Mountain View, California–Mobile web browsing is changing yet again as the world’s largest search engine is sending invitations to mobile users to enable a feature for faster experiences. The feature, available for smartphones and tablets running the Google Chrome browser, utilizes the search engines proprietary servers to preload web pages.
The setting is designed to help reduce the amount of internet data a device handles during browsing sessions. Called Google Chrome bandwidth management, it can be enabled through the settings and features three user preference options.
This tool uses predictors to preload web pages users might next visit while surfing the internet on their mobile devices. It claims to be able to reduce data usage by as much as 50 percent, and allows users to see the amount of data savings with a graph. When enabled, “Chrome uses Google’s servers to condense image file sizes and perform other optimizations,” the search engine explains on its support page.
Enabling the Google Chrome Bandwidth Management Setting
Three settings are available for users to preload data on the Google servers: Always, WiFi Only, and Never. The first turns on the compression tool regardless if mobile data is being utilized or is not. The second only compresses when WiFi is being used and the third disables the compression setting so it will not preload web pages.
Users are able to see how much data has been saved over a 30 day period, accessible through the settings. On its support page, Google discloses known issues with the compression feature, which include, but are not limited to: slower page load times, fuzzy images, and the inability to access intranet site pages.
To turn bandwidth management on a mobile device, launch the Chrome browser, go to Settings, then into Advanced. Under the Advanced options, select Bandwidth Management, and then select Preload Webpages. Once enabled the tool begins to track and report reduced data usage.
Recently, the search engine announced it would display a warning to mobile users when attempting to visit sites using Adobe Flash. The company also updated its local search algorithm, bringing it more in-line with organic ranking signals used for desktop results.