In case you needed another reason to use Chrome for Android, Google just gave us a big one: the new Chrome update can cut data usage by up to 70%.
If you think this story sounds familiar, then you’re right. Back in January 2014, Chrome released a huge update that reduced your data usage by 50% using some nifty data compression techniques.
Clearly, Google wasn’t satisfied. By activating this new Data Saver feature in the latest version of Chrome, you can now save yourself up to 70% of your data usage.
How Does it Work?
Chrome’s new Data Saver mode will now remove most images when loading a web page when it detects you’re on a slower connection.
Not only does this help webpages load much more quickly, but it also helps you avoid unnecessary data usage. After the page has completed loading, you can tap a button to show all images on the page, or individually select each image to see what you want to see.
This means users have more control over which items get downloaded and when. So if you’ve ever loaded up an article and been shocked at the 50 massive 2MB photos all over the page, then you don’t need to be scared anymore.
Of course, lots of web content comes with totally unnecessary images. News articles, for example, might just have a stock picture of some dog to accompany a news article about pet safety. Did you really need to spend 2MB loading that picture?
If Chrome detects you’re on a slower connection, you’ll see a “Slow Connection Detected” appear at the bottom of your phone, and then an option to Load Images. Here’s how Google explained it on its blog post announcing the update:
Android Users in Emerging Markets Win
Android is once again closing its market share in emerging markets. In these markets, cheap Androids and slow internet connections are a fact of life.
By introducing further updates to Data Saver mode, Google has made Chrome the easy choice among anyone who wants to maximize their slow data plan and avoid high overage charges.
It’s important to note that this update is available across all Chrome-using devices, including computers, Chromebooks, iPhones, and iPads. So it’s not just Chrome for Android users who benefit.
How to Turn on Data Saver Mode
To access these new features, you’ll need to turn on Data Saver mode. Follow Google’s tutorial here. On most Androids, you just:
-Touch the Chrome menu, then hit Settings
-Under Advanced, touch Data Saver
-Slide the switch beside Data Saver to On
Downsides of Data Saver Mode
Google’s not going to save 70% of your data usage without some downsides. Some of the downsides of activating Data Saver mode include:
-Some websites might not be able to find your location
-Some images might look fuzzy
-Internal websites (like if you’re connected to your company’s intranet) might not load
-Mobile carrier websites, like the ones used by your carrier to authenticate and bill you, may perform incorrectly
If you don’t mind some minor compatibility issues, then Data Saver mode might be a good way to avoid overage charges ever again – of course, even those with generous data limits will often use Data Saver to speed up load times.