Chrome for Android's data saver mode to slice out images on slow connections

The new feature, which promises 70 percent data savings, is rolling out first to India and Indonesia for testing.

chrome for android
Credit: Derek Walter

Google’s latest scheme to speed up a sometimes slow and unresponsive mobile web is to zap away the images.

The company announced on the Chrome Blog that Data Saver mode will soon eliminate most images on a page when a slow connection is detected. If you want to try and load them anyway, you can tap a button at the bottom of the page to do so.

data saver chrome Google Chrome Blog

When the speed slows down, most of the images will go away.

You’ll have to wait for the feature to arrive int he U.S., however, as Google is testing this out in India and Indonesia first. Those are key emerging markets for Google, and are commonly afflicted by slow connections. 

You can already, however, use Data Saver Mode with Chrome for Android to compress images and other data-heavy content before delivery to your device. This can speed things up and cut back on data usage if you’re concerned about hitting the monthly cap.

Why this matters: This is a pretty helpful way to help speed up some of the web—unless the images were the whole reason you went to that website. It’s part of a larger effort by Google to reduce the pain point that many feel when encountering image-heavy sites or a litany of advertisements. For example, the company is working on an Accelerated Mobile Pages project, an open framework for slimmed-down websites.

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