I hate slow internet and likewise I love everything that counters that problem. For most people like me who experience the internet through a phone, it means using browsers like Opera Mini, that are optimised for faster page uploading.
This also explains why Opera is such a huge phenomenon in markets like ours where the internet is not always as fast as we’d want. This slow internet experience is something I’d attribute it to our mobile operators’ huge investment and preference for 2G and 3G infrastructure.
Now Google wants a piece of the action that Opera has been getting in 2G/3G territories. The internet giant announced its new bare bones browser, Google Web Light, during the Google I/O conference. Google hopes to enhance the experiences of users where 3G internet connections are limited and few something that is clearly helpful to users in developing countries like ours.
With Google Web Light web pages will be optimized to load 4 times faster than the unaltered version on a slow internet connection. According to Google, page visits improve by 50 % because of a better user experience and lower wait for loading pages.
What’s the catch?
If you are finicky about neutrality of any sorts, then this Light service isn’t for you. Users will only be able to see the transcoded messages if they are using an Android phone(Sorry users of iOS, Windows Phone and everyone in-between) and of course Chrome browser. The changes will only occur if you reach a page using a Google search query. Pages will only be transcoded if the internet connection is below a certain threshold.
Redirected URLs are at googleweblight.com. Feedback can be sent to googleweblight.com . The link to follow for a test is https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/transcoder?pli=1#url=(enter any url to test here)
The feature has no name yet but it is currently being referred to as Google Web Light. It has already been tried in Indonesia. Google plans to introduce the feature in Android’s largest markets India and Brazil first, then it will be available worldwide. I’m pretty sure there’s a plan for Africa in there somewhere, but for now we’ll stick to Opera Mini for that optimised and cheaper web experience.