Amazon has quietly launched a lightweight web browser for Android phones for Indian users which it simply calls ‘Internet’. We think that the generic name was given to help it get some recognition in searches which could be its selling point in emerging markets like that of India. Reports say that the app has been sitting quietly on the Play Store since last month and was discovered randomly by the public.
Named as ‘Internet: fast, lite and private’, the browser is already available for users in India, though can only be accessed from a select few phones, owing to the 1000+ installs it has gotten on Google Play. The web browser weighs in at 2.4MB and can run on devices running on Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, clearly indicating that Amazon is targeting users in developing markets.
The app claims to provide privacy and states that it won’t collect private data or even ask for additional permissions from phones. There are Private tabs that save data consumption by avoiding storage of history and cookies. There’s an inbuilt news reader which offers news and updates on the homepage itself, tab previews and an automatic full-screen mode. Judging by the app description on the Play Store and the browser’s own homepage, we can conclude that the app is primarily made for users in India.
It’s interesting to see Amazon branching out from its traditional market of e-commerce apps and Alexa to more mainstream apps like a browser. With the amount of incompatibility across various devices, there’s a chance that Amazon might still be in beta stages for such an app, the same reason why the company opted for a silent soft launch.
After Google’s Go and Facebook’s lightweight apps, Amazon might as well be looking to push lighter versions of their apps and the Internet browser is the only lite after Kindle Lite being rolled out by Amazon. The Kindle Lite app, like Amazon Internet, is designed to consume lesser data, work on slower unstable internet and offers a basic viewing experience for an app that comes under 2MB.