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  • Wednesday 09 January 2019 - 13:00

    Google is pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages, AMP, heavily in an effort to improve performance and other metrics no mobile devices.

    The main goal of AMP is to speed up the mobile web and this is achieved, at least partially, by restricting AMP pages.

    AMP is only available in supporting mobile browsers; Chrome for desktop systems does not display or load AMP pages by default but the regular pages on sites even if those sites support AMP.

    Tip: find out how to disable AMP on mobile browsers.

    AMP Browser Extension is an extension for Google Chrome, and likely other Chromium-based browsers, to load these AMP pages on the desktop.

    All that it takes is to install the browser extension in Chrome to enable AMP support in the browser. The extension requests permissions to access data on all sites open in the browser.

    It adds an icon to the Chrome toolbar that acts as a toggle to enable or disable AMP functionality.

    amp browser extension chrome

    AMP icons are displayed next to article pages on Google Search if the articles support AMP. Articles supporting AMP are loaded in that version when activated by the user.

    A core difference between the loading of AMP articles on mobile browsers that support it and the extension is that the  loading URL is different.

    On mobiles such as Chrome, google.com is shown as the URL for the article; when using the extension, ampproject.org is used as the URL to display the article.

    The extension supports Google AMP Cache for even faster load times and sends the Save Data header by default.

    AMP Browser Extension is developed by the creators of AMP Browser, a Chromium-based web browser that supports AMP and MIP (Mobile Instant Pages) pages on the desktop.

    Options are provided to control the three core features -- loading of AMP and MIP pages, use of Google AMP Cache and the sending of the Save Data header -- and to add sites to the list of exclusions.

    amp browser options

    The last option loads the regular page on the site and not the AMP/MIP page even if it exists.

    The source code of the extension is available on GitHub.

    Closing Words and verdict

    Amp Browser Extension loads AMP and MIP pages in desktop versions of Google Chrome; this speeds up the loading time of pages that support these technologies especially on slower devices or devices with slow Internet connections.

    The extension does not turn regular sites into AMP sites so that the benefit of using it is only available when pages are opened that support AMP or MIP.

    Now You: What is your take on AMP?

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