Lite apps to consider when 3G doesn’t play along
Lite apps offer all the key features of their original apps in a new layout, and work smoothly even on slower 2G and 3G networks
Most social networking, e-commerce and messaging apps require faster internet connection to run smoothly. If you are in a stable 4G network or Wi-Fi, there is nothing to worry, but if you are on a slower 2G network, the pages will take longer to load. This is what led developers to come up with Lite apps, which use less data and hardware and take less time to open.
Read more: The Lite that weighs heavily
The latest entry to this expanding breed of apps is Messenger Lite. It is a trimmed down version of Facebook Messenger and is available in 130 countries. Indian users will have to wait for some more time for it. But in the meantime, if the concept of Lite apps sounds interesting, here are some that you must take for a spin.
Yatra’s Mini is designed for travellers and users in smaller towns facing poor networks.
It has a text-centric interface with very few images. As a result, pages load faster. Users can search and book bus and train tickets as well as affordable rooms in budget hotels. Users who have booked a train ticket can check their PNR status on it. The app is available in English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Odiya and Gujarati.
MobiKwik Lite is a mobile wallet designed to work on 2G networks. It takes up just 1MB of space after installation. Users can make and receive payments through UPI or mobile wallet and they don’t need an email account to login to the app. One can register with a mobile number which is active on the smartphone. The app is available in English as well as Hindi.
Twitter Lite is not exactly a mobile app but can be used like one by adding a shortcut to it on the homescreen. Users can also receive notifications for new posts and updates. It is basically a mobile website which offers all the popular features of the Twitter app in a simple layout. This allows it to load pages faster and with the data saver mode active, data usage can be reduced by almost 70%. Users can watch and upload photos and videos and even send direct messages to other users.
The popular music discovery and streaming app Shazam works best on fast broadband connection. This is where the Shazam Lite app can help users looking for more data-friendly options. The app not only works on slow networks but even when there is no connection available at all. It has a modest layout and occupies just 1MB of space after installation. It can also find videos, lyrics for songs and related tracks just like the original Shazam app.
If you are planning to buy new eyeglasses or sunglasses and your internet connection has been erratic, you can try the Lenskart Lite app. A toned down version of the original app, Lenskart Lite allows users to browse through their store, look at the glass designs and place an order even when there is no internet connection available. When the phone is not connected, the order will be placed using SMS and the user can pay through cash on delivery.
One of the first Lite apps, Facebook Lite looks like a Facebook page in a mobile browser and takes up just 9.01 MB after installation. While you miss out on features such as find nearby friends and live streaming, you can chat with friends or groups, watch videos and upload photos and videos. The option to lower image resolution loads pages faster and allow users to save some data. It also shows the amount of data a video will use up at the beginning itself.
Skype Lite is designed to enable uninterrupted video chats and calls on 2G and 3G networks. It takes up only 50MB after installation which is half of what the original app uses. If there is no network, users can make analog calls and send text messages from the Skype Lite app. There are some handy data-saving tools such as the option to compress images before sending them to other contacts on Skype. The app also shows data usage statistics on mobile broadband and Wi-Fi to keep the user posted at all times.
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