Some things in life are better when they are lightweight. A light meal is better than a hearty, big one. A light day at work is definitely better than a full and stressful one. And lastly, a lite app can be much better than an ordinary one. So, what are lite apps, and are they really better than full-sized ones? This is the question that we intend to answer in this article. Read on to learn everything about lite versions of apps!
What Are Lite Apps
Fun fact! Did you know that the word lite originated in old English, where they used it to describe little and petite things? It is 100%; you can look it up! Now, “lite” is commonly used as an informal way to say light. It is also used to describe things that are free of undesirable substances or components, like food, drinks, or apps. Yes! So, this is the meaning behind the term “lite app.” Lite versions of apps are replications of the original apps with the minimum requirements and components. This means they are basically the same. However, lite versions of apps are more capable of functioning and operating in many unstable or unsuitable environments. Such as an unstable internet connection, old operating systems, and so on. This is one of the reasons, which we will explain in detail later, why lite apps are fan favorites.
4 Examples of Lite Versions of Apps That Achieved Exceptional Success
Facebook and Messenger Lite
Two of the most downloaded Lite apps right now are Facebook and Messenger Lite. In 2015, Facebook introduced Facebook Lite, a version of the social media platform optimized for users in regions with less reliable and stable internet connections. It’s more compact and requires less space on your device’s storage than the standard Facebook app. For those who desire a streamlined version of Facebook Messenger without all the bells and whistles, Messenger Lite was released in 2016. Messenger Lite has been downloaded over 100 million times, and Facebook Lite has been downloaded over 1 billion times from the Google Play Store.
Spotify Lite is a lite version of the original and very popular music streaming app. It is mainly made for users in places with low bandwidth. Streaming music on slower networks is made easier because the app requires less space and data than the conventional Spotify app. With Spotify Lite, users can set a data limit and get alerts when they’re getting close to it, making it easier to control their data consumption. Around 50 million people have downloaded Spotify Lite since it was released in 2018, and the app has gotten mostly positive reviews.
TikTok Lite is another very successful lite version of the original app. The app prioritizes compatibility with lower-end smartphones and slower internet connections in developing countries. With minimal capacity and data requirements, the app makes it simpler for users on slower networks to produce and share short movies than with the original TikTok app. It also solves the never-ending issue of the original app taking up huge spaces on phones that can reach up to 8 GB. Around 500 million people in many countries have downloaded the app since it was released in 2018. Users have also praised the app’s quick load times and low data usage.
Google Maps Go
A lite version of the standard navigation and renowned tool, Google Maps Go, is optimized for older or less powerful mobile devices with limited network connections. It’s easier to navigate on slower networks because the app requires less space on the user’s device and less bandwidth than the usual Google Maps app. Almost 500 million downloads of Google Maps Go have been made all over the world since the app’s release in February 2018. Many people found it effective, especially in tough times when a map is very needed, like hiking or exploring new places.
Lite Apps vs. Ordinary Apps: Key Differences
So, you may think that the lite apps that were mentioned above are actually the same as the original ones. Upon using them, you won’t notice any difference. However, there are many major differences between the two, some of which may be a bit technical and some of which are actually noticeable. So, let us discover the three most important differences between original and lite apps.
Visuals and User Interface
Visuals are the first thing that users may or may not notice. In order to make the lite versions of apps more flexible and easy to use, developers employ more compressed and basic visuals. However, they also make sure that anyone using the lite app also goes through the same experience as using the original app. Thus, the employed visuals are practically the same, with very tiny differences. As per the user interface, the lite versions of apps usually have the same designs and UI. However, in order to lighten the app, developers get rid of complex components of the interface. Nonetheless, in most cases, these components have no noticeable function.
App Size and Speed
The most important key difference that makes lite versions of apps special is their size and speed. As original apps have more complex functions, visuals, and components, they are usually larger in size. This causes frustration for many users. What developers tend to do is offer the same apps while stripping them of any unnecessary features and optimizing their code. This compresses the app into a fraction of the original app’s size This, in turn, makes lite versions of apps run faster, as it also optimizes performance. So you’d notice that usually Lite versions of apps run much faster and have a small or no loading time.
Lastly, data consumption is another important key difference between lite and original apps. Optimizing codes and network requirements and excluding unnecessary features makes lite versions of the app consume less data. The average data use for each app is usually 150–250 MB per hour. However, for lite apps, the average data use is 10–20 MB per hour.
Why You Should Consider a Lite Version of Your App
There are many reasons why you should consider a Lite version for your app. Let us break it down some.
The first reason is to reach a broad target audience. Many people around the world depend on lite versions of apps rather than the original ones. This is due to many reasons, such as being present in a place with a poor network connection or having an old operating system that needs minimum requirements. And the list can go on forever. By Doing that, you can ensure reaching a large target audience, improve the app’s visibility and user satisfaction
The second reason would be offering ultimate accessibility. Many people in poor countries always struggle with standard apps running on their devices. This issue is due to the fact that they live somewhere with a limited network and internet connection.
Additionally, Lite apps come as knights in shining armor in really tough times. In some cases of natural disasters where the network is usually unstable, people turn to using lite versions of apps. Nevertheless, when traveling, they are everyone’s companions; they are faster and consume less data, which is ideal for roaming.
How to Make Lite Versions of Apps
The million-dollar question is, “How can you build a lite version of your app?” We already established that it is a very important step that certainly improves the user experience and ensures your success. However, the process of making lite versions of apps takes some steps, which are:
Identify the Key Features of Your App
In order to create a lite version of your app, you need to first determine which features are most important to your target audience. With this method, you can determine which aspects are most important and which ones can be cut or simplified. Determine which features are most utilized and appreciated by your target audience by doing user research or evaluating user data. Knowing the most important aspects of your app can help you design a robust lite version that still meets your users’ demands.
Simplify the Design and User Interface
Simplifying the design and user experience is essential when developing lite versions of apps. This includes streamlining the layout and interface to cut down on clutter and improve the usability of the site app overall. To make the app more accessible, you might want to think about utilizing bigger visuals, fewer colors, and simpler logos. Improve the app’s accessibility for everyone by making sure it works well even on older devices and with slower connections to the internet.
Reduce the Size of Images and Other Media
Reducing the file size of photos and other media is another critical step in developing a lite version of your app. Users may become frustrated if their app experiences a decrease in performance due to the presence of large media files. Images and videos can be compressed to lower their file sizes without significant loss of quality. Vector graphics can be used instead of raster pictures since they are often more compact. This way, you will make your app work more smoothly and effectively on a wider range of devices by decreasing the size of media content.
Optimize Code and Remove Unnecessary Features
Streamlining the code and disregarding extravagant features are essential when developing a lite version of your app. This has the potential to lessen the app’s overall size and speed up its functioning. Look at the code base for your app and see if there’s any way to make it easier to use or more streamlined. Features that aren’t crucial to the app’s operation can be disabled as well. This would not only reduce the app’s size and load time but also simplify its functionality. When it comes to creating a superb user experience, remember that less is frequently more.
Test and Refine the Lite Version for Optimal Performance
After developing a lite version of your app, extensive testing is required to guarantee that it functions as intended and satisfies your target audience. User testing and feedback can help you figure out what needs addressing. Take this criticism into account as you perfect the test version. It’s also crucial to keep an eye on the lite version’s performance over time and update it as necessary to maintain a high quality of service. You may develop a high-quality lite app with optimal performance and user happiness by first testing and identifying all pitfalls.
Lite apps are, without a doubt, lifesavers in some situations. Although they might lack some functionalities and visuals that are usually found in standardized apps. However, we can say that they have tons of advantages that make them stand out and are used by billions of people around the world. If you already have an established app and are looking for a quick way to create a lite version, let me give you a great solution.
The nandbox app builder is a leading no-code native app. The app builder will let you create apps in no time and at the most affordable price on the market. To avoid the hassle of optimizing codes that might take much effort and time, you will easily pan for your app, identify the key features that you want to include, and leave the rest for nandbox. All you have to do is swiftly drag and drop, and your features are good to go. Additionally, you can export all your existing data directly and save yourself some time. Hop into action and start your lite app journey now with nandbox!