Chrome feature cuts mobile data used by up to half, Google says

The new versions of Chrome for Mobile will be available in the next few days

Google is adding a feature to its Chrome mobile browser that can reduce data usage by up to 50 percent, which could avoid extra data charges from carriers.

The feature, which manages bandwidth and compresses data, will be in Chrome for Android and iOS, wrote Matt Welsh, a Google software engineer, on a company blog.

Chrome will have a setting called "bandwidth management" with a selection "reduce data usage" which can be toggled on. The interface will also show how much bandwidth has been saved, Welsh wrote.

More than a fifth of adult smartphone users do most of their browsing on a smartphone, he wrote.

Google is introducing a couple of other features to Chrome. Google Translate will be integrated into Chrome for iOS, which will let iPhone and iPad users translate Web pages with a button.

The Android version of Chrome will now let users create shortcuts to websites from the homescreen, Welsh wrote. The selection to add a shortcut will be in the toolbar menu.

"For certain websites, the shortcut will open in a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the Android app switcher," he wrote.

The updated Chrome versions will be rolled out in Google's Play store and Apple's store in the next few days.

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Jeremy Kirk

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