Uber has been working on spreading its presence to these new and emerging markets and has found that slow performance of their application has caused many to look elsewhere. The app is made keeping in mind emerging markets, and India is the first place the company has chose to launch it. Uber Lite has been made available in Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Delhi for now. It saves space with a size of only 5MB, and works on any basic Android phone with even 2G network connectivity.
The other salient trade-off is that Uber Lite will have the standard map-based interface for the app turned off, which means users can't fine-tune their location unless they choose to toggle this feature. Uber Lite also gives users the option to share their ride status with other contacts, or access the emergency contacts.
Uber Lite is designed specifically to be small and responsive. You can head to Uber's website and sign in as a beta user to get the app right away. It guides users through the request experience (as shown in the GIF below) by detecting a user's location, reducing the need to type. The app caches the top locations in your city, making it easy to pick a destination even when you're in an area with little to no connectivity. Should you opt not to, a progress bar (coming soon) will show your trip's progress.
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We continue to see exponential growth outside of the USA, and are thinking a lot about about building for the next hundreds of millions of riders who we hope will choose Uber to get around.
The team at Uber is now working on clever and inventive ways to implement these types of features and have said that things such as language selection and the ability to request a ride offline will be coming in future updates.
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