Google has announced a new update to Chrome, which promises to lower the web browser’s impact on your computer’s battery life, says MakeUseOf. About the author: Dave Parrack is a technology journalist from the UK. Growing up at a time when personal computing and the internet were blossoming gave him a fascination with technology that continues to this day. With 10 years experience writing online, he’s currently the Tech News writer and Entertainment editor at MakeUseOf. Image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.
Google is making a concerted effort to stop Chrome from being such a drain on your system resources. And it’s starting by throttling tabs running in the background. Google’s ultimate aim is to suspend background tabs completely, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
It’s been known for some time that Google Chrome can put incredible strain on system resources, burning through your battery quicker than it should. It’s why some people have switched to using newer browsers instead. However, the latest version of Chrome alleviates this particular issue.
Throttling Background Tabs
With the launch of Chrome 57 this week, Google’s web browser will treat background tabs differently. Google claims background tabs “consume a third of Chrome’s power usage on desktop,” which means throttling them to reduce their CPU load is a significant step.
The throttling of background tabs means that once you’ve installed Chrome 57 you should notice Google’s web browser putting less strain on your CPU. By how much? As Chrome 57 will “delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core,” the results should be noticeable.
Google is throttling background tabs by “limiting the timer fire rate for background tabs using excessive power”. Thankfully, Google is exempting tabs which are playing audio in the background, and tabs which are maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC.
Stopping Chrome From Sucking
Chrome is now the most popular web browser in the world, with a 58 percent share of the market. Google will desperately want to hold onto that lead over Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Which is why it’s working so hard to stop Chrome from being such a resource hog.
This is just the beginning too, as Google eventually hopes to completely suspend tabs running in the background. First in 2018 with an opt-out available, and then in 2020 with the opt-out removed altogether. And on that day your battery will likely let out a huge sigh of relief.