Google has made it easier than ever to download webpages to read offline while using Chrome on Android. While Chrome users have had the ability to read offline for a while now, Google has made several improvements which, when taken as a whole, should make it a more seamless experience.
In December 2017, Google introduced the ability to download webpages for offline reading. However, anyone who missed the news won’t yet be taking advantage of the feature. Thankfully, Google has now improved its usefulness in several ways, giving us another chance to talk about it.
Simple Minds Need Simple Instructions
According to The Keyword blog, Chrome users are now downloading “more than 45 million web pages” every week. However, when you consider how many people use Chrome on Android, that’s not a very impressive figure. Which is probably why Google has attempted to simplify the process.
The first improvement means you can now long-press on any link to be given the option to download it in its entirety. Previously, you had to open the menu and tap the Save icon. It’s a small change, but a significant one at a time when people value simplicity above all else.
The second improvement will only reveal itself when you try to load up a page while offline. With Chrome unable to connect to the internet, you’ll see the option to Download Page Later. Once tapped, Chrome will download the page for you as soon as you get back online.
The third improvement makes it easier to see the pages you have previously downloaded to read offline. Now, when you open a new tab, you’ll see all of the articles you’ve downloaded tagged with a new Offline badge. These articles were previously hidden behind an icon in the main menu.
These new features are available in the latest version of Chrome on Android. So all you need to do is update Chrome to the latest version, find a webpage you want to download, and tap the Download icon. There’s no word yet on when Google will push the improvements out to iOS users.
Making Pocket and Instapaper Redundant
The ability to download webpages to read offline is one most of us will use occasionally. And by baking the feature right into Chrome, Google could be making dedicated offline readers such as Pocket and Instapaper somewhat redundant. Especially if it keeps getting easier to manage.
Do you use Chrome on Android? Were you aware you could download webpages to read offline? Will you now be taking advantage of the feature? If you don’t currently use Chrome on Android, which browser do you use instead? Please let us know in the comments below!