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These are the best Android Go and lightweight Android apps we could find
It’s been a long time since Facebook Lite’s 2015 launch, and since then we’ve seen plenty more lightweight apps come down the pike. Android Go and Google’s drive for cheap Android phones have no doubt helped this along.
Keeping track of all the available Lite or Android Go apps can be a chore though, but we’ve got you covered with a list of some of the most essential Android Go and lightweight apps on there. Keep in mind some of these apps might not be available in your country, however.
Best Android Go and lightweight Android apps
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Android Go and lightweight Android apps regularly as new applications come around.
Weighing roughly 1.5MB, Facebook Lite eschews animations and visual flourishes for a simple UI that won’t tax low-end devices. It’s got everything from your news feed and photo uploads to event functionality and business information, just like the standard app. You can even access your messenger inbox without downloading the separate app.
Facebook Lite had a couple of limitations originally, like its lack of calls. That’s where Messenger Lite comes in. The app supports audio and video calls with your Facebook contacts, and strips out complex UI stylings in favor of a lightweight UI and a ~14MB install size. Don’t expect much else compared to the main app, but most of the other essentials are here.
Google Photos is pretty much the best photo storage and organization solution available. However, the app is quite large and all those saved photos can take up a lot of space on your phone. Enter Gallery Go, which operates much in the same way as Google Photos but is smaller, more efficient at photo storage, and works great even without an internet connection. You’re also getting features like auto-enhance, SD card support, and auto organization smarts.
The Instagram Lite app was only a matter of time, following the success of Facebook’s other lightweight apps. The core functionality is mostly here too, allowing you to upload photos, browse your timeline or explore tab, send and receive direct messages, and check out stories. However, Reels support is missing here, forcing you to use the main Instagram app to view them.
If you thought the difference between Facebook and Facebook Lite’s file size was striking, get a load of this. The Google app weighs in at 76MB while Google Go takes up under 10MB of storage. Despite the dramatic size difference, Google Go offers trending queries and topics to sift through, the usual search options (images, GIFs, websites, videos), and Google Lens integration.
Google Maps Go
Strip Google Maps down and you’ve got the idea behind Google Maps Go. The app delivers traffic info, business listings, walking directions, and public transport schedules. The biggest downside is the lack of map downloads, which is essential for people in regions with high data prices or intermittent connectivity.
Files by Google
Files by Google might just seem like a file management app, but it has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve (aside from being very small in size). For example, you can share files with other smartphones without needing a data connection, easily free up space using built-in tools, and backup files to the cloud. There’s even a dark mode! It used to be called Google Files Go, but it’s still a lightweight file manager anyway.
Spotify Lite is ideal if you want a lightweight music streaming app, coming in at just under 8MB compared to the standard app’s nearly 30MB size. Either way, you’ve got free streaming here, mobile data management tools, and the ability to save music for offline listening. So you should give it a download if space is at a premium or you just want a performant app.
Google Assistant Go
Google Assistant Go weighs in at 12MB, but still packs a fair amount of functionality nonetheless. The app lets you make phone calls, send text messages, get weather forecasts, and navigate, among other commands. However, it lacks a few features, such as smart home functionality.
Google clearly has no shortage of Android Go apps at its disposal, delivering Gmail Go back in February 2018. The app weighs in at just under 13MB, compared to the more than 20MB size of the Gmail app. Most of the core functionality is still here anyway, so that means multiple accounts, smart replies, and smart email categorization. It also seems to disable image loading by default to save data and storage space.
Twitter Lite is yet another progressive web app. It’s accessible via your browser and takes up under 1MB. Nevertheless, it also offers a data saver mode, so you can tap to load images instead of downloading all images on your timeline. Sensible stuff, even if it’s just a step above a mobile website.
Uber Lite is another app originally designed for the Indian market, but it’s since spread its wings to more markets. Uber claims the app works fine on 2G internet connections, which is a seriously bold claim. Nevertheless, the lightweight app doesn’t show maps by default, instead relying on a progress bar to track your journey. The app also caches the top places in your city so you can quickly get suggested pickup and dropoff points.
Did we miss any noteworthy Lite or Android Go apps? Let us know in the comments section! Looking to save your mobile data? Then check out some of the best data-saving apps at the link.