As our phones get more powerful, wireless networks faster, and storage options more plentiful, it’s very easy for a developer to let his or her app start getting “fat.” Optimizations become a less important distraction, leaving more time to deliver new features. Of course, not everyone’s lucky enough to have high-end hardware on a speedy connection, and sometimes it can feel like apps are starting to get away from us, designed for use on phones that are just out of our reach. Facebook hasn’t forgotten its users operating on more budget-focused devices, and has a new Android app just for them, one it’s calling Facebook Lite.
With a download over one hundred times smaller than the main Facebook Android app (251KB vs 27MB), Facebook Lite is seriously lightweight – though based on its name, we don’t know what else we’d expect. There’s a reason why it manages to come in so petite, and that’s because the app doesn’t do a lot more besides giving the user easy access to Facebook’s mobile site.
That may sound like a little bit of a cop-out, but there really do seem to be a few benefits here. Maybe the most obvious is how the Lite app lets you get Android notifications, helping this feel closer to the full app than a pure mobile-web-based Facebook experience. You’ll even enjoy the convenience of not being directed to an external Messenger app for your IM needs. We also hear about some other small ways that Lite takes advantage of its status as an app, like being able to peek at your phone’s contacts to hook you up with new friends. But make no mistake: by and large, this is the mobile web version of Facebook.
Facebook is restricting access to Lite in the Play Store based on regions, so if it’s not available where you are (like in the States) and you’d still like to give it a spin, hit up the Via link below for sideload options.