What to download
    13 December 2021


    What Are Lite Apps And Can They Save Phone Space And Data?

    Short answer: yes, they can. Here’s everything you need to know about lite apps, plus the best ones to download right now.

    These days everyone from your bank to your local gym seems to have an app, right? But apps take up space on your phone and use a lot of data. And the last thing you want to have to do is delete pictures of your sleeping dog! Lite apps can help solve this dilemma.

    What Are Lite Apps?

    Lite apps are regular apps that have had some of their features trimmed or removed. Downloading the lite version of an app means:

    • Space saving. A lite app can be under 10MB.
    • You don’t need the latest smartphone. Lite apps can run on a 2G network so even if you have an older smartphone, you can still use the app.
    • Less data usage because lite apps are smaller. With fewer features to run, they’re much lighter on data.
    • Battery saving. With less processing going on in the background, they don’t drain your battery like the regular versions.
    • Faster loading time. Stripped-down lite apps load much faster, even on older phones.
    • You save money. On data, upgrades and even electricity (less phone charging required).

    These Play Store favourites come in lite…

    Facebook Lite


    Almost all the functionality you’re used to, but with a basic, stripped-down look and feel.

    Messenger Lite

    Android only

    Send messages, including photos and stickers; make voice and video calls for free over WiFi or with standard data charges if you use your phone data.


    Android only

    You can post, view pictures and videos in under one minute, but longer videos and shopping aren’t available. You also get stories, but no live and no option to add features like polls and countdowns. DMs don’t have voice and video calling, only text messaging. Some users have said the latest version is buggy.


    Android only

    Most of the functionality is the same, but some bells and whistles have been stripped away. Apple users can still access a data-light version by enabling “data saver mode” under Settings. It switches off functionality like video autoplay and lowers picture quality.


    Android only

    Works fine for watching videos (although it may lag a little), but if you want to create content of your own, you’ll need to download the regular version. At 41MB, it’s half the size of regular TikTok (87MB) but still fairly big.

    YouTube Go

    Android only

    It gives you the option to preview videos before committing, watch in lower res, download videos to watch offline and share videos with friends via Bluetooth.

    Uber Lite

    Android only

    A simpler, stripped-down version of the app designed to operate in areas where there’s a bad connection. Note: You still pay full price for rides – the “lite” part refers to data only.

    Google Go

    Android only

    Strips away a lot of the personalisation and machine learning of the regular version, so you get a simpler but much less data-heavy experience. It automatically opens compressed versions of websites.



    It might not be a lite app, but VodaPay is a super app that can save space on your phone because it also houses other apps that you can access through the VodaPay app. VodaPay has partnered with some of South Africa’s best-loved retailers and service providers. The growing list includes Makro, Clicks, Edgars, Game, Droppa, NetFlorist, Builders Warehouse, Exclusive Books, Hirsch’s, Kit Kat and KFC. Leading online travel brands Travelstart, Afritrails, Booking.com, Thrifty and FlightSite are also on board. 

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