Chrome mobile update aims to reduce data usage

Google launched the stable version of its Chrome 32 desktop browser earlier this week, but the company is also rolling out an update for the iOS and Android version as well that is supposed to help users conserve their data usage.

In a post on the Chrome blog, Google said that mobile browser users will be able to access new data compression features that the company claims will reduce bandwidth usage by as much as 50 percent. That's certainly welcome news for smartphone owners who have a limited amount of data from their wireless carrier every month. The new mobile Chrome also allows people to track how much data the browser uses and how much bandwidth has been saved compared to normal use.

In addition, the Android version of Chrome will let users add shortcuts to websites to a device's home screen. Some of the shortcuts for will offer users a full screen display when they are opened and some will appear as a separate app. The iOS port of Chrome will soon include support for Google Translate which will allow iPhone and iPad owners to translate websites into a number of other languages; the new browser versions should be available for download in the next few days.

Image via Google

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13 Comments

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Sadly this allows Google to do additional tracking on Android and more importantly on iOS where Apple was trying to reduce Google's access to information.

that dont make any sense at all... if a user login then google already know what website u visit ie bookmark history

if you dont login to iOS then there is no point in tracking since they dont dont know who you are.

even if they track they have no use with it

More importantly, if you block ads to reduce bandwidth use then that won't work anymore. It is a toss-up between compression with ads or standard without to see which uses the least data...

mary1972 said,
that dont make any sense at all... if a user login then google already know what website u visit ie bookmark history

if you dont login to iOS then there is no point in tracking since they dont dont know who you are.

even if they track they have no use with it

Here is how it works. To comply with Apple and 'user rights' policies, Google must allow Chrome users to turn off history/tracking reporting.

This bypasses this restriction, as they can collect the data at the server and not have to get permission to pull the data from Chrome.

They will expand this service out to be able to monitor usage no matter what settings the 'client' or the user has selected. They are even talking about offering the service for non-Chrome browsers and getting carriers to default to use their service.

So if your carrier signs on to this with Google, even if you use Safari/Bing/iOS or WP8/IE10, everything you do will be tracked by Google.

(Notice the recent blow again net neutrality in US courts, and the timing of Google going forward with this service.)

FlintyV said,
I take it that it's similar to Opera's Turbo feature?

Essentially yes, which is also like WP8/IE10's DataSense compression, although DataSense doesn't reduce quality.

It might have a tiny effect on image quality since everything is transcoded to WebP but render speed shouldn't be affected, on the contrary.

Jub Fequois said,
I've had this on Android for well over a year I believe. Funky roll-out ...
It's been part of Chrome Beta for a while on Android.