Twelve Lite apps to save space and RAM on your Android

Lots of the go-to apps we use on our smartphones are starting to get a bit out of hand in terms of their resource consumption. In many cases even midrange devices can’t handle the ballooning suck on memory. Hence the proliferation of Lite apps (both official and unofficial) these days, all of them set up to offer the same main features as their original counterparts but massively reducing RAM use and the space taken up on the device. Here are some of the most popular and efficient ones available (plus a tool to create your own lite apps as a bonus).

Facebook Lite

The mother of all the “skinny” apps that led the way in spurring users to look for alternatives that suit their device capacity a bit better. Initially developed as a slimmer version for developing countries, Facebook Lite is an official app based on the web client that lets you browse the famed social network without missing out on practically any of the basic features. And considering the monstrous resource drain wrought by the original app, it’s a real relief that this option exists. [Download]

Obviously this isn’t the only option: SlimSocial for Facebook is another possible alternative that’s also based on the web client. In this blog post we’ve collected a bunch of the rest of the best, too.

Messenger Lite

With Facebook Lite being such a big hit, it almost seemed like an obligation to slim down the social network’s IM client, which has also become exaggeratedly inflated as it adds ever more features. Messenger Lite came out in October 2016, and cut the 100+ MB eaten up by the official client in half. The cool thing about this is that it does all the same things and can run on devices with Android 2.3 or higher. Even a Casio watch could handle it. [Download]

Spotify Lite

Going from 100MB to just over 15 is definitely an attractive idea when it comes to using Spotify Lite. Unfortunately, you can’t forget to read the fine print: whether you have a Premium account or not, public or personal playlists can only be played in shuffle mode. Of course, this may not be a problem for users who prefer to just hit play and forget about it. But on the bright side, the app includes a menu where you can see the information about data consumed and even set a monthly limit if necessary. [Download]

Twitter Lite

Twitter has joined the other social network apps in developing a compressed version that optimizes data use for the benefit of Android smartphones running low on space or data. Like most similar apps, what it offers is a webview based on the web version of the client, but packed into an app that has the appeal of being 30% faster than the standard version. It includes a data saver mode that you can activate from the options that lets you save up to 70% in data. All this is wrapped up in less than 1MB and offers most of the service’s basic features, except Moments and daily tweets – which honestly, aren’t hard to give up. That said, the notifications of interactions don’t occur in real time, but the app will notify you from time to time that you’re received however many updates. [Download]

Instagram Lite

Instagram was also in desperate need of a lightweight version to trim the fat off of the latest versions of the official client. Instagram Lite has returned to its roots, letting you browse through posts on your timeline and even post Stories, although without most of the additional effects. That’s right, no GIFs or post-processed effects. In this case we go from 32MB to just over 500KB. Yes, it’s a webview, but that’s enough for most of us who just want a quick glance at other people’s ‘insta’ lives. [Download]

Amazon Kindle Lite

The official app from Kindle is a universal service that can be used on any Android device. Its main purpose is maintained in Kindle Lite, which is the possibility to view all publications associated with your Amazon account and manage your purchases. [Download]

Google Search Lite App

Even Google has realized how necessary it is to get rid of the dead weight in some of the services it includes by default on Android. The search system is one of these, which is why this alternative version offers most of the services of the web version, but organized by icons that will take you to specific tools like the image search, translator, weather information, and websites you’ve saved from the browser to visit offline. That said, for now, you can only find results in English, Indian, or Indonesian. [Download]

Linkedin Lite

The careers-focused social network has been one of the latest to offer an official Lite version that drastically cuts down on how much space it takes up (from 70MB to less than 1MB), not to mention using way less data and resources without losing practically any of the basic features from the standard app. [Download]

Opera Mini

The skinny browser par excellence. A quick look at the stats of the top four Android browsers reveals that at minimum they eat up more than 70MB of RAM and another 80MB of memory, not to even mention the cache. Opera Mini puts them all to shame with its minuscule resource consumption and integrated tools to save on data and optimize page loading. A proper Energizer bunny in terms of compatibility with current web standards. [Download]

Smart Launcher

If you’re looking for Lite apps in the first place it’s probably because your hardware is a bit old-school and your device has gotten hung up on the latest versions of Android. If you don’t want your phone to look old-school too you’ve got no other choice but to use a launcher – but in many cases they slow down your already-slow navigation around your phone interface. Smart Launcher 3 is a nice-looking browser that’s not based on AOSP, with a Material Design aesthetic and very reasonable resource consumption. [Download]

Skype Lite

Could it be true: the mastodon that is the Skype app has been squashed into less than 15MB? It appears so. The latest bun out of the Lite apps oven is Skype’s official Lite client, which also lets you chat and make video calls over an app designed for devices running skimpy 2G connections. Still, anybody can use it to save a good chunk of both RAM and memory space. [Download]

Hermit (Create your own!)

The five apps above are just a smattering of everything you can find, with the common denominator in most cases being that they use web clients instead of native apps to cut down on resource drain. This was the idea behind Hermit, a free app that lets you create webviews for tons of different apps and get Lite versions of stuff like Instagram, WhatsApp, Tumblr, or Reddit. Find more info and a small tutorial on this blog post we made on the subject a while ago. [Download]

You Might Also Like