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January 15, 2014

Chrome's Data Compression, Now For Everyone

Chrome's data compression feature is now available for all Android and iOS users. The latest releases of Chrome for Android and iOS add this feature, which was previously limited to Chrome Beta for Android and some randomly picked users.

"When enabled, Chrome's data compression and bandwidth management can reduce data usage by up to 50% while browsing the web on Chrome for Android and iOS. This feature also enables Chrome's Safe Browsing technology which helps protect you from malicious webpages," informs Google.

This feature uses a Google proxy to compress all the pages you visit, except for HTTPS pages and the sites you visit in Chrome's incognito mode.

"When the Data Compression Proxy feature is enabled, Chrome Mobile opens a connection between your phone and one of the optimization servers running in Google's datacenters and relays all non-encrypted HTTP requests over this connection. (...) The browser-to-proxy connection runs over SSL, meaning that your browsing session is encrypted between your device and Google's servers. The proxy also performs intelligent compression and minification of HTML, JavaScript and CSS resources, which removes unnecessary whitespace, comments, and other metadata which are not essential to render the page. These optimizations, combined with mandatory gzip compression for all resources, can result in substantial bandwidth savings," informs Google. DNS lookups are performed by the proxy, while the images are converted to WebP and the resulting images are up to 80% smaller.

Chrome for iOS also adds the page translation feature, which was previously limited to Chrome for Android and desktop, while Chrome for Android lets you add to the homescreen shortcuts to any page or web app.

As usually, "these updates will be rolling out over the next few days", so don't expect to get the latest version of Mobile Chrome right away.

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