Amazon is here again, but this time not for the launch of any product. Instead, this time Amazon has launched an Android web browser app for emerging markets that uses minimal storage and data. Also, this has been termed as the Internet. This app has been detected in the Google Play app store since March. In fact, even if this launch has not witnessed any public announcement, it’s currently and only available to users located in India and runs on Android 5.0 and higher devices and promises to be “lighter than the competition”.
Also, like most “lite” apps, the new browser is a small download, which is less than 2 MB in size. Now, that’s much smaller than other browsers, including Chrome (21MB), Edge (54.5MB), Firefox (19.9MB) and Opera (14.7MB), according to an analysis by appFigures.
More on the Amazon Browser:
The browser’s Google Play description also notes that it’s “private,” as it doesn’t seek for any extra permissions or collect private data like other browsers do. This is definitely an indicator that it’s meant to be something of a competitor to other private mobile browsers, like Firefox, which blocks website trackers.
This browser, in fact, supports Private tabs, so users can browse without saving visits to the history, plus other features like tab previews, an automatic full-screen mode and integrated news reader of sorts.
In fact, the news reading experience is another telling indication that the browser is only meant for Indian users. The app’s description notes that the browser homepage is designed in a way that it keeps the users up-to-date with news, cricket, and entertainment from top sources.
Finally, the “feedback” email on Google Play points to Amazon India, which indicates that it was built by that team. Also, in addition to the new browser, Amazon also offers a Kindle Lite app in India. Also, this company is not alone in building lightweight mobile apps for emerging markets.
Further, Facebook also offers “lite” versions of its apps, like Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite, to reach users with limited connectivity and access to data. In addition, Google has also rolled out a suite of lightweight mobile apps under the “Go” branding. Some of these, like Gmail Go, only arrive on pre-installed on select devices. Others, meanwhile, are available through Google Play for anyone to download, like YouTube Go, Files Go, Google Go, Google Maps, and Google Assistant Go.
Also, it is interesting to note here that, however, Amazon didn’t adopt a similar strategy by offering a “lite” version of its existing Silk browser, but has instead built something new.
In fact, if the goal of the company is to offer an alternative to Silk on the Fire tablets it sells in India, it’s odd that the browser is still now available in the Amazon Appstore in India. However, even after all this, Amazon has not reverted back to any comment about the new app.