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Uber Lite for Android devices is piloted in India: All you need to know

BS Web Team/New Delhi 12 Jun 18 | 05:25 PM

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Uber, an app-based cab aggregator service provider, on June 12 introduced Uber Lite, a trimmed down app compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones, with a promise to work even on networks with slow data transfer speed. The app is less than 5MB in size and is currently available to limited users. However, interested users can request early access to the app by signing up for the waiting list, which is currently active on Uber India's official portal.

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The Uber Lite app trims down several features of the full-fledged Uber app. This has not only reduced the size of an app, but has also made it compatible with a wide range of smart devices – even cheaper ones with limited resources such as storage, RAM and processing prowess -- and networks with slower data transfer speed rate.

The app no more shows nearby Uber cabs and the map services are also set as optional to keep the app light. It uses the rider’s GPS coordinates for location services. It also keeps in cache the locations of key places of different cities so that the user gets to access them even when offline, or not connected to internet. The app is still in beta phase and more features such as language selection and ride requests without network connectivity would be added soon.

Uber Lite

Here is what the app offers:

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 location due to GPS or network issues, it throws up popular pickup points from nearby to choose from.

Tap over type: Uber Lite makes picking destination easier. The app caches the city’s top places so that even when it is offline, no network is needed for them to surface. And the app learns pattern of most used routes, showing these routes first and making it easier to choose a destination without typing.

Maps only when you want them: To keep the app light and fast, maps in Uber Lite are optional. The app will soon feature a progress bar to helps users follow the driver’s progress, only if the user opts not to load the map.

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