Chrome beta includes Opera-like data compression feature

Google tries a experimental data compression feature in Chrome beta on Android, which works using its SPDY protocol. You can enable and try the feature right now.

Opera used to be very popular on mobile devices a year ago, but with Google releasing Chrome for Android and majority of Android users catching up with Android 4.0, Opera mobile is no longer as popular.

Opera’s both desktop and mobile clients (where it actually became popular) have data compression built-in, which essentially compresses website data before loading on your device and hence saving you data charges. Now, Google is testing the same kind of feature with Chrome beta.


The feature can be enabled in Chrome beta (which is a bleeding-edge version of Chrome for Android). To enable it, just go to chrome://flags, tap on Enable, below data compression proxy feature. Relaunch the browser for it to take effect.

Technically, if the feature is on, the user (when requests a website) will be routed to SPDY (pronounced as ‘speedy’) proxy which compresses and minifies HTML/CSS/image files and thus results in saving of data. This applies only for webpages which are not on a HTTPS connection.

I’ve tried the feature (it works both on Wi-Fi and cellular networks) and it does seem like it saves good amount of data. You can check the statistics directly through Chrome by visiting chrome://net-internals/#bandwidth.


Meanwhile, Opera has lately released a webkit version of their browser for Android and it too has this feature. This is after Opera switching to Webkit as their engine, leaving out Presto.

Link: Chrome Beta