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Google’s AMP (accelerated mobile pages) program kicked off back in 2015, and since then, it’s been expanded to wild success. In September of 2016, the company flipped the switch on AMP pages in Google search results, and now, it wants to further enhance the program for those with slower devices.

Earlier this week, Google announced AMP Lite, an even further stripped-down version of AMP which is designed to keep things fast even on devices that have very little RAM and very slow internet connections.

AMP on its own is fast, but AMP Lite aims to further cut things down by a whopping 45%, all without taking away from what users see on screen or the ads that pay for that content. How so?

Google explains in a blog post that the first step to cutting down size is by making images smaller. To do that, the company strips those images of “invisible” data such as thumbnail or geolocation data, and it also reduces the quality of JPG images, but not to the point where there is a visible difference in quality.

Further, the company also converts images to the WebP format on supported browsers which can cut down the size of the images by up to 25% without any loss in quality. Some of these same methods are also used in the standard AMP experience.

AMP Lite cuts down on bytes by using the “amp-font” tag which enables fonts to be displayed immediately even if Google did not previously cache them.

AMP Lite, sadly, won’t be available to everyone just yet. Currently, Google only has the feature activated for users in Vietnam and Malaysia, and some other countries where slow wireless networks and under-specced devices are more common.

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Ben Schoon

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