Lighten App—Data saving and other perks of Lite Mobile Apps
After the December holidays comes Januworry, the longest month of the year. Ways to save money (without needed to skimp on life) are welcome. That’s where a lite app could lighten the weight on your shoulders.
What Is A Lite App?
Lite applications are free, stripped-down versions of either paid apps or apps with deep functionality.
They are built to offer only the basic functions of the ‘normal’ app and use as little resources as possible. Lite apps usually use less memory and are designed for 2G networks or areas with limited internet connectivity. So that means saving on data usage too.
Lite Years Ago
Lite apps were created as trial apps to entice potential buyers. A test drive with a promise to “unlock the full features” was a killer hook.
They gained popularity when app developers realised their potential. Lite versions would expand their reach to users in poor cell phone service regions or who have outdated, low-end smartphones. This, of course, is an essential business tool to overcome developing world’s restrictions. For example, Facebook needed the numbers from Africa, India and other developing nations to get to billions of users.
The Lite Side Of (Mobile App) Life
Examples of lite apps are:
- Facebook Lite
- Twitter Lite
- Skype Lite
- YouTube Go
- Opera Mini
- Spotify Lite
- Amazon Kindle Lite
- Shazam Lite
- Uber Lite
There are many, many more. In fact, even your OS (operating system) can lose some extra Kilos—bytes, of course. Android Go was specially designed “to run on devices with less than 1GB of RAM, making it incredibly efficient,” says howtogeek.com.
How much lighter does “lite” get, you ask?
- Less data usage: Using less data not only saves money, but it also saves RAM and battery. Twitter Lite’s data saving mode reduces usage by up to 70%
- Space saving. Lites are smaller than their parent apps. For example, Spotify Lite uses 10MB of storage compared to the full version’s 100MB.
- Power saving. With fewer features and background tasks, lite apps tend to chew less battery. Here’s how.
- Simple user interface. As part of its strategy to use low memory, storage and battery, lite apps have a simpler user interface. The UI requires less RAM to operate and further lowers battery usage as it uses fewer colours along with no heavy graphics like animations. Developers of Uber Lite reduced heavy graphic elements like the car animations.
- Better app speed. With fewer features and background operations, lite apps are speedier than regular apps. There is less to load or process, so things get done quicker.
Too Much Of a Good Thing
Alas, there are cons
- Feature-less. For all the saving benefits, you pay in features.
- No auto-refresh. In the quest to save battery and use lower RAM, lite apps give up the always-online functionality.
- Dampened user experience. The lower graphics, fewer features and low processing power of lite apps ultimately reduces the quality of your in-app experience.
- Lite apps do not stay light for long. Demands by consumers and the constant need for developers to always add features can result in the lite app becoming bigger with each update. Just you wait, we see lighter-lites on the horizon.