Chrome data compression

Cut data usage when browsing by up to 50%

Chrome's data compression feature, which has been in the beta channel since version 28, is making its way to the stable channel for all users. The feature, if you haven't used it before, channels your data through a proxy server to cut down on the mobile data you eventually use on your phone or tablet. The result is a decrease of up to 50 percent in data usage from browsing — that's nothing to shake a stick at.

On a side note, the latest Chrome release will also enable a feature that lets you pin shortcuts to pages on your homescreen. Simply hit the menu button and you'll see a new option of "Add to homescreen" — no more bookmarking and adding a bookmark widget to your phone manually.

We're not yet seeing an update to Chrome on our own devices, but when it does finally roll out it will have these two features enabled. To turn on data compression, simply head into the settings, tap "Bandwidth management" and toggle the button to "on." It's that simple.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

 

Reader comments

Chrome data compression exits beta, available in coming stable release

36 Comments

Would data compression affect speed / responsiveness?

Also, what is meant by "pinning a page to your home screen" on one's phone?

That was my initial assumption until I wondered if the compression process delayed transmission from the servers. Nevertheless, less data for the same information yields greater efficiency for the end user as well as the providers.

Speed is becoming a non issue now with advanced network transmission.

Pinning a page to your home screen is similar to having a bookmark. If you've never used a bookmark widget, look in your app drawer; it's just an icon that takes you to whatever webpage you want. Except now it'll be more user friendly.

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Would this help battery life as well? Not that I really need extra battery life with my RAZR i but it would be good to know for future reference.

Posted via Android Central App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

Presumably it would help battery life a miniscule amount because it takes a shorter amount of time to download or upload data, but the real drain of battery when browsing will be your screen and processor — the data connection really isn't a huge portion of it.

Didn't realize data compression would also be on the upload side. That's awesome in that upload transmission is the slow leg.

I think they did a limited rollout. It's an option (and enabled) on my phone, but doesn't appear at all on my tablet. Both are running stable Chrome. I seem to remember something popping up randomly about enabling the option a couple weeks ago for the phone.

I assume with Chrome 32 it's just going to unlock for everyone.

Interested in the STREAMING MEDIA and DOWNLOADS options.. So long as I can view/upload to Youtube and download Padcasts then we good!! Something Opera Mini fails with under choppy network conditions!!

I still haven't even been updated to the google play services 4.1. I wonder what month I'll get this update?

Some incompressible traffic it just sends through. My concern is that EVERYTHING in the browser would now go through Google's servers for "processing" so if you don't think Big Brother knows your surfing habits, they sure will soon enough. And if the proxy server gets a bit overloaded or is far enough away so your PING times are high, you'll notice it get laggy compared to pulling it right from your local ISP. However, with data overage surcharges the way they are and until AT&T "partners" start paying for it, this is a great way of cutting costs and it's easy enough to toggle when streaming audio/video if it even affects it at all.

I'll turn off "Reduce data usage" until I get off WiFi. Too bad there isn't a way for it to sense whether or not you are on Cell Data vs. WiFi in the first place. Or to sense if you're connected to a Hotspot where you'd still want it on, but it's over WiFi as far as the phone is concerned.

Yesterday's technology (proxy server data compression) today but now on Mobile so they can patent it ;-)

It doesn't (as it can't) route https encrypted traffic through Google's servers. Anything you want to be secure should he encrypted. It also encrypts traffic to your phone, preventing your ISP from reading it (which I would worry about more than Google).

I always turned data compression "off" because it circumvented my ad blocker. I would rather use a little more data than see ads on everything.

Thanks for the pointer. I wonder if it works similarly in reverse, so that the websites see all the traffic coming from Google instead of our unique IP addresses. That could put Google at a distinct advantage for targeted ads...

No need to worry about this much, soon the internet will be a shell of its current self. With the government wanting their taxes and the ISP wanting to throttle it an planning to charge extra for access to specific content (like facebook) the days of open and free internet as we know it are almost over.

Been using beta with data compression and it's hella fast. And I mean fast like worth it fast. I tested web pages on reg chrome, Firefox, etc, and heavy pages just load up faster and you can start using the page. The compressed pics still look HQ and you save data. The only thing I noticed is your ad blockers and ad away will not work because everything is now redirecting through Google servers if you use the data compression feature.

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32.0.1700.99 is what I just downloaded in Google Play. Is this the newest version discussed here?

I saw a bandwidth management option that asks to preload web pages always, on WiFi, or never. Mine is apparently set to WiFi but I am unsure if this is the one I want.

Interesting thing is, I downloaded the update before posting earlier, did nothing else, and today when I wake up, I have new options. Or maybe I closed my browser before bed, woke up, and opened it, and that's all it took. My version number didn't change, though, to quash the idea of another update.

I'm not seeing bandwidth compression and I just updated tonight, what's going on? Totally bummed.

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I've been using the beta with the compression on and I've seen NO speed difference and I'm on Chrome all the time. Its saved me around 36% off data.

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