Uber is piloting a Lite version of its rider app in India

Uber is piloting a Lite version of its rider app in India

Ride-sharing company Uber has launched its Uber Lite Android app in India.

At the moment, Uber Lite appears to be Android-only, and the company will be using India as a testing ground for the app before expanding it to other countries.

Many other accessibility-focused features are in the pipeline, as Uber Lite is now rolling out in India only as part of a "pilot" program, with "more countries" to gain support "later this year".

Keeping India's connectivity issues in mind, the Uber Lite app has a different interface that works for people even with limited data plans. It's been created to save space, weighing in at only 5MB (or about three selfies as Uber's helpfully points out), and run on any Android phone. The app is sized lesser than 5MB and is compatible with phones running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and higher.

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"After extensive research with our riders, it was obvious we couldn't just make a smaller copy of Uber. The result is Uber Lite", said Deng. There is no Maps view with real-time vehicle tracking, and this app uses Global Positioning System location to find the rider if the network is lost. If it can't accurately pinpoint your location (due to Global Positioning System or network issues) it will offer you nearby pickup points that might work for you. Similarly, Uber Lite will also show options for drop points like your saved places or popular landmarks. After the cab is booked, you will be displayed with the driver's contact details.

"Uber Lite" guides users through the request experience by detecting their current location. Uber Lite is the latest to join in on this initiative. Even though in this version the map option is not visible by default to the users they will have the option of toggling it on or off if they wish to see the actual route.

Uber says it's also working on local language support, a progress bar that will let you follow your cab's progress, and the ability to book a ride even when you're offline.

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