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Skype Lite is Skype's new 13MB Android app for areas with low connectivity

Why it matters to you

As more tech companies turn their attention to developing markets, they're finding ways to introduce lightweight versions of their services, and Skype is the latest with Skype Lite.

Facebook has done it, YouTube has done it, and now, Skype is doing it, too. It, of course, refers to releasing a “lite” version of the company’s signature service, in this case Skype Lite, described as “the new Skype built for India to help you stay connected on the go.” Targeted specifically at the burgeoning market in the country, Skype Lite seeks to address a number of pain points relevant to India and other developing countries.

Microsoft debuted Skype Lite today at its Decoded event in India, noting that the Android app is just 13MB in size. According to the service’s new website, “Skype Lite is optimized for 2G and unstable network connections, so you can stay connected with friends and family,” and it promises to run smoothly on both new and old Android smartphones.

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And for its data-conscious clientele, Skype Lite includes a reduced data usage mode for video calls, and will allow users to see exactly how much data they’ve used to prevent any major shocks in the billing cycle. But Skype Lite won’t only be your go-to for video calls — rather, the service will also allow for SMS messages, chats, and various Skype bots.

In a blog post, Microsoft further noted that it will soon integrate Aadhaar, India’s national digital identity scheme, to allow for certain functionalities, starting in June. These will “enable Skype users to verify the identity of unknown callers in a variety of situations where identification verification is required, including job interviews, [and] goods and property sale,” the company noted.

With India as its first target market, Skype Lite has been made initially available in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. The company has yet to reveal if or when the service will become functional in other countries.