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Chrome for Android makes video smoother, less power-hungry

Engadget logo Engadget 3/08/2016 Steve Dent
© Provided by Engadget

Google set the stage for the latest Chrome for Android update by revealing that a billion hours of video are now viewed per week on the browser, much of it on mobile. The Android team consequently focused on video for release 52, saying it's now "smoother, loads faster and consumes less battery." A video (below) shows load times that are five times faster, a trick that will save a bit of power and time. If you use the browser's Data Saver mode, you'll also get lightweight, more compressed video (much like T-Mobile's "Binge On" mode), in case your plan is close to the limit.

Google says the changes work with HTML5 video, so they presumably don't fix slow-loading Flash-based clips. The improvements will also be mainly beneficial for short clips, though the new lightweight video mode will obviously save data if you're watching a half-hour tutorial. You might have to wait a bit for the new version, as it appears to be on a staged rollout and none of us at Engadget in Europe or the US have received it yet. Now, if they could just do something about the resource-hungry desktop browser ...


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