Google rolls out offline reading feature for Chrome on Android

Google Chrome for Android will automatically download articles over Wi-Fi for offline reading

Google in its latest update for Chrome browser for Android, has introduced a new feature that will automatically download news articles while connected to a free or un-metered Wi-Fi connection so that the user can view them later.

This new feature is aimed at countries where mobile connectivity tends to be more limited or there is no continuous internet coverage. This is part of Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) initiative and the new Chrome browser update has been made available to over 100 countries, including India, Brazil, Indonesia and more. Currently, the downloading feature for offline reading is limited to articles alone.

“Today, we’re introducing another way for Chrome on Android users in India, along with more than 100 countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil, to surf the web with Chrome on Android devices – even without a constant internet connection. When you’re connected to free, un-metered WiFi, Chrome will automatically download relevant articles, based on what content is most popular in your location,” Amanda Boss, Product Manager, Offline Chrome for Android, wrote in a blog post.

So, how does this work? According to Google, when users are connected to free, un-metered Wi-Fi, Google Chrome will automatically download “relevant articles” based on “what content is most popular in [their] location.” Additionally, if the users are signed into their Google account, the app will learn from their past browsing habits and download relevant content for offline use. The automatically downloaded content will be available along with all of the downloaded content available for access anytime, without an internet connection.

“Chrome’s goal is to make the web work well for everyone, everywhere. From building offline capabilities to an automatic data saver, we’ve launched a number of features to improve web accessibility especially tailored to NBU markets. However, it can be frustrating and hard to access the web when you lose connectivity or spend days disconnected. Spotty connectivity shouldn’t stop us from accessing our favourite sites to get information, whether it’s recent news or the latest cricket results,” added Amanda.

Users are advised to update to the latest version of Chrome via the Google Play Store for the new feature.

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