Android devices, especially smartphones, are getting more powerful and capable every year. They are coming with better processors, oodles of RAM, and internal storage. However, not everyone owns such powerful Android smartphones. Some are using smartphones that barely have 16 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM. Well, this is the reason why app developers introduced ‘Lite’ variants of their apps. But, you can’t expect all the users to know about their existence, and hence, Google has started recommending ‘Lite’ apps to some users on Play Store.
Now whenever a user bumps across an app on the Play Store that has a Lite variant available, Google shows a message saying “Comparable app available” with the app’s name and its size (see image above). For example, if you are viewing the Facebook app’s listing on the Play Store, Google will tell you that there’s also a lightweight version of Facebook called Facebook Lite that weighs 1.6 MB in size.
That said, there’s also a ‘View’ button which when tapped on will take you to that Lite app’s listing on the Play Store.
For those unaware, these ‘Lite’ apps are lightweight versions of main apps that require less RAM, less storage, less processing power, and heck, even less amount of Internet data. These apps even work fine on slower networks like 2G.
There are quite a lot of Lite apps available on the Play Store, with some of the popular ones like Facebook Lite, Messenger Lite and Skype Lite. Most of these Lite apps are designed for users in developing countries where Internet connectivity isn’t all that reliable, hence, if you happen to live in a country like the US, chances are you may not see these Lite apps on the Play Store.
With that being said, not all the users are currently seeing this recommendation of Lite apps on Play Store. Hence, it’s safe to assume that this is one of those features that Google rolls out through server-side changes to select few users, which necessarily don’t mean would be rolled out to all.