Google's latest Android browser promises faster surfing

Data compression has been added to Chrome mobile to reduce data loads

Faster Web browsing and lower data use might be on the cards for Android mobile phone users if they download a new version of the Chrome Web browser offered by Google.

The latest Chrome Beta for Android, which was made available on Tuesday, includes an "experimental data compression feature" that Google said could reduce data loads by up to 60 percent on some sites.

The system works by sending most Web requests through a proxy server, which sits in between the user's browser and the destination Web server. The server is running SPDY, a Google-developed protocol designed to reduce the data size of Web content.

It does this through tricks such as compressing the text in pages, sending multiple simultaneous requests to a Web server and by transcoding images into a more efficient format called WebP.

WebP is a Google-developed image format that is said to reduce image size by 26 percent against PNG (Portable Network Graphics) images and by between 25 percent and 34 percent against the JPEG format. Support for the format is already in Chrome, Opera and Android from version 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," and can be added to Internet Explorer with the Chrome Frame plug-in.

The system works on all non-secure connections to websites using the HTTP protocol. Connections to secure sites using the HTTPS protocol are handled as normal and don't flow through the SPDY proxy. As an added advantage, non-secure connections are encrypted using SSL between the phone and proxy. Google's Safe Browsing feature is also enabled, which helps guard against malware and phishing attacks.

Users can find the beta version of the Chrome browser by following this link. It won't appear through a search of the Play Store.

Once installed, the system needs to be enabled. That can be done by navigating the browser to "chrome://flags" and setting "Experimental Data Compression Proxy" to on.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileGooglemobile applications

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

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?