Download before reading: Chrome on Android now supports offline page viewing

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If you just found an excellent article on Digital Trends (or some other relatively readable and informative site), but don’t have enough time on your lunch break to finish it, Chrome for Android now has a solution. The latest update for the mobile browser makes it possible for you to download pages and videos so that you can read or watch them offline later.

The Chrome for Android update, designated 55.0.2883.84, and will be available in the coming days if you can’t see it already. It adds a number of features, including automatically highlighting misspelled words in text fields, a better contextual search tool, and additional memory and performance improvements, which should specifically help those running older devices with less than 1GB of RAM.

The big addition, though, is the ability to view content offline that traditionally you would need to be connected for. To take advantage of the feature, all you need to do is click the download button on the menu bar, according to AndroidCentral. Once the content — be it a video or an entire web page — is finished downloading, you will be given a notification and can view it as before, but without having to be connected to the internet.

Any content downloaded can be accessed through the Chrome browser window, or you can look through everything you downloaded in the downloads tab.

This should hold all sorts of benefits for those who regularly find themselves in areas with poor signal. If you travel on subway networks which don’t feature wireless internet connections, downloading a few videos or a couple of hard-hitting articles before you step aboard could be a godsend.

This seems like a real about-face from the world of just a few years ago, though, where Google was aggressively going after ripping sites which would let users download videos from sites like YouTube. It will be interesting to see if every video site operator is happy for Chrome users to have such an easy way to view content without watching advertisements.


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