Applications, more frequently called Apps, have breathed a new a life in smartphones. Of course, they do the task quickly and with lesser complications. Perhaps for the same reason, people seldom use browsers on their mobile devices. But, big and bloated apps can weigh down your smartphone. Sometimes the lag and prolonged loading time that comes with it is distressing. The hang being extra depressing!
That’s the reason companies started developing ‘Lite’ version of their apps mainly to suit the compatibility with the user and the device.
Google Play, which recorded 19 billion downloads in Q4 2017, globally, has started suggesting some Android users opt for lite apps. The approach sounds absolutely brilliant, as the search engine giant is acknowledging the wide gap in this huge market. Still, many developing countries do not have a proper internet infrastructure. Moreover, not everyone can get his hands on high performing devices.
A different angle on this can be that it is not necessary that anyone whose internet is super fast and an over compatible device would go for the full (heavy) app. He might not be much fond of the non-lite app and uses only limited features, in that case, lite should be preferred. For instance, the normal app of Facebook is too heavy and sometimes it forces you to wait for minutes to load and conversations to appear even with super fast networks. Yet, Facebook Lite app, launched in 2015, came out to work well with slow networks and outdated phones as well. It was a bare minimum and low-resolution version of the app, overall lighter.
As a result, the adaptation of lite apps on various platforms has experienced an upsurge. Classic examples being Twitter lite, Facebook Lite, Youtube Go, Fb Messenger Lite, Skype Lite, Instagram Lite, etc.
If an app has a lighter variant of it, Google Play store is now popping a message showing lighter alternatives to some users. The message also shows the file size of the lite app, and tapping on the ‘View’ button takes you to the app listing. Reportedly, these recommendations are also based on the smartphone that is being used to access the Play Store. Therefore, not all users are able to see this notification.
If the Play Store algorithm calculates that you could consider using a lite version of an app, only then it notifies you. It might have kept a tab on a user with reference to his preferences, compatibility of a device, type of engagement with certain apps and its duration, internet speed, etc. before notifying him. But, the relevance of the algorithm calculation hasn’t been confirmed yet.
In overall, this is a commendable strategy of Google in a bid to optimize the experience and provide simpler and lighter user experience. Also, a lot of users are not even aware of the existence of a lighter version of their favourite apps. This newly added feature aims to fix this problem. It will also curtail the problems of users who look for limited usage yet simpler and faster access.
For the developers, on the other hand, creating and offering a free lite version of apps is an old-school yet popular technique for generating app revenue. This strategy helps them involve a huge diversity among their app users which increases following and eventually rise in app downloads.