Google is rolling out a new version of AMP optimized for low-memory devices

OnePlus 3T
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, is sort of like Redbull for webpages: it optimizes and streamlines articles, galleries, and comment sections in the interest of pulling them up as quickly as, say, your phone’s Facebook app. But as well it does in achieving that goal right now, Google thinks it could do a little better. That’s why the search giant on Thursday announced a slew of improvements to the AMP platform in the form of AMP Cache and AMP Lite.

The AMP team specifically targeted images, which make up the lion’s share of page size — roughly 64 percent of the bytes of a page on average, according to Google. A few new techniques can reduce that number by as much as 40 percent.

AMP now removes data that’s invisible to the user, such as thumbnail and geolocation metadata, and downgrades image when the perceptible difference is most likely to be negligible. And it automatically converts images to Google’s highly compressed WebP format.

“With caching, we can make content be, in general, physically closer to the users who are requesting it so that bytes take a shorter trip over the wire to reach the user,” Google software engineers Huibao Lina and Eyal Peled wrote in a blog post. “In addition, using a single common infrastructure like a cache provides greater consistency in page serving times despite the content originating from many hosts, which might have very different — and much larger — latency in serving the content as compared to the cache.”

Alongside those improvements, Google is rolling out AMP Lite, an optimized version of AMP that kicks in for slower internet connections and low-end smartphones. AMP Lite opts to decrease the quality of JPEG images “when there is an indication that this is desired by the user or for very slow network conditions” — when, for example, a Chrome user has enabled Google’s Data Saver feature.

And it optimizes external fonts — that is to say, fonts loaded from another webpage — so that they can be displayed immediately regardless of whether they were previously cached.

Google said AMP Lite’s intelligent optimizations lead to another 40 percent reduction in image size. It’ll appear first on low-memory devices and “bandwidth-constrained” countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia, and for other users later.

AMP, which launched in late 2015, is Google’s open-source answer to platforms like Facebook’s Instance Articles and Apple News. It’s available on GitHub for anyone to use, and now counts hundreds of internet publications, social networks, and websites. Google says that generally speaking, AMP-enabled pages load as much as four times faster and use 10 times less data than non-AMP equivalents.

“People will read more and click on more stories when they know they will load fast, driving more traffic to a publisher’s site,” said Google in a press release. “While we can’t expand the amount of time in the day, with AMP we can help users consume more content in the time that they do have.”

Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Deals

Best tax software deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

Do you dread doing your taxes? Luckily for you, there are plenty of tax software options available to guide you through the process. And guess what? Some of them are even on sale today! Check out deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Mobile

Apple’s official iPhone XS battery case is finally here

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.