If you don’t lead the kind of existence that allows you to hop between Wi-Fi hotspots, then you’ll know how crucial your data plan is. Every megabyte matters. It makes sense then that Google is expanding the roll out of data compression for Chrome.
What’s interesting is that it really seems to want iOS users to know about the new feature. According to TechCrunch, the internet giant is rolling out notifications about the feature’s availability on iOS making many users aware of it for the first time.
While data plans are getting cheaper, it’s likely that they’ll remain capped for a long while yet, especially in emerging market countries. And, as anyone who’s done so knows, exceeding the limits of your data limit can result in the kind of phone bill designed to induce heart attacks.
So by including data compression on the mobile versions of its browser, Google can win favour with data-conscious iOS users. But if it manages to win a large enough number of them over, it can also benefit in the form of increased mobile ad revenue targeted at a fairly lucrative market.
Of course, Google is far from the first company to realise the potential benefits of data compression. Norwegian software company Opera has been doing it with its Opera Mini browser for years and came to dominate the feature phone browser market at a time when data was even more expensive. It was also, in part, what allowed BlackBerry to to dominate the early days of the smartphone wars with BIS.