Google News: Now Lite mode gives you faster pages on slow mobile networks

Google has rolled-out new data-saving features targeting Android and Chrome users on slower mobile networks.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

By stripping down webpages, Google News Lite mode will use less than a third of the data of normal mode.

Image: Google

Google's News and Weather app for Android is getting a new Lite mode, designed to save bandwidth for users on slower connections.

The new Lite mode will do away with some of the extras found in the normal mode, while cutting images and other content to the bare essentials. Google says Lite will use less than a third of the data of normal mode.

Besides saving on summary news information within the app, Lite mode also automatically optimizes the webpages that are opened. Google's has said in the past this feature helps load pages four times faster and use 80 percent less data.

Lite mode will automatically detect when a device is on a slower network, or it can be manually set to always on or always off.

The new mode is rolling-out this week to users in India, where mobile networks are largely 2G and 3G, and will arrive in Brazil, Indonesia, and other emerging markets in coming months.

Google's other update aimed at emerging markets comes via several feature updates to Chrome. Chrome's Data Saver for Android has been around for a while and can save up to 60 percent of data on images and text on mobile. However, it didn't until recently support video.

According to Google, Chrome's one billion users currently watch one billion hours of video each week through Google's browser, much of that on mobile.

Google added support for video in Data Saver mode with the launch of Chrome 52 for Android in August, and now says it can save up to 67 percent of data when viewing MP4 format videos in Chrome. In India, the feature is already saving 138TB of data on video each week.

Data Saver also now strips more fat from HTTP websites and can save up 90 percent of data, while loading pages twice as fast.

A feature coming soon from Chrome Beta 54 to the stable channel is a download feature that lets users save a webpage, music, picture or video, for consumption later. These are saved to a new Downloads section.

Chrome is also gaining a new discovery service, offering personalized suggestions for articles and websites to visit in a scrolldown list below favorite website icons.


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