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7 Android apps that seriously need a ‘lite’ version

Earlier this week, we got word that Google has revealed Search Lite, a lightweight (duh) version of its iconic web search tool. Offering the usual search functionality, as well as a host of other features, the app stands out thanks to its small install size and emphasis on data saving.

It’s not the first Lite app we’ve seen though, with Facebook, Messenger, Skype and even YouTube (in a limited fashion) seeing tiny apps being launched. But what about other services in need of a Lite version?

Twitter

Yes yes, Twitter Lite is actually a thing, but it’s merely a lightweight website rather than a full fledged app. Nevertheless, we’d like to see its major features come to an Android app.

Some of the features touted by the web version include being quicker loading on slow networks, faster performance and a data saver mode. Seems like a no-brainer for an app, doesn’t it?

Google Chrome

The Mountain View company has done a pretty solid job when it comes to data-saving features in Chrome (with a dedicated data-saver mode), but Chrome Lite would certainly be welcomed.

Between reducing the app’s footprint, employing Opera Mini-style data-saving and offering adjustable image quality, there’s certainly a few steps Google could take with a lightweight browser.

Snapchat

Yes, we know that Snapchat¬†founder Evan Spiegel doesn’t really care about non-iOS platforms, but a lightweight version of Snapchat for Android users would go a long way to making the service more desirable (especially given the shareholder pressure).

After all, the platform has long had a reputation for being a data hog, with users¬†taking to enabling the “travel mode” to save megabytes.

Instagram

For a media-heavy network, Instagram is pretty reasonable when it comes to data usage, it must be said. But the opportunity for a lightweight app still exists though.

Between trimming down video sizes, further refining the solid algorithms for images and offering a general data-saving mode, a Lite app seems like a no-brainer.

Tinder

Everyone’s favourite hookup dating app is a pretty solid app in its own right. But a Lite app would make for a better experience in areas with bad networks.

Strip out the Instagram integration, work on reducing image file sizes and we’ve got a great start for a lightweight Tinder app.

Gmail

Google’s email app already offers a pretty admirable suite of data-sensitive tweaks, related to attachments and email synchronisation.

Nevertheless, a lightweight client would be another welcome option, possibly tackling image quality and offering deeper customisation for email syncing.

Google Maps

Nokia/HERE Maps used to be the mapping app of choice for data-conscious users, but Google Maps has come a long way since then.

The app already supports offline caching, but a Lite app would be neat. From complete country downloads to caching points of interest and regularly taken routes, there are loads of data-minded features we could see.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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