Web sites still have to contend with poor connectivity on mobile, while browsers like Chrome feature a “Data Saver.” Google is now bringing that mode to HTTPS and marking “Lite pages” as such in the Omnibar.

Data Saver in Chrome for Android optimizes a page by up to 90% and can load two times faster by channeling web traffic through Google servers. Sites are simplified before being downloaded on your device, with the end result usually looking and working the same.

This mode will now work on HTTPS pages, with Google taking care to “securely” extend these performance improvements. At a high-level, only the “URL is shared with Google” and not cookies, logins, or personalized page content.

We use built-in optimizations and Google servers to improve page loading. The specific optimization techniques depend on what region the user is in and on how the developer wrote and served that particular page. When Chrome optimizes an HTTPS page, only the URL is shared with Google; other information – cookies, login information, and personalized page content – is not shared with Google.

Chrome Android data saver https lite

Data Saver mode is triggered when users are faced with a “painfully” slow loading experience, like an effective network connection of “2G” or “slow-2G,” or “when Chrome estimates the page load will take more than 5 seconds to reach first contentful paint.” In addition to current network conditions, Google takes into account device capabilities.

These optimized pages will be marked by a new “Lite” label at the left of the Omnibar. It features a blue speed icon and light blue text. Tapping will note how this is a “Lite page provided by Google,” with a link to “Load original page” below. Chrome will automatically disables Lite pages on a per-site or per-user basis if users frequently opt to load the original page.

Chrome also has related developer options, with Chrome 72 featuring Reporting API intervention reports that detail when these optimizations are used.

If you’re using a faster network, set #force-effective-connection-type to any 2G option at chrome://flags. To prevent automatic disabling of the feature as a result of users opting out, enable #ignore-previews-blocklist.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com