Internet usage is becoming increasingly prevalent on smartphones, and last January Google helped out users on a bandwidth budget by introducing a Data Saver mode. Now, following competition from fellow browser Opera, it's beefing up its compression capabilities.
Google achieved this by "removing most images when loading a page on a slow connection," product manager Taj Oppenheimer said in the blog post. If Chrome detects a weak connection, it'll load a page without images, leading to faster speeds and less data expenditure. Users can then opt to load all the pictures, or they can touch individual pictures to load.
Though no specific time frame was announced, these updates will first roll out in India and Indonesia, with more countries to follow. While there is a glut of cheap and reliable sub-$150 smartphones available in India and Indonesia, telecommunications infrastructure is more dated, with some parts of both countries relying on 2G Internet. There was no mention on if the improved functionality will come to Chrome's iOS app.
Data compression is big business in India and parts of Asia, with Norwegian company Opera last month announcing a deal that will see its Opera Max data saving app come pre-installed on smartphones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Acer, Hisense and more. South Korean giant Samsung was among the first to run with the app, launching and promoting its On series in India around the data-compression technology.