Chrome beta for Android adds password sync, data compression
Google has rolled out an update to the Chrome beta web browser for Android which brings more features from the desktop version — and at least one very mobile-specific update.
The mobile browser now synchronizes your passwords and auto-fill entries across devices, which means if you have saved passwords and other data on your desktop PC you can now access it on your phone or tablet as well.
Google is also adding data compression to the mobile browser, which should let you load some web content more quickly.
As expected, the data compression is handled by Google’s SPDY proxy servers. When compression is enabled, any time you wan to load web content, it first goes through Google’s server so it can be optimized before it’s sent to your device.
While this adds an extra step, it’s a very fast step which can reduce the amount of data sent to your phone to help reduce the amount of bandwidth required. That can help pages load more quickly, and help you stay under your mobile carrier’s data caps.
Chrome isn’t the first web browser to use remote servers to compress data – it’s a feature Opera has been offering for years. But Google is using its own SPDY and PageSpeed technology to get the job done by doing things like converting images to the WebP format to reduce their file size.
To try out the data compression feature, download the latest Chrome beta from the Play Store and type “chrome://flags” in the location bar to find the option to enable the data compression proxy.