It seems that Google may well be preparing for another major push into the emerging markets with several recent announcements regarding improved data management. Included in this data focused revision is Chrome for Android which has received some great new data saving skills.
Just what are we getting? Chrome’s Data saving mode is being expanded to dynamically adjust to low bandwidth networks and further save data. Chrome will now be able to download pages for offline viewing, and just for fun, Google seems to be building Google Now’s curated feed into the new tab screen.
That’s a lot of updates so let’s jump into the details.
Data Saver mode
Chrome’s Data saver feature has long been a viable option to reduce your mobile data usage as well as speed up your load times whilst on the go. So what’s new? Chrome can now save you up to 67% on MP4 formatted videos you watch online. That’s a very special type of codec, and as such may give users a false sense of security. We will have to see how it is implemented.
In addition to the video changes, chrome can now automatically ‘optimise’ website down to just their essentials. Apparently, these optimised pages will load 2 times faster. See below.
This optimisation will need careful review. Automatically changing a website’s appearance could affect the overall presentation or content that is surfaced. While saving data is great, not changing the web is more important. Google must be careful to remain neutral in these things.
Have you ever wanted to download a web page and take it with you? Perhaps you’re boarding a flight or leaving the WiFi cafe and don’t want to use your/ don’t have any data.
There have been many apps over the years that have let you save websites for later viewing, well now Chrome has it built right in, and unlike many of those options with Chrome you get fairly granular control over what you download. Want the whole page, no worries, want to download a specific video, audio or image file, you can do that too.
The new download system will automatically download when you’re on WiFi, and if you disconnect don’t worry, it will automatically recommence once you’re back on WiFi again.
To assist with curating and navigating all of your downloaded goodies Google has included a new tab just for downloaded content.
Chrome content discovery
It seems that with Google Assistant perhaps set to displace Google Now as the hub of your daily Google digest, Google needs to find a new home for their suggested articles function. The latest version of Chrome will now incorporate a similar looking autogenerated personalised list of content that might be of interest to you.
With Google focusing so strongly on data saving in Chrome is seems that they are preparing for another major push into the emerging markets, such as India. With access to mobile data non-existent or very expensive feature such as these will be invaluable in those markets.
This feature will begin to roll out with the next version of Chrome, except for downloads which will be coming to beta and then stable release soon.