Google is removing a feature of Chrome for Android that for years helped people cut down on their mobile data usage. Chrome’s ‘Lite mode’ will go away with the release of Chrome version M100 in late March.
Lite mode was originally known as Data Saver when Google first introduced it on Android back in 2014. In those days, many smartphone owners were on tiered data plans and risked extra charges if they went over their monthly allotment. And in some regions, mobile speeds were limited, so Lite mode helped pages load faster by compressing them.
In 2015, Google added the option to block images entirely to use even less data. But Google no longer sees much reason to keep the option around. Unlimited data plans are once again the norm, and the company claims that Chrome has continued to cut back on data usage with default settings.
“In recent years we’ve seen a decrease in cost for mobile data in many countries, and we’ve shipped many improvements to Chrome to further minimize data usage and improve Web page loading,” the company wrote on a help page this week. “Although Lite mode is going away, we remain committed to ensuring Chrome can deliver a fast webpage loading experience on mobile.”
Chrome for Android version M100 will be released to the stable channel on March 29, so Lite mode will remain available until then.