Uber has already exited major Asian markets. The company no longer operates in Southeast Asia and China so India is one major market where it still has a presence. In a bid to reach as many people in India as possible, where a vast majority of people use low-end Android devices, Uber today announced the launch of Uber Lite. It’s a lightweight version of the app that’s meant for emerging markets and will initially be released in India.

Uber Lite is a simple version of the ride-hailing service’s app which takes up a lot less space on the device, around 5MB, while it works on any Android smartphone and cellular network. This means that even people with cheap Android smartphones will now be able to use Uber to book rides in India.

With a 300-millisecond response time, Uber says that the booking process through this lightweight app remains fast even in low connectivity, which is another challenge that exists in some parts of India. Uber Lite thus enables the company to retain the core functionality of the service while also offering some features such as in-app support and the ability to share the trip with friends and family.

The entire interface has been reworked to make it easier to book rides quickly even when the connection isn’t the best. It will detect the user’s current location using GPS and if that fails, it will show popular pickup points nearby. To ensure that the app remains light and fast, maps in Uber Lite are optional but remain one tap away. A progress bar will be added soon so that users can follow the driver’s progress to their location if they don’t want to load the map.

Uber says that it’s piloting the Uber Lite app in India and will release it in more countries later this year.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Apps and Uber. Source: uber

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