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Google testing a new lightweight search app to help users save on data
Google is testing a new app which provides a version of its search service designed to consume less data and perform faster, according to a report from Android Police. The app was recently spotted in an ad on Facebook in Indonesia, inviting users to test it out.
Google Search Lite provides an entirely different landing page compared to what you see when launching the regular search app. This, it seems, is designed to provide quick access to options like “news,” “weather,” and “nearby,” as well as bookmarked pages, image search, and offline pages. There’s also a “personalize” button in this menu, so presumably, you can edit the options shown in the menu.
The app is voice and text-search compatible, and provides options to use “lite web pages” and “internal web browser” by default — both of which are said to save data when using the app (and probably with little in the way of disadvantages).
This appears to be targeting emerging markets that lack the mobile data infrastructure that nations like the US have, similar to the YouTube GO app introduced earlier this year. This helped users consume less data by providing offline saving (so that videos could be downloaded using a Wi-Fi connection and watched later) as well as video sharing via Bluetooth.
It’s not yet clear what Google’s plans for the app are, it’s currently in the early stages of development and only available in a handful of languages, but it’s likely to also target the Indian market.
While Google’s efforts to make its products more accessible in certain markets is good news for some consumers, such apps would probably be appreciated in territories like North America and Europe too. For those who don’t have an unlimited plan, or would just prefer a more streamlined / faster app, they could come in real handy.
If you want to test the app out for yourself, you can find the APK file over at APK Mirror here — it’s said to be working in English if you choose the “Bahasa Indonesia” language option.
Would you like to see an app like Google Search Lite officially launch in your region? Let us know in the comments.