Chrome for Android’s Data Compression is Ready for Beta Testing

If you have Chrome for Android beta installed on your device, you have to try this one out. Visit chrome://flags and enable the flag data compression proxy and then restart the app. But hey, what does it do?

It reduces data usage and speeds up page loading.

According to the Chromium blog, “This feature is powered by a connection to a SPDY proxy running on Google’s servers, paired with content optimization performed by our open-source PageSpeed libraries, specifically tuned for Chrome Beta on Android”

“For an average web page, over 60% of the transferred bytes are images. The proxy optimizes and transcodes all images to the WebP format, which requires fewer bytes than other popular formats, such as JPEG and PNG. The proxy also performs intelligent compression and minification of HTML, JavaScript and CSS resources, which removes unnecessary whitespace, comments, and other metadata which are not essential to render the page. These optimizations, combined with mandatory gzip compression for all resources, can result in substantial bandwidth savings”, the team says.


Chrome for Android’s data compression  is enabled by Google’s own SPDY. SPDY (pronounced speedy)[1] is an open networking protocol developed primarily at Google for transporting web content.

How does this work on Chrome for Android? Here are some insights from Google’s own whitepaper.


The core optimizations, which allow us to reduce overall data usage and speed up the page load times, are performed by Google servers. When the Data Compression Proxy feature is enabled, Chrome mobile opens a dedicated SPDY connection between your phone and one of the optimization servers running in Google’s datacenters and relays all HTTP requests over this connection.

The proxy server receives the request initiated on the mobile device, initiates a request for the required resource on your behalf, and then optimizes each asset before delivering it back to the client. The content optimization is performed by our open-source PageSpeed libraries, which are specifically tuned for the Chrome for Android browser. The rendering of the page, and all JavaScript execution, is performed by the client’s browser.

I am trying this out currently and the first impression is good. I did notice improvements in page loading time. It is going to be more useful when I am on the go, because I use 2G most of the times on my phone (Vodafone’s 3G here sucks big time and I use a different connection for 3G which I use mostly on the cr48)

I am mostly convinced about the WebP image format, which Google uses to reduce image size while sending pictures to your Chrome through SPDY. But I am not 100% happy about it. If you look really close on those images, you will see what I am talking about.

Anyways, if you try this out, do let me know what you think.

via Chromium Blog.

In Category: Android


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

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