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Spotify is testing a slimmed-down version of its app designed for emerging markets

Spotify is testing a slimmed-down version of its app designed for emerging markets

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify is testing an alternate version of the app called Spotify Lite that reduces the app’s size significantly, but at the expense of including many key features, as spotted by Android Police. The app is only available on Android in Brazil.

The regular Spotify app takes up about 100MB while Spotify Lite only takes up around 15MB. If rolled out, it will join the ranks of other companies toying with lite versions of their apps for emerging markets, like Instagram, Uber, and Google Search. However, with a slimmed down app there are compromises.

Spotify Lite
Image: Google Play

Android Police says that while the app visually looks similar upon launch, certain functionalities are missing. Offline playback is ditched, and there’s no option for extreme quality playback (which streams songs at 320 kbps). There’s also no Spotify Connect, which allows for audio to be wirelessly be streamed from your phone to another device, like speakers or a TV. It also looks like specific songs can’t be selected, even if you’re a Premium subscriber, so all music has to be played via shuffle.

With a slimmed down app there are compromises

In the Google Play store, the app listing says it is a test, and asks for users to leave feedback. Reviews are a bit all over the place, with some frustrated that they don’t have access to key parts of the app they love, while others say they are happy that the app is lightweight and has fast performance.

A Spotify spokesperson tells The Verge that the company “routinely conduct[s] a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We aren’t going to comment on specific tests at this time.”