The latest web browser to hit your phone comes from Amazon, and it’s called Internet. It follows the recent trend of “lite” versions of products aimed at emerging markets and patchy networks—India in this case—and joins other “lite” products like Google Maps Go, and Facebook Lite, that offer slimmed down versions for these markets.
With a 2MB payload, it’s certainly deserving of the “lite” moniker, considering other browsers weigh in at over 50MB. Amazon descibes it as
a lightweight, webview-based mobile browser, offering increased bandwidth savings, a small application size and reduced page load times
Browser diversity is good
Even if you’re not a fan of the MegaCorps behind many of the most popular browsers, it’s always good to see a new browser enter the market. Browser diversity is good, even if some grumbly developer tries to tell you otherwise. Browser competition drives innovation, bringing creativity and new ideas. Browser manufacturers contribute to web standards and push the web forwards, often pioneering new features that later get adopted by the industry as a whole.
Developers might complain about browser fragmentation. It’s true that fragmentation means more effort is required to build web applications that work consistently across all browsers. In the end however, it’s about the user, and more browsers ultimately deliver better experiences and features for users.
Performance issues are never far away
This latest browser also serves as another reminder that performance on the web and connectivity challenges are never far away. These issues are being faced by users, developers, and indeed browsers manufacturers every day, and particularly in countries where lower-end devices and slower network connections are prevalent. Addressing them is crucial to user experience. “Lite” product versions will help, but developers need to do their bit too by keep pages small, lean, and fast-loading.
Just how diverse is the browser landscape, I hear you ask? Check out our mobile browser stats by country page and find out for yourself!
Amazon Internet browser is available in India for Android 5.0+ devices on the Google Play Store.