K.Q. Dreger, on the recent wave of so-called “lite” variants of increasingly-bloated apps:
What part of being fast, data conscious, and reliable is exclusive to old devices or those on poor networks? Why does Twitter Lite feel more like Twitter than anything the company’s done with their main website or app over the past few years? Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google truly so married to ads, analytics, and A/B testing frameworks that their only shot at making a reasonably sized, fast app is to start fresh? Will these lite variants actually stay that way, or will the bloat slowly creep back in?
I get the allure of building apps and operating systems that take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware, or to try to build up the app’s experience with more stuff. But maybe — just maybe — if a company feels like they need to release a “lite” version of their app to tidily deliver what they consider its core experience, maybe that app has become way too bloated.