Chrome on Android: data saver for videos, downloads, personalized news
Google announced today that it plans to deliver new features to the stable version of Google Chrome for the company's Android operating system.
The announcement is more of a teaser, as none of the features mentioned by Google is yet available in Chrome Stable.
Tip: You get access to some of the features if you run Chrome Beta or Dev on Android.
The mobile browser's Data Saver feature gets an enhancement soon that allows it to compress videos that you watch in Chrome similarly to other content that is already compressed.
According to Google, Data Saver for videos may save up to 67% of data when viewing videos in Chrome. It is interesting to note that this is more than the 60% that Data Saver manages to save when compressing images and text.
Another feature of Data Saver is that it will optmize HTTP websites on slow connections automatically. It is unclear what Google means by this exactly. If Data Saver is enabled, it is already taking care of HTTP websites. Does it mean that Data Saver will be enabled automatically in the background even if it is turned off?
To enable Data Saver in Chrome, do the following:
- Tap on the menu icon in the Chrome interface (top right corner).
- Select Settings when the menu opens.
- Scroll down to the Advanced section, and tap on Data Saver there.
- Toggle Data Saver by tapping on the slider next to off.
Chrome's new Download feature saves content to the device for offline access.
With Chromeâ€™s new download feature, when you come across a web page, music, picture, or video that you like, you can just tap the download button to save for later.
All you need to do is tap on the download icon that is either displayed on the page, or in the Chrome menu to save data to the device.
While Google mentions video as one of the content types that you can save, it needs to be noted that this is not the case for YouTube. There is no download button anywhere on the page, and if you select the download icon from the menu, you only download the page but not the video to the device.
You can access all downloads with a tap on menu and the selection of downloads from it. Google lists the saved content there so that you may open it at any time even without Internet connection.
Please note that regular downloads are listed there as well.
The third and final feature adds content discovery or suggestions to Chrome. When you open a New Tab Page in Chrome you get a speed dial list of popular websites and a search box.
Coming soon is an option to scroll down on the page to display suggested news article from around the web to you. This page may also list the latest downloaded pages according to Google.
Google notes that the suggestions are based on what you access in Chrome. So, if you read sports news, there is a high probability that at least some of the articles will feature sports content as well.
The features are being rolled out currently. Google did not mention when they become available but if we look at the past, these things may take weeks or even months.
If you ask me, I could do without the news suggestions as I find those too broad usually and not interesting at all.
Downloads is definitely a nice feature, especially for downloading web pages for offline access. Not that Chrome is the first browser to feature this but it is a welcome addition for Chrome mobile users.
Data Saver finally is one of those features that you may benefit massively from, or not at all. This depends solely on what you do on the Internet, and whether you watch mp4 videos or not.
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