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Google Chrome update can drop data consumption by 70 percent

Google has unveiled an update to Android's Chrome Data Saver feature. Rolling out first in India and Indonesia, it can potentially save users 70 percent of their data.

Google is updating Android's Chrome app so improve Data Saving functionality. When connectivity is poor, pages will first load without pictures, allowing for faster, less data-costly browsing.

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.

The Californian electronics behemoth announced on Monday that it's updating Android's Chrome Data Saver mode, which can now decrease user data consumption by up to 70 percent.

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.

The Data Saver function was first introduced to Android and iOS Chrome apps by Google last January. This March, over a year later, the company extended the feature to its desktop and laptop browser.