Chrome for Mobile learns to compress data to save bandwidth
Wireless carriers have made some decent strides in improving the sorts of plans they offer, but even with the new options that are available, cellular service can still be a very expensive proposition. That’s driven some of us to elect to go with smaller data caps, keeping our bills down, but limiting just how useful our phones can really be. Some developers have endeavored to squeeze as much value as possible out of low data allowances by compressing data to reduce how much is transferred – this was always the big selling point of browsers like Opera Mini. Today we learn that Google’s getting in on the same action, with the introduction of data compression on Chrome for Mobile for both Android and iOS.
When activated, the feature users Google’s servers as a proxy, compressing data before it’s sent to your phone to result in up to a 50% reduction in consumption; and if web browsing makes up a solid chunk of your mobile data usage, that stands to have a big impact. Only regular traffic is passed through Google’s compression servers in this manner – HTTPS remains secure, which keeps Google out of the loop entirely, and Incognito mode browsing isn’t routed through those servers either, for obvious privacy reasons.
Google says that any logs about how this service is used are deleted after six months, and not linked to your account in the first place, but we wonder just how many users are comfortable tunneling the majority of their web traffic directly through Google.
Beyond that new feature, the Android release also gets the ability to create website shortcuts on your home screen, and the iOS version is gaining translation support in the days to come.