Google is about to give Android users greater control over the files they download using Chrome. At the moment download options are very limited, meaning that many people turn to dedicated download managers – but soon this will no longer be necessary.
Currently available as an experimental feature, Download Later will give you new download scheduling option. As well as giving you the option of specifying a date and time to download a file, the feature also lets you save your data allowances by opting to download a file when you're connected to Wi-Fi.
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You can, of course, still opt to download files straight away, but for anyone with a limited data allowance, the option to pause a download until a Wi-Fi connection is available makes a lot of sense. It means that it is possible to schedule the download to start automatically rather than trying to remember to start it – and probably ending up forgetting.
But the ability to schedule downloads for a particular date and time, as first reported by Techdows (opens in new tab), is also very useful. It means that if you want to download a large file, you can schedule it to come in overnight or at another time you are not using your phone or internet connection for anything else. Chrome makes it easy to keep track of the download you have postponed in this way via a new 'Scheduled for later' tab on the Downloads page.
If you would like to try out the new download scheduling feature, you'll have to be running the Canary build of Chrome. This is described by Google as being "unstable", but opting to use this preview version of the browser gives you a chance to try out new features earlier.
You can download Chrome Canary from Google Play (opens in new tab) and then you'll need to use the following steps to enable the feature:
- Launch Chrome on your phone and pay a visit to chrome://flags
- Search for Enable download later
- Select Enabled from the drop-down menu
- Restart Chrome
The next time you download a file, you'll be given the option of downloading immediately, when there's a Wi-Fi connection available, or at a specific date and time.
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