Let’s make it clear: the high grade that Facebook Lite gets for functionality is not because the app has a lot of functions which are all convenient and easy-to-use. It is rather due to the fact that the app lives up to the developer’s claims and enables communication even on low-end devices with poor Internet connection.
Facebook Lite is an official app that was developed by Facebook itself, so you can be sure that it is safe to install and use. Some people find that the amount of personal information stored on Facebook, as well as the permissions that the app demands before installation are a bit too invasive, so they choose to keep their private lives to themselves and rather use a mobile version of the popular website. Users who opt for privacy expect that Facebook Lite may require fewer permissions to run, and thus be less obtrusive, but in fact, the Lite version demands access to almost all the same services as the original version. Consequently, Facebook Lite won’t be your ultimate solution if you’re too concerned about your privacy to use the Facebook app.
Facebook Lite features a lot of functions that are present in the original app, except they were adapted for poor network connections and budget devices. For instance, you can still see all images posted by yourself or other users, but in the Facebook Lite app, they will be previewed in a significantly lower quality and won’t be automatically downloaded. If you wish, you can tap on a specific photo or image, and they will be downloaded so that you can see them in their original quality. Uploading an image takes place in the background, so you can go on using Facebook Lite while your file is being converted, compressed, and uploaded. Another simplification, as compared to the full-fledged Facebook app, is the ability to send messages straight from Facebook Lite. If you use Facebook, you’ll also have to download a separate app called Messenger, which takes up extra memory on your phone and needs extra traffic.
Facebook Lite is a tiny app (only around 1MB when downloaded and less than 3MB when installed). Compared to almost 200MB taken up by the original Facebook app, this makes a lot of difference, and could be really handy for people who own budget Android phones with limited built-in memory. You’re also going to appreciate the size reduction if you’re located in an area with a poor network connection or don’t have access to a 3G network.
Some of the original app features didn’t make it to the Facebook Lite app, like the built-in browser (many people disable it anyways) or the ability to view users’ profile photos when they leave a like or a comment. The Facebook stickers that everyone seems to like so much are available even in the Lite version, but you’ll be hard-pressed to quickly find the one you need due to poor organization. However, overall, it is quite a usable app that might appeal not only to users who have a budget smartphone or poor data connectivity.
Obviously, you can’t have the same user interfaces in Facebook and Facebook Lite due to the different purposes of these apps. In Facebook Lite, there are fewer interface elements, such as icons and buttons, which is aimed at reducing the amount of work that the phone’s processor and graphic adaptor have to do. In addition, every interface element looks bigger, so that it can still be discernible on low-resolution screens. You can also see a lot of difference in scrolling, which is smooth and fast in the Facebook app and a little sloppier in Facebook Lite. All these changes didn’t render the app substandard in the slightest but improved the user experience on lower-end handsets.
The Facebook Lite Android app was designed to run on budget devices, and it does the job a lot better than the original app, which is why it gets the highest possible grade. The aim of the developers was to give people in the developing countries an app that would provide them with the basic functionality, yet not be too hard on their phones’ resources. Thus, you will be completely satisfied with what Facebook Lite can give you, but only as long as you know exactly what to expect from it.
Cross-Platform Use 7/10
Facebook Lite is only available for devices that run on Android. Admittedly, even older iPhones can hardly be called “budget devices” with poor specs, but Facebook Lite might still have been a nice addition to the App Store for users who are forced to live in areas with poor connectivity or just wish to use something less functional and simpler than the original app. Neither is Facebook Lite available for Windows Phone, which is hardly a surprise for anyone who uses devices from Microsoft.
Furthermore, you can’t even have Facebook Lite installed on each and every Android phone. Facebook only made it available for downloading in certain countries, and if your phone’s specs are considered good enough to run the fully-featured Facebook app, you’ll only be able to download that one. However, if you wish to try Facebook Lite, users have already found a way to bypass the Play Market’s restrictions and get the .apk file installed on virtually any Android device. Just google “Facebook Lite install apk” for a detailed instruction on how to download and install the file.
Facebook Lite doesn’t offer any in-app purchases; it is a completely free app for accessing a free social network.
If you’re stuck with a low-end device or a poor network connection but wish to be able to enjoy the benefits of Facebook, the Lite app is just what you need. It is free, easy to download and install, won’t need a lot of resources on your phone’s part, and will provide you with a decent Facebook user experience.