Chrome mobile data saver is a feature that helps you save on your data consumption when using Chrome browser on your smartphone. My usage statistics show that it isn’t saving me much and is perhaps not worth bothering with.
Data compression on mobile browsers is not a new thing. It has been around since the advent of Opera Mini many years ago in August 2005.
With Opera Mini, the data compression is rather aggressive and sometimes resulting in up to 90% savings. The flip side is that such severe compression often kills some modern web scripts and features. The result is sometimes web pages that do not function as fully as they were designed to.
UC browser, another mobile web browser whose unique selling proposition is data compression, has followed Opera Mini’s approach.
The Chrome Mobile Data Saver Approach
Chrome browser’s approach is different, being much less intense. Google clearly prefers not to squeeze modern functionality out of the web pages its servers process.
The trade-off is that not much data is saved. On my experience, the average savings from Chrome mobile data saver is a paltry 5%.
In the last one month, it has saved only 99MB out of a total of 1.8GB data used in browsing. Honestly, why should I bother with it?
How much faster, really, is web browsing with that minuscule level of data savings? How much money is anyone saving with that?
Perhaps the impact on browsing speed and cost saving will be more significant were data savings go as high as 30%. That would make sense to me and to a lot more people. And there was a time one was getting that level of savings from Chrome mobile data saver. So, what has changed?
HTTPS Is What Has Changed
One of the key things about Data Saver is that it does not process/compress HTTPS pages. In the last few years, thanks largely to Google’s own campaign for HTTPS implementation on websites, most websites now use that. This means that Data Saver no longer compresses those web pages. Interesting; isn’t it?
With only about 5% data being saved on my usage, I no longer find Data Saver worth using. I might as well just browse unaided by Google’s web servers.