Uber, in a quest to be on every mobile device, has come up with a Lite-version of its much popular ride-hailing app. The move is touted to assist travelers in booking a ride even when they are facing bad connectivity. While the full version of the app consumes almost 180 MB space on IOS devices and 40 MB on Android phones, the slimmed down version is expected to be just around 5 MB.
The app is first being piloted in Indian markets; and if successful, it might be rolled out to international markets. The minimal version of the app saves space, is compatible with all major carriers, and works on even the most basic mobile devices.
In order to achieve this feat, Uber has completely re-designed the app keeping minimalism and functionality at the forefront. Maps have now been made optional, which helps in keeping the app fast and smooth. However, other existing features like sharing ride information with family and friends are still found on the new app.
The new app uses the rider's GPS location to identify potential destinations which eventually reduces the need for typing. It keeps track of the city's popular locations and presents them even when a user is offline or is facing poor network reception. Features such as language selection, ride requests without network connectivity, will be added through potential updates.
Early in the year, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, while interacting with a popular news channel stated, "India is a key component of our growth plan. If you look at the market, it is one of our healthiest markets in terms of growth rates. When I think about Uber, and where we are going to be five to 10 years from now, our success in India is going to play a vital part in the growth of this company and how we do in terms of innovation, and in terms of where we are within the global mobility ecosystem."Ola, arguably the fittest competitor to Uber, has its own version of a minimal app called Ola Lite, which weighs in at just 1 MB. Perhaps Uber, with its sliced version of the app, is merely pushing to stay in the game.
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