Google(s goog) officially launched a feature on Wednesday that squeezes data for mobile browsing on Android and iOS devices. The data compression function is optional — you have to enable it — but it can save up to 50 percent of your mobile bandwidth says Google, which is appealing for those on limited data plans.
Google has been testing the data compression feature in a limited beta since March of last year and has been expanding the program over time. Now it’s open to anyone who uses Chrome on an Android or iOS(s aapl) mobile device. To enable it in Chrome, choose Settings, Bandwidth management, Reduce data usage and set the toggle switch to “On.”
Note that all of your web browser traffic will be routed directly though Google’s servers, which is where the data compression takes place. This technique is similar to what Opera has done for years, and I can vouch for the data savings, having used this feature for months.
Do you want Google’s to have access to even more of your data through this feature? That’s a personal question, of course: One that my colleague, David Meyer, addressed last week, saying we need to keep seriously considering the consequences of one company having so much information.