‘Built in India’, Uber Lite is ‘designed for the world’, tipping the scales at under 5MB

The world’s most popular ridesharing service has been in the news for many questionable or outright nefarious business practices over the past couple of years, which hasn’t stopped Uber from expanding to more than 600 cities around the globe.

But there are countries where the American company has found it more beneficial to throw in the towel, most notably in China. Didi Chuxing bought Uber’s regional branch back in 2016, spawning rumors of a similar merger between the US transportation giant and India’s Ola market leader.

That doesn’t appear to be happening after all, as Uber is ready to fight for domination over the world’s second-most populous country with every weapon available. That now includes a stripped-down Lite app “built in India” and “designed for the world”, which occupies the equivalent storage space of “just 3 selfies.”

Yes, downloading Uber Lite will take up less than 5MB, rivaling the extreme lightness of similar bare bones versions of Facebook or Facebook Messenger also built primarily for India.

Of course, the aim is not only to save digital hoarding room for “actual selfies and other apps”, but also to support “spotty connectivity and slower than average internet speeds, on basic Android phones, and for people with limited data plans.”

Among others, Uber Lite boasts a 300-millisecond response time (at least in theory), making the booking process a breeze, and offering guided pickups requiring minimal typing, maps “only when you want them”, as well as caches of your city’s top places so you don’t need a network connectivity for them to surface.

Many other accessibility-focused features are in the pipeline, as Uber Lite is currently rolling out in India only as part of a “pilot” program, with “more countries” to gain support “later this year.” The app should work on essentially “any Android phone” straight off the bat.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).