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Chrome for Android update is rolling out, brings data compression and web shortcuts

Google is now preparing to roll out a new Chrome for Android update that brings several new features to the stable channel, namely data compression and the ability to add web-based shortcuts to your homescreen.
January 15, 2014

Those of us rocking Chrome Beta are used to receiving new bleeding-edge features on a fairly regular basis. Of course, some folks would rather forgo the timely arrival of new features in favor of a more stable experience, and that’s where the ‘standard’ build of Chrome for Android comes into play.

If you’re currently using Chrome for Android the good news is that, starting today, Google is rolling out some exciting new changes that were previously only available to Beta users. Easily the biggest change is the introduction of Chrome’s new data compression and bandwidth management system.

Google’s bandwidth management technology is designed to reduce the amount of data that folks consume while browsing the web on their mobile devices, and it works using Google’s servers to compress website data. This feature is especially important for those of us with limited data plans. Keep in mind that compression is turned off by default, but can be enabled by going to Settings> Bandwidth Management> Reduce Data Usage.

Aside from the bandwidth management option, Chrome for Android’s stable build is also getting the ability to add any website as a shortcut to the homescreen. Select optimized websites will even appear as a full-screen experience and a separate app in the Android app switcher. This could be ideal for those that regularly browse specific sites that don’t have their own official Android apps.

In their usual fashion, Google will be rolling out the Chrome update in stages, which means it may take a few days to reach all users. Anyone manage to get the Chrome update yet, if so what do you think of the new features?