Chrome for Android updated, brings two awesome tweaks from Beta version

January 15, 2014

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Yesterday, we told you about a meeting amongst the web platform team at Google. The scope of that meeting was to make Chrome quicker, use less data, and just be all around better. Chrome Beta has had some interesting features for quite some time, which help meet those goals. Today, Google rolls out a few important features to the stable channel of Chrome, and they make using Chrome on Android much, much better.

Chrome for Android version 32 brings the ability to add shortcuts to your home screen. A feature that’s been in Beta for months is finally making its way to Stable, and it’s easily one of the coolest features. In the drop down menu from the top right of Chrome, you’ll now find an “Add to Homescreen” option. Clicking that will take the page you’re on and create a shortcut on a home screen of your device. It’s a lot like a web app gone native, as it creates an icon from the HTML code of the header, and the title will be the page name.

If that sounds like a lot of data consumption, Google has one more trick up its sleeve. Chrome 32 will also compress data for less MB used, which has a slew of benefits. The data compression tricks used by Google reduce your bandwidth use by up to 50%, according to Mountain View. With the compression tactics, you’ll also get Safe Browsing “which helps protect you from malicious webpages.”

To get going with these two cool features, first make sure you’re updated to the latest version of Chrome. That alone will take care of the awesome “Add to Homescreen” function. After that, go to Settings >Bandwidth management > reduce data usage to get the data compression rolling. We’ve been using these features on Chrome Beta for some time, and both make a world of difference in how you navigate and use the web via mobile devices.

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  • litobirdy

    why is that add to homescreen ffeature so “awesome” if its a site you access a lot and want it quick, just add bookmarks widget to your homescreen

    • Mattia

      “Then anytime you’d like to open the saved website, just tap its icon on your homescreen. For certain websites, the shortcut will open in a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the Android app switcher.”

  • litobirdy

    must be a staged rollout, blah

  • Pedro Rodrigues

    I have Chrome 31.0.1650.59 1650059 which already has the“Add to Homescreen” function, although only from the bookmarks (long press on a bookmark for the option).

    • Pedro Rodrigues

      Got the update, like the log says its a shortcut (and a better way admitedly) for an already existing feature.

  • Pedro Rodrigues

    Liked the new, easier shortcut for the recent tabs that joins closed tabs along with the ones from other devices conected to the google account.