Experimental Chrome feature warns for sites that consume a lot of bandwidth


Originally published at: https://www.myce.com/news/experimental-chrome-feature-warns-for-sites-that-consume-a-lot-of-bandwidth-84669/

Google has added a feature to the Canary version of Chrome for Android that warns users for data-heavy websites. When enabled, the browser will not further load the website once a certain threshold has been met. The user can then manually decide whether to continue or stop loading the webpage.


That’s an interesting idea. If it pressures web devs to write smaller web pages, I’m all for it. IDK about anyone else, but I’m tired of having to use an entire gigabyte (or more)[see update] rendering ONE webpage. Seriously, do we really need to cram that much data into a single page?

I remember seeing a recent video - programers_are_evil() - in which the speaker - Bryan Lunduke - mentioned that the front page of CNN’s website was larger than the entirety of the video game Doom. Doom had a complex 3D engine, and, due to the fact that it targeted MS-DOS, it also needed multiple audio/video drivers to be hard coded into the game. On the other hand, CNN’s front webpage is just a page. I still remember when a webpage seemed (to me, at least) to take up just as much ram as a *.rtf file in WordPad. I miss that World Wide Web. It was so light, my 64MB computer could handle it just fine.

Update: I mentioned pages taking up an entire gigabyte. I feel I should mention I meant the computer uses a gig of RAM, not that the webpage itself is a one gigabyte (or more) download. Still, why do we need to dedicate THAT MUCH RAM for one page? To me, that’s insanity.


There are some very big pages out there, the likes of CNN and TMZ can be well over 4MB even after you’ve blocked all ads/scripts, 8MB+ without blocking.

It’s not mentioned in this article but you need the Chrome Data Saver function on mobile or extension on desktop for this to work.

The problem is it still loads the page while telling you it’s consuming 1MB+ and will probably finish loading the whole page before you have chance to hit the stop loading button.


Unfortunately the Chrome Data Saver only works with legacy HTTP websites. With the most popular websites using HTTPS due to Google heavily pushing webmasters to use HTTPS, the Data Saver add-on is pretty much useless now.

Then again, one of the worst offenders for data usage is the ever growing App sizes. I don’t get why many Apps need to be over 30MB in size. For example, the Microsoft Authenticator App (for 2-factor authentication) is 52.9MB excluding its data storage, 5 times bigger than Google’s equivalent Authenticator App. 10 App updates are about as a large as a typical Windows Service Pack update back in the Windows XP and Vista days.


If you don’t enable Data Saver you don’t get the 1MB warning, which then makes the feature pretty much useless. I’m guessing it’s so the browser can query the Data Saver servers for the amount of data incoming.