Google Chrome steps up its offline game on Android

As much as Google, and users, probably want it, Internet connection still isn't as ubiquitous or stable everywhere. At one point or another, Wi-Fi or data will break, leaving you with an inaccessible web page when you might need it the most. That is unless you're on Android and are using Chrome's offline feature. Already a year old, Google is taking offline web pages a step further by making it easier to download web pages even without opening them.

Downloading pages for offline viewing later is practically the domain of "read it later" services like Pocket and Instapaper. Of course, not everybody might want to subscribe to yet another third-party service, especially when a first-party solution is available anyway. Just as Apple's Safari web browser has its offline feature, so too does Chrome.

This time, Google is adding three new features to offline web pages. First is the ability to download a page without even opening it. Simply tap and hold on a link and then select "Download link". This can be a useful time and data saver for pages you don't really need to load and see right now.

The second feature is a bit amusing. When you fail to reach a web page because you are offline, you will be presented with an option to download the web page later. And it will do that exactly, at least when you finally get an Internet connection. Of course, that does mean that you didn't get to access the page when you needed it. This is more like an automatic page download utility so you won't have to remember to do it later.

Of course, having all those download pages is practically useless if you can't get to them when and where you need them. That is why Chrome will be featuring them prominently on new tab pages, so you can quickly see the pages you've downloaded for reading later. These features are rolling out to Chrome users on Android. iOS users are sadly left out of the party for now.

SOURCE: Google