Chrome on iOS reduces mobile data by up to half – but only for invited users

If you use Chrome on your iPhone or iPad, and you’re not running the latest version, you may want to update it. Google has started inviting selected users to enable the data-compression feature it first launched on Android back in March.

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.

Or, in less technical terms, Chrome strips out everything not needed to display webpages properly, so you get the same experience but with up to 50% less data usage. For those who do a lot of browsing on 3G/4G, that can make a big difference to your monthly data bill.

So far, only a relatively small number of users appear to have been invited to participate, but that number is likely to grow over the next few weeks.

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