Uber has launched Uber Lite in South Africa, for Android phones – designed to make booking rides easier in low connectivity and slower than average internet speeds.
“Every day, hundreds of thousands of South Africans rely on Uber for mobility and work, and we understand that a one-size-fits-all app doesn’t work for the diversity of network conditions, devices, and rider needs across the country,” said Alon Lits, GM for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.
“After extensive research with our riders, it was obvious we couldn’t just make a smaller copy of Uber. We needed to reimagine the experience for South Africa and key markets around the world. The result is Uber Lite. A completely redesigned app that is light, simple, and works on any Android device and on any network.”
Uber Lite’s new interface was designed to make booking rides quicker and lighter in low connectivity, on basic Android phones, and for people with limited data plans, Uber said.
Key product features:
- Light on your phone: Uber Lite is less than 5MB to download (that’s equivalent to just 3 selfies). A smaller app frees up space for actual selfies and other apps. And, with a 300-millisecond response time (literally the blink of the eye), the booking process is fast even in low connectivity.
- Guided Pickups: Uber Lite guides users through the request experience by detecting their current location, so minimal typing is required. If it can’t detect your location because of GPS or network issues, it guides you to choose popular landmarks nearby (which is how most people in South Africa communicate their location).
- Tap Over Type: Uber Lite makes picking your destination as easy as a tap of a button. Instead of typing where you are, you can choose a nearby point of interest. Additionally, the app stores the city’s top places so that even when you are offline, no network is needed for them to appear. And the more you use Uber Lite, the smarter the app gets. It learns where you go most often, and surfaces those options first. This feature is particularly convenient for people with phones with smaller screens.
- Maps On Demand: To keep the app light and fast, maps in Uber Lite are not loaded by default, but are available with a tap when you need them.
Uber Lite retains the core functionality of the rider app, has in-app support, and includes critical safety features, such as an emergency button that connects riders to a third party supplier who provides emergency services and security response services, and the ability to share your trip with friends and family.