Mobile

Google tests faster Chrome browsing that won’t cost you a cent

Google tests faster Chrome browsing that won’t cost you a cent
piers.scott@sociable.co'

Users of Chrome’s mobile app might soon be able to surf the web and download files even faster, thanks to a feature Google is testing in its latest version of its mobile browser.

According to Google+ user  François Beaufort Google’s Chrome Team is “experimenting on reducing data consumption by loading optimized web pages via Google SPDY proxy servers.”

Basically what this means is that Google will route its browser traffic through a proxy server before sending it on to users’ phones.  The server will compress the data so it can send the same amount of information in smaller amounts to users’ devices.

The feature isn’t turned on for all users’ devices but it can be activated by running this command;

adb shell ‘echo “chrome –enable-spdy-proxy-auth” > /data/local/tmp/content-shell-command-line’

The advantage for Chrome users is that they’ll notice an increase in their download speeds while actually using less mobile or wireless data. Since this feature hasn’t been officially announced by Google just yet we don’t have details about how much users could save or what level of speed increase they’ll see.

If this sounds familiar it’s because such a data-saving feature has been available on mobile and desktop versions of Opera’s browser for a number of years.  Apps like Hotspot Shield have also offered users similar methods of saving data and increasing download speeds (as well as bypassing some browsing restrictions).

What’s especially interesting about this change is that it comes a week after Opera announced that it will stop development on its own browser’s render engine and will adopt the same one used by Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, WebKit.

So, with Chrome adopting Opera’s features and Opera adopting Chrome’s it seems we’re moving towards a more uniform browser market where the only distinguishing features between the applications will be their apps and extensions.

While this is every web developers’ dream, we have to ask what will it mean for the future of the browser?

H/T Ghacks

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. livefyre@smallroomstudios.net'

    paddy2k

    March 8, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    The latest Chrome Beta has this option under chrome://flags

    • the@sociable.co'

      thesociable

      March 8, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      paddy2k What’s it like? Is there any notable increase in speed?

      • livefyre@smallroomstudios.net'

        paddy2k

        March 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        thesociable Not much of an improvement. As it transcodes image to WebP just like Opera Turbo did, the only real thing I noticed was slightly poorer image quality and pages loading a fraction faster.

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piers.scott@sociable.co'
@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

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