Streaming videos will cost you less data soon

Chrome already features a lite mode, which routes traffic through Google own servers and reduces data usage by compressing and simplifying pages.


The new feature is called LiteVideos and it will help reduce data usage when watching videos online and improve performance. The feature which is currently available in the Canary builds of Chrome is due to hit the stable release of the browser later in the year.

Entries on the Chromium bug tracker reveal details of the feature and how it works. Software developers explained that “LiteVideo is a data savings optimisation that simulates low bandwidth conditions by throttling media responses, to allow adaptive MSE video players to lower the resolution, and consume less data.”

Chrome will force videos to play at a lower quality.


Although data saving is something that tends to be most useful to mobile users, this particular feature will be making its way to all versions of Chrome. This means that Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS users will all be able to benefit from the boost in performance. This is something that will please anyone who has ever used their laptop on a metered connection. There is however no mention of iOS users getting the feature.


Although LiteVideo is still undergoing testing you can try it out if you are happy to use an unstable version of Chrome. The feature can be found in the Canary build of Chrome 86. The desktop versions can be downloaded at www.google.com/chrome/canary/ and the Android version is available in Google Play.

The Canary build installed is not enough as you also need to enable an optional flag to activate LiteVideo. Go to chrome://flags, search for LiteVideos, and then enable the options labelled Enable LiteVideos and Force LiteVideos decision.

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