Most Google services are tailored for the developed markets, but the search engine giant is slowly making a company-wide effort to ensure that all of its services are more useful in emerging markets as well.
In this regard, the company is currently testing a new, lighter version of the Google Search app that is aimed at markets with poor or rather slow internet connections. While Kenya is considered to have some of the best internet connection speeds, this is only true when in major cities and towns across the country. With this light version of the Google Search app, which has been christened Google Search Lite, many locals could benefit from using an app that still delivers even when in the countryside, where internet speeds are not the best.
As expected, the functions of Google Search Lite are mostly the same to what you get on the standard version. You’ll have the option to search by typing or speaking and the translate feature is also on board. The company has also managed to squeeze in the Google News section and other local information such as businesses and weather. In short, you’ll get all the core functions of the main app in this Lite version.
The major difference between Google Search and Google Search Lite is data usage. If you have very little bandwidth, you will still be able to do something that people on a fast internet connection can do.
Google Search Lite is not the only app that has been designed with developing markets in mind. Microsoft has Skype Lite, Facebook has Messenger Lite as well as Lite version of the main Facebook app, there are apps such as Opera Mini meant for these markets – and so on. Perhaps, these apps could soon find a permanent home in the shape of Android Go.
Android Go is a low-data version of the standard Android OS that Google is reportedly working on as part of its mission to reach the “next billion users.” With this lighter version, app developers will definitely be required to come up with lighter or “Lite” versions of their apps. Google is probably getting ahead of the game.
At the moment, Google Search Lite is being tested in Indonesia ahead of a wider rollout to other developing markets. Folks in the Asian country can get the app via the Google Play Store, but you if interested in trying it, you can also get the APK version at the APK Mirror and install it manually.