Google has upgraded Chrome for Android with performance improvements, bug fixes, and more intuitive options to make offline reading easier.
As we've become increasingly reliant on the internet, offline download options are a real treasure for those moments with poor or nonexistent connection. Downloading content for later guarantees that you can check it out even if you're no longer connected to the internet, if you're on the go with no Wi-Fi and you've exceeded your monthly data cap, and so on.
Google added an offline reading option to Chrome for Android in 2016, allowing users to save articles and other content for later. The feature has proved to be widely popular and the company has now added a number of improvements to make the offline reading experience easier and better overall.
"Last year, we introduced the ability to download any webpage, so you can view the whole page completely offline," says Google. "More than 45 million web pages are downloaded every week — and today we're adding improvements to make it even easier to download pages."
The latest update should make the whole process more intuitive and simple, so here's what's new.
Chrome For Android Update Improves Offline Reading
First of all, Chrome users on Android can now long-press on any link and tap the "Download link" option to easily save the page for offline reading. The feature also works when long-pressing a suggested article on the new tab page.
At the same time, when Chrome's offline dinosaur indicates there's no internet connection, users will have a new option to "Download Page Later." Tapping this button will prompt Chrome to automatically download the webpage in question as soon as an internet connection becomes available again. Depending on the speed of the internet connection and the size of the webpage, the content should be available for offline reading within a few minutes.
Google has also added a new offline badge to clearly indicate which webpages are available for offline reading. Upon opening a new tab, Chrome for Android will display a list of downloaded articles flagged with a badge so you know they're available for offline reading. For easy access, Chrome will also show a list of the most recent downloads. This way, Chrome will display available content even when there's no internet connection.
Alternative To Pocket Or Instapaper?
The update makes Chrome for Android somewhat similar to dedicated services such as Pocket or Instapaper, both of which offer users a list of saved articles available for offline reading. For users who save articles only once in a while, Chrome's offline reading option could even serve as an alternative to bookmarking webpages. At the same time, since this option is built into the browser, it could gain more ground among more casual readers who don't really need a separate app to download articles.
All of these new features designed to improve the offline reading experience are available with the latest version of Chrome for Android, up for download on the Google Play Store. If you've already tried it out, drop by our comments section below and tell us about your experience.