Google is reportedly testing a light version of its Search solution called Search Lite as a part of the Mountain View, California-based company’s efforts to cater to the demands of internet users in the developing economies where connectivity remains at poor speed levels, according to fresh reports. Currently available in Indonesia and India as part of the beta testing, Search Lite is a new version of Google’s main Search app that is designed to reduce data requirements so that internet users in those countries can surf the web even without a fast connection. However, it is not clear when and if Google is planning to roll out Search Lite to other emerging markets, though that is likely to happen once the Search Lite version makes it to a stable release.
Search Lite is meant to provide an experience that does not drift away from that of the regular Search app. However, there are noticeable differences in how you may use Search Lite and the main Search app separately. For example, while the main version of Google Search displays a regular search bar at the bottom with a microphone icon on the right-most side for voice-enabled discovery, its ‘Lite’ version adds an array of circular icons above the bar for performing search through the Google News, Weather, Images, Translate and Nearby features. In contrast, the regular Search app does not show a grid of these icons and instead begins to show a stream of rich multimedia experience for users once they type something on the search bar.
The Search Lite version of Google Search is currently available to download via the Google Play Store in Indonesia and India for beta testers who have signed up for the program. Of course, there is still a need to set up your language before using Search Lite. A similar test was conducted in December last year for a lite search functionality of Google’s core search service. Google’s beta testing for Search Lite in emerging economies is likely part of the company’s efforts to gain its next billion users in India, and also increase its user base in other emerging markets.
You need to be signed up for the beta program in order to have access to this app.