Messenger Lite for Android keeps size down, performance up

Messaging your friends shouldn’t hit your phone’s battery life too hard, and it shouldn’t impact data significantly, and if you’re concerned by that on Facebook, it’s time to make a change.

Contacting your friends across devices shouldn’t be a drain on what keeps your phone active, at least not too significantly. You should expect some hit — every app affects battery and performance in some way — but it shouldn’t be enough to make you wonder where the life is going, and yet some do.

It’s already frustrating enough that you contact friends on different devices, you have to find a social network middle ground. If you use an iPhone and friends use an Android, you can’t just rely on Apple’s iMessage, because that’s only available on an iPhone, and Android users are left out. And while an Android user might suggest Hangouts, it may not be of use to an iPhone owner, who probably doesn’t have that installed, and might not have a Google account.

Facebook’s multi-platform Messenger app might therefore be a solution. You don’t need to use Facebook for it, but if you do, your account already works for it, and it provides a middle ground platform agnosticism, meaning you can use it regardless of if you’re on iPhone or Android, or are on a computer, too, with a website letting you send and receive messages on computers.

A new version arrived last year in Messenger Lite, and it aimed to cut back on the unnecessary fluff that made Messenger more playful — things like stickers and such that you mightn’t use — all while keeping the size down, and this week, it gets an update.

Messenger Lite is a smaller download, and one that works on pretty much every phone, even the really, really, really old ones that run on Google Gingerbread, which might mean you can resurrect some seriously old phones for the kids if you have them laying around.

You’ll find it on the Google Play Store sitting under 10MB, and now supporting document sharing, emojis, and more. Frankly, we’re not even sure why the standard Facebook Messenger is still around, though you can decide which is best for you.

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