Bigger data savings are the way for users of Google Chrome and, potentially, other browsers too.
It’s all thanks to a new, open-source HTTP compression algorithm called Brotli, which Google announced last year.
“The smaller compressed size [using Brotli] allows for better space utilization and faster page loads”, say Google.
Brotli can reduce the size of these assets, which in turn makes them transfer quicker. Net result: faster web.
Brotli Is Ready to Br-eak Out
The byte-crunching feature is nearing arrival in Google Chrome, says Google’s Ilya Grigori on Google+. The search giant is about almost ready to make Brotli “available as a Content-Encoding method, advertised via Accept-Encoding; br”.
Unlike the Google data saver extension launched last year Brotli works behind the scenes and not as a proxy. It currently only works over HTTPS connections, and only where web developers are supporting it (Google Web Fonts already does, for example).
Developer interest in the new format is said to be high, with ‘CDN vendors, tier1 web properties, third parties, and NGINX modules’ all cited by Google.
For desktop users that increase will translate into faster page loads. Mobile users with data plans or data caps will also save data, battery life and, potentially, money.
If you’re running Google Chrome on beta, dev or canary channels on any platform, including Android and Linux, you can opt-in to the Brotli demo early by visiting:
Be aware that while the compression algorithm is designed for HTTP content encoding it currently only works over HTTPS.
Google hopes that other major browsers will join it and Mozilla in adopting the efficient format, reasoning: “[…] the smaller compressed size would give additional benefits to mobile users, such as lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use.”