Data Saver a Chrome extension that launched in 2013 with the Chrome Beta for Android. Its purpose was to help users save on data charges.
The tool also ensured web pages loaded faster, and in cases where the content was too bulky, the extension downloaded a “lite” version of the page to display.
Google’s initial aim for the Data Saver was to reduce spent data by about 50%. According to specialists working on the tool, it worked even better and reached more than 60% efficiency.
It was no surprise then that Google decided to go away with the service as a separate extension and make it an optional feature in Chrome instead. They announced the change in April 2019 on their blog.
The Data Saver was turned into a Lite Mode for Chrome that automatically turned on whenever the system detected 2G networks or estimated a page load-time would be more than 5 seconds. Users could also control which apps would be allowed to use data in the background and limit the rest to foreground use only.
The company assured users that their privacy was still a primary concern. Whenever the Lite Mode interacted with HTTPS pages, it would receive only the URL information and no details, such as personalized content, login information, and cookies data.
Finally, whenever a Lite version of a page loaded, users would receive an option to load the whole page. Google mentioned that the tool would also detect if users repeatedly choose the original version of a page, and the feature would automatically turn off for those sites.