Google is making a lot of India-focused announcements today, many of them centered around improving services' functionality in areas where data connectivity is poor. Chrome and Google Play are getting some new features designed to solve that problem, and they're likely to be just as useful to many users in countries like the US.
Chrome's Data Saver mode will soon be able to compress video, meaning that MP4 files will use up to 67 percent less data. If you're on a 2G or 2G-like network, the Android version of Chrome will also be able to display automatically streamlined versions of web pages that load up to twice as fast and save over 90 percent on data usage.
A new Download feature for Chrome on Android will make the app more useful even when you have no connectivity at all. You'll be able to download entire web pages, including video, music, and pictures, and access them in a new tab for downloads. These downloads will automatically resume if connectivity is interrupted.
Downloads can include video, music, and pictures
Google is also getting into content discovery by recommending and downloading pages for you that can later be accessed offline. Initially these recommendations will be based on what's locally popular, but will be personalized over time.
Google’s Play store is getting an update similarly designed to help in situations where you have poor connectivity. The feature is called "fast browsing," and pre-loads popular parts of the store on Wi-Fi so that users can later browse comfortably on slow networks. Another new option called "Wait for Wi-Fi" lets you defer an app download until you’re on a Wi-Fi connection, where it’ll automatically start.
Most of the Chrome features should be included in version 54, which is set to launch in mid-October; some will have to wait until 55 drops by the end of the year. The Google Play fast browsing feature is available today for Indian users only, but may come elsewhere in the future.