Google launches Chrome Lite Pages to increase speed of encrypted HTTPS websites on slow connections

Once the "Lite pages" feature is enabled, Google Chrome requests for a lite version of any given HTTPS website from the Google server cache.

  • Published: March 13, 2019 3:00 PM IST

Google has just announced a new feature as part of its in-house web browser, Google Chrome called “Lite Pages”. This new feature is aimed at improving the total time it takes to load HTTPS websites on Google Chrome for Android on slow internet connections. According to the announcement, the “Lite Pages” will be part of the “Data Saver” feature that comes with the browser. The reason Google launched this new feature is that the now old “Data Saver” feature only supported HTTP pages and there was no way to decrease page load times for HTTPS pages.

According to a report by ZDNet, the new feature decreases the page load times for HTTPS websites when the network speeds are on part with “2G” or even slower connections. To give users some idea, this feature works only when Chrome for Android estimates that it will take users more than 5 seconds to open a web page in any given network connection situation. Once the feature is enabled, the browser requests for a lite version of any given HTTPS website from the Google server cache. After requesting the Lite version, the browser displays that version along with a “Lite” marker in the URL section to indicate slower network speeds.

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As noted in the report, Google claims that the “Lite pages” allow the browser to improve the loading times for an HTTPS web page by “up to 90 percent” on slow internet connections. According to the report, the company claims that it will only replace content that is static in nature including any text or images but it will not make any changes to any sensitive data. The company states that when Lite Pages feature kicks in, the browser for an optimized lite version of the page, “only the URL of the web-page is shared with Google.

This means that other information including login information, personalized page content, and cookies stay with the user. The report also stated that to enable the new Lite Pages option, users don’t need to do anything special except simply enable the Data Saver option in the browser settings. In addition to this, users can also force enabled the feature with the help of “#force-effective-connection-type” Chrome flag by setting the connection type of the browser to 2G. Last but not least, website manages can stop Chrome from loading the Lite modes of their website which may strip the website of its ads.

  • Published Date: March 13, 2019 3:00 PM IST