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If you like Opera Mini you are going to love Search Lite

Search Lite is a new app being tested by Google. As the name suggests, it is the Google Search app laid down to its bare bones. The guys over at Google are now serious about catering to those of us in the emerging world with our expensive data and unreliable connections.

The Search Lite app is faster and uses less data than the regular Search app. Just like Opera Mini, web pages are compressed which leads to faster loading and reduced data usage. Slow connections should not be a problem too as the new app works well on those. If you do not get the best network coverage and are stuck on 2G, Search Lite will still work just fine.

The app size is also smaller, coming in at about 3.5mb which has two advantages. Downloading the app is more data friendly and it takes less space on your phone. The app also uses less RAM than its cousin and this leads to a faster experience on your phone but with better battery life too.

The other exciting feature is offline support. You can save webpages for offline viewing. The app also does not reload webpages when you back out of a website. This also applies to search results. If you click on a search result then back out, you get back to the search results as you left them. No data is used again unless you decided to reload the page.

There are some other cool features. The Translate feature works well and there is a news feed which can be customised. There is sport, weather, recipes, movies and songs but you can remove the ones you don’t need. You can search by typing or by voice dictation. Both work well. The gorgeous interface does not hurt either.

There is a built in browser in the app which is leaner than regular chrome and there is a setting to only use lite web pages. This lite web pages setting leads to tunneling of web pages, which is like the compression that Opera Mini uses. This tunneling works on all sites and is better than Opera Mini’s compression in that it does not lead to broken webpages, which Opera Mini does sometimes. Opera Mini leads to better data savings though but not by much.

The app is still in testing and is only officially available in Indonesia for now but you can get the apk and side-load it. You would also need to use a VPN. If you try it do let us know if it unshackles you from Opera Mini’s hold.


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2 thoughts on “If you like Opera Mini you are going to love Search Lite

    1. You are right that tunneling does not work on every website. What Google are claiming though is that Google Web Light, which is what the Lite Mode is all about, works on “all sites.” Google Web Light transcodes webpages by things like removing some ads or unnecessary content. This leads to a leaner page loading. They acknowledge that some pages are hard to transcode and that cookies and video content make transcoding challenging and so may not be done. Opera Mini ‘tunnels’ but Search Lite does it a little differently and better as it does not lead to broken sites. When it can’t be ‘tunneled’ Search Lite leaves it be unlike what Opera sometimes does and forces it, breaking the page.

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