If you are an Android user, you likely use Google’s other products on a regular basis. Google banks on this, and is constantly updating apps or products to make them seamless across multiple devices. One such example of this is Chrome. You can install it on your phone and computer and have bookmarks, search history, open tabs, etc. sync. In early March, Chrome Beta for Android was updated, bringing with it two new features.
Here’s a brief overview of the two new features added in the recent Chrome Beta for Android update. Take note that there are two versions of Chrome for Android – Stable and Beta. If you search for ‘Chrome’ in the Google Play store, you will find the stable version. The Beta can be found here (Google Play link).
This version contains features that Google would like users to test before eventually integrating them with the stable version of Chrome. To most users, there is no visual difference, however those with Beta installed will get access to new features before others.
Autofill and Password sync
The update introduced one useful feature that business users need to be aware of. This centers around the idea that you have Chrome installed on your computer and have linked it to the Google account you use for your phone. You can ‘Sign into Chrome’ on your desktop by clicking on the three bars in the top right-hand corner and selecting Sign into Chrome and entering your account information.
This will sync Chrome with the version on your Android device, and also bring over all of the autofill information from the desktop version. If you’ve entered information on a form on your desktop, entering similar information on a form on your phone will trigger Chrome to automatically fill in that information.
A secondary feature is that if you have had Chrome remember your passwords, they will now be synced on your phone. While this is convenient, it isn’t a good idea to have Chrome remember your passwords, as it just makes it easier for hackers to get hold of your information.
By default, these two options are turned on. You can, and should, turn this feature off by:
- Opening the browser on your phone.
- Pressing the three grey squares in the top right and selecting Settings
- Tapping on Save passwords and sliding the blue bar that says On to Off.
Data compression steps on the gas
The second feature introduced in the new version of Chrome Beta is data compression. This is a neat little function that increases the speed with which browser data is transmitted from and to the browser on your phone. This is a big benefit to users who have a mobile data plan, as the amount of data used to load a website is decreased, and subsequently, your mobile bill.
By default, data compression isn’t activated, but can be by:
- Opening Chrome Beta on your phone
- Entering chrome://flags and selecting Enable Data Compression Proxy
- Relaunching the app.
Google has noted that the data used to load websites could be reduced by as much as 50%, which will result in either lower data bills or the ability to use more data. You can see how much data is being saved by entering chrome://net-internals and tapping Bandwidth. There should be a counter of how much data you have used and saved.
These two features are useful but it is advisable to be aware of the password saving option. If you would like to download this app, you can find it here. If you would like to learn more about Android in the office, give us a shout, we can help.