If you’ve ever wondered why you need a full-blown Chrome window open on your phone or tablet just to get your daily fix of Android or tech news, Google engineers have been thinking the same thing for some time. A while ago, readers may remember seeing an article about Google’s AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, that aims to give a quick, Chrome custom tabs-esque interface to certain content and sites through a creative combination of preloading, caching and other tech wizardry. The end result is a super-fast mobile web experience that, while not as full-featured as some sites’ mobile versions, gets you to the content you want and back to what you were doing before, or on to the next article, rather quickly. Google’s AMP project was just starting to really get off the ground back in October, but now it’s finally gone live.
When searching the web through Chrome, certain other browsers or the Google app on a mobile device, you may be presented with a carousel view of AMP-compatible pages, depending on the content you seek. Once you click into this carousel, you’ll be presented with an optimized version of the page you’ve clicked on in a quick and seamless manner. From there, you can check out the content you came for and then get on with your day in a matter of seconds. Should you choose to read the next entry, you can do so with a simple swipe to the left. Tabs are all presented with uniform, easy-to-read formatting. When you’re done reading and would like to make a different search or browse somewhere else, simply hit the back button and the windows will go away, leaving you back where you were.
AMP-enabled sites’ volume and feature set all depend on the publisher and how well they’ve managed to adhere to Google’s standards, but the types of content supported and the format are fairly universal. Video embeds, images and ads are already fully functional, should a publisher choose to put them on the AMP page. AMP sites will have a title bar at the top, as shown below, as well as a back button that this writer found to work as it wanted to, an issue that’s likely to be fixed in the coming weeks. Should it fail you, a tap on your phone’s own back button will set you straight. More and more publishers are jumping on board each day, but the stable of AMP-enabled content is limited at this time.