Today, announced the release of Skype Lite for Android, a special version of Skype built specifically for the India market.
“Skype Lite is designed to deliver a great Skype performance in challenging network conditions, use less data, less power and enable more users to take advantage of free Skype to Skype calls,” the announcement notes. “As of today, Android users in India are able to download Skype Lite via the Google Play Store, free of charge. It is available in seven local languages: Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.”
Skype Lite was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Future Decoded conference in Mumbai. According to the firm, it is the “fastest and smallest Skype app yet.” Sounds like the type of thing the rest of the planet might enjoy, too, right?
Well, maybe not. According to Microsoft, Skype Lite includes features that are unique to the India market, including SMS filtering, mobile data and Wi-Fi usage monitoring and India focused Skype Bots. It uses less data to send and receive messages, and make and receive voice or video calls. And it runs “far more smoothly” on the 2G networks that are still common in that country.
“Skype Lite uses less data and power by compressing large files such as photos and video content and therefore requires less battery power compared to the Skype mobile app,” the announcement explains. “This helps to minimize issues with the app draining the battery, especially on older devices.”
Microsoft says it will deliver Aadhaar integration to Skype Lite by June. This will enable users to verify the identity of unknown callers in a variety of situations where identification verification is required, including job interviews, goods and property sale, the firm notes.