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There are many lite versions of popular apps today, all aiming to make our lives easier when we’re struggling with data costs, low storage and terrible internet service providers.
Now Uber has brought a lite version of its app to South Africa.
I recently came across the Uber Lite via an email from the company, saying that it would help me “even with limited connectivity, mobile data or battery life”. With my smartphone struggling with storage issues, the app being just 5MB, and data being considerably expensive, I decided to give it a try.
It was almost (almost) better than the full experience.
Uber Lite is far simpler to navigate than the full version. The menus are more navigable and have a sleeker, animated aesthetic, making it easier to use in a hurry.
There’s no map either, and no long loading time as a result. When you open the app, it simply finds your location, asks you where you want to go and then loads a list of prices and how far away you nearest ride is. It’s only once you confirm your ride that you have the option to view your map to see where your driver is, or your route.
It’s a far more logical process, especially for phones with smaller screens or slower hardware, and is notably less stressful.
My only qualm is when I used Uber Lite for the first time, I assumed that my card details were loaded from the full version when I signed in. Instead, it was automatically set to a cash payment, which Uber no longer allows you to change once you’ve booked the ride.
Once I was aware of this and changed my payment to my card, however, my banking details did indeed automatically load. Uber Lite just failed to ask me which payment method I preferred.
Uber Lite’s de-cluttered, clean design is great for those who find the full version too overwhelming. I do believe it should prompt users for their preferred payment method before ride confirmation, but it’s a small issue that can be overlooked.
The app is available for download on the Google Play Store in South Africa.
Feature image: Uber Lite