Google offers faster Web access on Android phones

The feature is being rolled out in India and Brazil after a field test in Indonesia

Google speeds Web pages

Google speeds Web pages

Google will deliver lighter versions of Web pages in search results for Android phones users with slow connections in India and Brazil.

The feature, which will be rolled out in India in two weeks, has been field tested in Indonesia, where it was found that the pages, converted on the fly, load four times faster and use 80 percent less data than before, Hiroto Tokusei, a Google product manager wrote Thursday in a blog post.

A Google spokesman said the company did not have a name for the new feature, which is primarily targeted at emerging markets. He said it was too early to comment on the company's plans to offer the service on phones other than those running the Android operating system.

Rather than linking to a page directly from search results, Google links to its own servers, where it generates what it calls a transcoded version of the page on the fly. The process involves compressing graphics and removing some JavaScript functions.

The technique is likely to be similar to that used by specialized mobile browsers such as Opera Mini, which route mobile browsing sessions through a proxy server where pages are compressed.

Users can view a page in its unmodified form by choosing an option at the top of the page, Tokusei said.

The technology targets the over 200 million Indians accessing the Internet from a smartphone, sometimes with slow and costly Internet connections.

Users will see the converted pages if Google detects that they are on a slow network connection in a country where the conversion, also called transcoding, is enabled.

Google has limited advertisements to three per page and disabled Google Analytics scripts to make the pages lighter. In a support page for website providers, Google said it was working on ways to enable analytics without compromising low bandwidth responses.

Some pages cannot currently be transcoded, and these include pages from websites that require cookies, use significant amount of data like video sites, or are technically difficult to transcode, according to Google. The pages will be labeled as non-transcoded in search results.

To reach users in emerging markets, a number of Internet companies are looking at ways to deliver Internet services over low bandwidth connections. Facebook said recently it had started rolling out in Asia its Facebook Lite, a low-data version of Facebook for Android for slow networks. Facebook Lite will also be available soon in parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesAndroid OSGoogleinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?