A new update is currently rolling out to Chrome for Android which includes at least one new feature that Google says is significant enough to warrant a complete name change. Now, users can expect to get substantial speed-ups too and all this because the browser will now automatically detect if a page is expected to take more than five seconds to load up the first element — whether that’s text or an image. If that’s going to be the case, it will automatically load up the Lite version of a page instead.
Chrome’s data saver functionality has significantly grown no since it was first introduced years ago and now mainly focuses more on performance rather than reducing cellular data usage. As such, the Chrome team is now renaming the feature to ‘Lite mode.’
Lite mode encompasses a few different features, some newer than others. Images and other large files are compressed server-side (much like how Opera Mini works), and if you’re on an especially bad connection, you’ll get a minimal version of the page generated automatically by Google. If your PC is also on a metered connection, I’m sad to report that the Chrome team still has no plans to bring Lite mode to desktop Chrome.
Lite mode is now only available on Chrome for Android, with the rebrand live as of version 74 this week. It can be enabled in Settings > Lite mode, with a graph and a list of data savings available here.
Google is also deprecating the Chrome Data Saver extension for desktops with that upcoming release. Unlike on mobile, the feature was never directly integrated into the browser, with the extension never gaining HTTPS support.