Dev Channel Stories June 29, 2015

Force Chrome desktop to remove images with Data Saver in new dev build

Google Chrome has a neat experimental mode called Data Saver that, when enabled, will purportedly cut your browser bandwidth usage by up to 50%. You can download a beta of Data Saver from the Chrome Web Store. Now the browser tool has a new ability in the dev channel build of Chrome to replace images.

Chrome evangelist and ex-leaker François Beaufort shared the info to Google+, explaining that Data Saver mode is intended for mobile users on very low bandwidth networks. It works by sending your requests to visit a site through Google server’s which then runs the webpage through a compression technology (more info here) that removes anything that isn’t crucial to the webpage. Data Saver Lo-Fi, a flag that can be enabled for Data Saver, specifically removes images, replacing them with placeholder colorful graphics, and the images can be forced to load by long tapping one of the placeholders and pressing “Load image.” Google recently began rolling out the Data Saver compression technology to Android users in India and Brazil, both emerging markets where data reception is still spotty and unreliable. The technology only works on sites requested over HTTP, so sites where HTTPS is required won’t be compressed.

To enable Data Saver in your desktop version of Chrome you first need to switch your version of the browser to the developer channel (instructions here), install the Data Saver extension, and then visit chrome://flags/#data-reduction-proxy-lo-fi and toggle “Data Saver Lo-Fi mode” to “Always on.”

Typically desktop users already use much more bandwidth than mobile users, and this tool won’t be as big of a deal for those in developed nations with high caps on their broadband usage, but it could come in handy in places like hotels or on in-flight WiFi where data is either capped really low or just slow, or both. Some may be wary to use the tool, however, as it sends the pages you request to Google’s servers for modification before they reach the user.

Dev Channel Stories June 14, 2015

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In with the old and out with the new, that’s what I always say. Google seems to be thinking the same way, as the Chrome team this past week replaced its newer card-based, tiled bookmarks manager, pictured above, with the previous link-based one. You can access the now old bookmarks manager by visiting chrome://bookmarks.

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Dev Channel Stories December 19, 2014

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While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

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Dev Channel Stories December 8, 2014



A new feature called Smart Lock has now made its way to Chromebooks, allowing users to keep their Chrome OS-running laptops unlocked by simply keeping their Lollipop Android phone in relative vicinity. The feature was first introduced earlier this year at Google I/O 2014, and has been part of Lollipop since the OS started rolling out last month. But only just now, about 6 months after it was shown off, is the feature rolling out to Chromebooks (via ComputerWorld) running the Dev Channel of Chrome OS.

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Dev Channel Stories August 5, 2014


Google recently released a 64-bit version beta version of Chrome for Windows 7 and 8 users and for an encore the company has turned its efforts towards Apple’s OS X. The search giant has silently added 64-bit support to its Chrome Canary and Dev channels for Mac users. If you’re running the latest version of Canary on your Mac, the software should read as 64-bit capable in its About tab.

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