Chrome Beta

Help save that valuable mobile data with just a few taps in Chrome Beta

One of the lesser talked-about features rolled out at Google I/O last week was a new option for Chrome on mobile devices to cut down on the bandwidth used while browsing. Well the feature has been rolled out in an experimental capacity as part of the latest Chrome Beta update on Android, and it's a quick way to help save on data usage while browsing. Like most systems that work to preserve data while browsing, Google routes your browsing traffic through one of its own proxy servers, compressing it along the way as data is sent back and forth to your phone. Correctly, Google has chosen to only route HTTP connections through the proxy, and HTTPS request will always be sent directly. Google claims data savings can be as much as 50-percent, which is nothing to sneeze at.

To enable this new feature, you'll have to be running the latest Chrome Beta update (version 28, technically) on your phone or tablet. You will likely be greeted by a splash page the first time you open Chrome Beta after the update, but if you're not, head to the browser settings, scroll down to "Bandwidth management" and then tap "Reduce data usage" and hit the button at the top right to enable it. (If you don't see the option, try heading to "chrome://flags" in the navigation bar and enabling it manually.) You'll be able to come back after you do some browsing and see how much data you saved by enabling this new feature.


Reader comments

How to turn on data compression in Chrome 28 Beta


So what you're saying is, save data by following the huge splash screen you see when you open it. I would have never guessed this is how you save data. I thought that splash screen was a fraud.

Also, thanks to Droid Life, I now also know that streaming music via the mobile network will impact my data usage. It's a day full of great information.

Oy, that Droid Life article. It's kind of like saying that eating McDonald's every day for every meal will impact your weight loss. Who knew that could happen!?

I've used All Access for about 30 mins to 1 hour a day for 7 days and have used 756mb just for a week. I did add a lot of music to my playlist, not using their radio station. I use pandora for 2 hrs a day for 30 days and use 2 gb of data, and that's for a month.

If you Force close your Google Music app, it reopens with in 30 minutes of force closing it, if you are trying to conserve data, you may to disable and enable it too save data

I have sprint & never worry about data, happy I don't have to.. but their lte data is almost covered NYC already but it's in many areas only 3mbs down & 1mbs up slow, but while at my home I get 15 to 27mbs down & 4 to 8mbs up which is great IMO. In my surrounding area it's always dl'ing @ 23 to 28 MBS, my point is that even at 3 to 5mbs it's still serves great for small things like your music streaming & video streaming without worrying a bit about data. I have the gs4 now & I'm happy.... But not happy that they haven't officially have NYC on the map because then it'd mean all almost every 3G tower had been converted to 4G already. It should happen by 2014, which by then they'll have the 800mgz iden frequency refarmed & that lte will be (from e what I've read at wikipedia, 30x30 or 25x25 as they had it for voice & walkie talkie back in the nextel days) basically all this info aside, music lovers that stream from dropbox or Google music or whatever will be better off with an unlimited data plan.4G of course. Oh and didn't the mobile opera browser already have compressed data for internet use, from web sites to mp3's & mp4's? This isn't anything new especially since they been doing this for years, it is great that a browser most of us like & that is from Google is doing this but the end result will be your phone having to process more to see anything on the web & your battery paying the price in the long run cutting your phone life span already dealing with lte into something we might all might not want in the long run.

Obviously, all content comes from Googles servers so of course host-based adblockers won't work.

So what are the odds of this feature being used on the desktop build of Chrome?

I could probably find a use for it at work

Maybe not at all since cable companies don't have cassis yet & mobile data does, though I believe the mobile phones batteries will suffer doing all the decryption... If done in the phone.

Opera's had data compression since... forever. Using it [Opera Turbo, now Off-Road on mobile] now consistently saves me around 75-80% of my web browsing data.

Not trying to super-promote Opera here; I'm just saying, Chrome's a little late to the party, and with cheaper beer.

But it's fricken Google man... It may be cheaper beer, but it's an insanely hot girl bringing it so no one gives a shit about the beer. Figureativley speaking, of course.

75%-80% is a gross example of hyperbole. Yes, Opera has always saved bandwidth... but they've also not been able to reliably provide data compression without compromising some serious issues in dynamic UI processing of object layout and interaction.

The new Chrome implementation seems to handle it in a nearly flawless manner. (note that I said "nearly", it's not perfect yet)

That's what I'm saying, but since it's Google they'll be hanging off there balls for anything, like apple fans. I'll admit that it is more interesting to me that Google is doing this than other companybut I doubt they'll use it for the good of the internet use than opera is, but still like someone said "but it's Google"

Now if el goog could just serve up some better compression with Google Music, we might be able to do something about the OTHER 95% of my data usage.

I don't want music compression but I was thinking the same in that my browser usage has a small impact on data consumption relative to almost everything else I do.

I guess this latest beta would let me stream one or two more songs a month...

I'm pretty sure I save this much my running an ad blocker and have the benefit of less annoying ads! But for everyone else it's awesome.

Good one! I was almost brainwashed into thinking the only way to save data was to compress data because of this article. But your comment opened my eyes again thank you. I have unlimited data but ads still things down either way.

It would be nice if Google could develop this compression technology to be a part of Android itself. It would be nice to be able compress all data sent to the phone rather than just the browser.

It would be helpful for users who are on a 3g data connection and don't have access to wi-fi or 4g. It would also help users manage their data use if they are on a limited plan.

So, have all my web traffic routed through a company who makes its money selling ads. No thanks.