber Lite is a cut down version of the regular Uber app that is designed for constraints. The app is small (less than 5MB) so it is perfect for people with phones with incredibly limited internal storage. Uber says that you can use Uber Lite in areas with little or no connectivity which is a characteristic in developing countries.
There are some interesting things about Uber Lite. By default, in lieu of maps, it shows you a list of points of interest around you which you can use to share as your location. You can still toggle map mode if you can’t find your location form the choices provided.
Uber says that Uber lite saves the ‘city’s top places’ s that when you’re offline, there will be no need for them to appear which is cool. This also saves the need to reload the same POIs again saving data.
If you already have the regular Uber app installed, it seems to harvest data from it and identity that you may want to login, which is convenient since you don’t need to type your credentials again.
The experience is pretty straight forward. When you login, it requests to gain location access. It will then show your current location and whether you want to change it. Afterwards, it will ask you where you’re going and later on it will give you a list of Uber rides to hail. Pretty simple.
For such a small app, they didn’t skimp on features. The profile tab shows your trips, payment info, promo codes, help button, support and more just like the fully featured app.
Differences between Uber Lite and the Regular Uber App
The biggest differences between Uber Lite and the regular Uber app boil down to user interface and the size of the app.
The regular Uber app is 45MB on the Play Store while Uber Lite is only 5MB. They balloon to three times the size when installed but the Uber Lite one is still considerably smaller.
The regular Uber app is a “map first” design where you get to see the map and the Uber taxis around you. Uber Lite is more straight forward where you identify where you are, where you going and what means you’ll be using to go there.
This rollout makes a lot of sense in the Kenyan market. Majority of Kenyans own basic smartphones and Lite apps are a good way to target these markets by giving them core features on apps that can easily run on their devices.
Kenya and South Africa are the only two African countries where Uber Lite has been rolled out today.