Google has started testing a light version of its search app, aimed at markets with slower internet connections. According to Android Police, the app is being rolled out to select users via Play Store in Indonesia.
The app is named Search Lite and will allow users to search for things either by typing or by using voice. The app also appears to support translate function and local data like news, weather and business listings. The most prominent aspect of the app is the search bar and it seems to combine search and Google Now feed into a lightweight app.
Google Search Lite users can switch between multiple languages by swiping from the main page and the app also offers quick access to top websites. Furthermore, users can also personalise the app by removing services they don't care about and there is even an option to save pages for offline use. The app seems to make search and follow up functions easier and yet consume less data than the main search app.
Google is reportedly limiting the search results to web pages that support the Lite mode. However, Search Lite users can disable that function, but Google will tunnel all results through its web light feature. The app also has its own web browser and won't open results through default browser. Again there is an option to disable use of the internal browser.
Google Search Lite is an experimental app and the final version could be different from the one being tested by a small user base in Indonesia. Google is not the first to debut a lite app for emerging markets. Facebook already has a lite version of its main app and recently rolled out Messenger Lite in India.
Google also rolled out a lightweight version of its YouTube app called YouTube Go in India last year. With Search Lite, Google is also joining the lite bandwagon and the list of supported languages indicates the app will arrive in India sometime soon.