Google launched Google Search Lite, a less-heavy version of Google Search for Android in select regions of the world yesterday.
The new application is marked as experimental when installed, so handle it the same way as other beta releases of applications.
Designed to be faster, less hardware hungry and to use less data, Google Search Lite has been designed specifically for regions with unstable or turtle-slow Internet connections.
It follows the footsteps of other lite applications such as Twitter Lite, YouTube Go, Facebook Lite and Facebook Messenger Lite. Most "lite" applications have in common that they are usually only available in select regions but not restricted to these regions when they are sideloaded and run in other regions.
Note:If the app is not available in your region, you can load it for APK Mirror and install it. The app prompts you to pick between four languages on start. You can skip the step if you don't speak any of the languages (recommended).
Google Search Lite displays icons that link to various Google Services on start. You find a search bar at the bottom of the page, and once you have run some searches, the last searches as well.
While you get search displayed as the first option, you can also open news, weather or nearby information, or open images and top sites using the icons.
All of that happens in the application itself, nothing is redirected to other applications. If you tap on weather for instance, a Google search page is opened with weather information of the location you are in at that time (the only permission the application requests is location).
Nearby opens a Google Search page as well, this time listing points of interest at the top and then the regular search results for the query.
So, basically, what most of these icons represent is a fixed search that you may run at any time without having to type.
The options, which you load with a tap on the personalize icon and the selection of general, hold some interesting features.
You may enable even more data saving by toggling "use lite web pages" and "use internal browser" on in the settings. This "saves data when surfing with Google", and uses less data as web pages are displayed in an internal viewer.
Enabling these features loads websites that you open on a Google domain the content of the site has been cached on (googleweblight.com). Sites opened there are optimized so that they download and render quickly. The app displays a link to open the original.
While the feature should work well on many sites, news sites for instance, it won't work for sites that require you to interact with them. For instance, you cannot use this optimized version to make a purchase on Amazon or eBay.
If you use Google Search on your smartphone and want to save data, speed things up, or reduce the application's resource usage, Google Search Lite may be an option in this case.
Now You: Do you use Google's Search app on your Android device?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.