By Salman SH & Nikhil Pahwa
Google India has announced some key improvements including better data-saving features, offline capabilities, improved download manager, and integration of machine learning into Google Chrome browser for better content discovery. These features are largely aimed at India users and will be rolled out for mobile users on Android only for now; it was announced by Chrome’s Vice President Rahul Roy Chowdhury during the company’s ‘Google For India’ event held today.
Google Chrome currently claims to have 1 billion monthly active users on mobile alone, while Chowdury said that Chrome brand’s mission was to improve its web platform offering—Google Chrome browser. Under the same brand, Google also has its own operating system ‘Chrome OS’.
Lowdown of updated Chrome browser features
Data saving features: To help users save data costs, Chrome had earlier launched ‘data saver’ on both mobile devices and on PCs. The feature compressed only images and text and claimed to save 60% of data. Starting today, the data saver feature will be able to compress and deliver videos, while Chowdhury claims that this will save up to 67% of data when a user plays a video.
While doing all this compression, the company claims that “the page will still look like the uncompressed version”. It added that the number of users switching on data saver in India has tripled in the last year alone. Chrome users in India (on mobile and PC) save 337 TB of data every single week, Chowdhury claimed. “Chrome will optimize websites down to their essentials. Pages will load up to 2x times faster and 90% data will be saved with feature,” he added.
Offline capabilities: Chrome will soon have an updated download manager feature on mobile and PC. Google will soon add a download button on Chrome. “You tap the download button, and it works for videos as well. We’ve built this, so you don’t have to worry about interrupted downloads ever again,” Chowdhury said.
The manager feature will make sure that Chrome browser will resume downloads when a user gets back online if it isn’t complete. All downloads will now be listed on a home page, and a user can browse through content that is already downloaded. Files can be viewed even while a user is offline. The feature is currently live on Chrome beta version starting today, and will soon be rolled out to users worldwide.
Better content discovery: Whenever a user opens a new tab on chrome, it will suggest new websites to look out for based on the reader’s browsing patterns. For this, Google will integrate machine learning capabilities inside chrome. “As you browse, it will personalize these suggestions, and make them personalized just for you. You’ll be able to scroll up and find fresh content to sports, entertainment and news, even if you’re offline,” Chowdhury said during today event.
Note that Google had acquired machine learning startup Moodstocks for an undisclosed amount, in July.