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Google testing ‘Search Lite’ app in developing markets w/ custom homescreen, data saver

With the next billion users coming from developing markets, Google has taken to creating apps specially tuned for those users. The latest is called Search Lite and offers a lighter, more focused version of the main Google Search experience.

It is currently in testing for Indonesia and unsurprisingly India. On setup, users select their language before being brought to the homepage. At the very bottom is a standard search bar with a microphone for voice queries.

Above, against a geometric background, is a grid of circular icons for various search features like News, Images, Weather, Nearby, and Translate. Other shortcuts include Top Sites and Offline Pages.

The Search results experience is similar to regular Search, though the search bar persistently remains at the bottom with query suggestion chips located just above.

The last two icons on the homescreen are for Settings and Feedback. The latter speaks to the current “Experimental” nature of the app. According to Android Police, Google looked for beta testers through ads. As such, the app’s Play Store listing is only accessible after joining the testing program.

Meanwhile, in Settings, users are able to manage their Account and Data Usage, through either always being served lite version of web pages or using an internal browsers.

Given the current refined stage of the app, it’s likely that the app will be rolling out to select developing markets sooner than later.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: