Chrome for Android gains new data management and shortcut features

chrome

Google is rolling out two new features to its Chrome for Android web browser today. These features won’t be new to you if you’ve been using the Chrome Beta app, but graduating today to the stable release are two great additions.

Firstly, with the new update users will be prompted to enable bandwidth management, which passes your web browsing traffic through Google’s services to compress the data before it comes down to your mobile device. While this likely won’t mean much to you if you’re using a WiFi connection, for those with limited data inclusions in their mobile plans (i.e. many Australians) this could be quite a benefit. Behind the scenes, larger image formats (especially PNGs) are swapped out for WebP graphics, which are significantly smaller. There are also other compression techniques used to minimise what’s coming down the wire (or over the air, so to speak).

The other new feature is something reminiscent of iOS land where, from within Chrome, you’ll be able to create shortcuts to your favourite websites which will save on your home screen. While all web sites can be used with this feature, those implementing a specific web-app protocol will be able to appear as full-screen apps in their own right, including a mention in the app-switcher. Good news for web-app developers there.

The roll-out is set to hit over the next couple of days, so keep an eye on your Play Store updates.

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About the author

Chris has been an Android enthusiast since the early days, just missing out on a G1, and owning one of the first released HTC Magic devices in Australia. Ah, those were the days … Chris is the director of Ausdroid... (read more)


  • whispy_snippet

    At last! Brilliant!

  • JeniSkunk

    I wonder if this will cause for Chrome users, the same problems that Opera users have.

  • Lew

    Just another way for google to see exactly what you do, and for them to make money from advertisers.

    • David Jacka

      It’s an opt in feature so if you don’t like it don’t turn it on.

      • vtwkang

        If only Google had the same attitude with Google+…

      • cosjav

        I think the point is that its not immediately obvious for the non-tech user that your entire browsing traffic can be logged. They would just see the benefit of data usage savings.
        Google already tracks your browsing behaviour if you are logged in via any website that uses Google analytics (without it being obvious to the end user).

  • http://twitter.com/gfieldew geoff fieldew

    Just got the update. Decided to turn on pre-loading for mobile data & WiFi at the same time. Faster access using less data. Sounds like a win to me.