Amazon has silently released a lite web browser app for Android devices that is touted to be “lighter than the competition”. Called Internet, the app is specifically designed to consume less space on the device and comes under 2MB in size. It is also claimed to offer a private user experience by not asking any additional permissions or collect private data like other browsers. The app is available for download via Google Play and is compatible with devices running Android 5.0 Marshmallow and above.
Similar to other web browsers including Google Chrome, Amazon’s Internet browser comes with a home page that features an integrated section for trending news. The browser app also offers tab previews and enables an automatic fullscreen mode. Besides, there is an option to switch to private tabs to let users hide browsing history from their devices.
The listing available on Google Play shows that the browser app works with Android 5.0 and above. However, we weren’t able to download the app from the Play store on our devices running Android 7.0 and Android 8.1. As first spotted by TechCrunch, the feedback email on Google Play points to Amazon India. This suggests that the app has been built by the Amazon India team.
Notably, the latest web browser app isn’t the first “lite” app by Amazon. The company previously released Amazon Kindle Lite app that is already available in India. The Kindle Lite app offers a basic e-book reading experience under 2MB of file size. Also, it is designed to work with slower data speeds and in areas with unstable data connectivity.
Similar to Amazon’s efforts towards lightweight mobile apps for emerging markets including India, Facebook and Google are majorly building their native “lite” version apps. Facebook offers Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite to deliver its social networking experience inferior devices with limited data access. Likewise, Google has Gmail Go, Google Go, Google Maps Go, and YouTube Go that all are available pre-installed on devices running Android Oreo (Go Edition).