While mobile devices have a lot of processing power at their disposal, the cost of online mobile communication remains pretty high, which is the main reason why many major tech companies display a heightened interest in compression algorithms.
In this context, Google announced today that the upcoming version of the Chrome browser will get support for Brotli compression, a move that could end up saving you a lot of bandwidth in upcoming months.
Brotli is a compression algorithm that Google launched as an open source product back in September 2015. In the meantime, Mozilla's Firefox was already updated to support the new algorithm, but the widespread availability of Chrome on Android devices makes Google's recent decision much more important on the long run.
Google recently posted the results of internal research proving that the Brotli algorithm is faster than then gzip - the current compression standard for online communication - by between 17 and 25 percent, depending on the resource.
The downside is that compression is too slow to be done on the fly, or exactly when the resource is requested from the server. As such, the compression needs to be done ahead of time, which largely limits the bandwidth saving advantages to static resources such as text.
Google will push out Brotli support in the next iterations of Google Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android. While the advantages of the new Brotli compression algorithm will be welcome across all platforms, it's the Android version of the browser that will likely benefit the most through a reduction in both bandwidth and battery consumption.
The only setback is that developers have to reprogram their servers to support the new compression algorithm. Google says that, for most servers, only minor modifications are required.