Chrome's next big update could boost laptops' battery life by 2 hours

Ruben Fields
July 7, 2020

This will increase the battery life of the laptop by 28% (2 hours) in some of its test cases.

It seems Google is finally getting around to correcting the battery hogging tendencies of the web browser, particularly on laptops. While Google has improved the performance and power efficiency of its web browser on macOS over the years, it is nowhere are power efficient as Safari. Things could be set to change with an incoming feature update to Chrome 86 that should reduce CPU cycles that are otherwise offering little in terms of functionality to the end user. After reviewing data showing that users don't really benefit from Chrome tracking changes to websites in the background a couple of times a minute, by reducing the frequency of Javascript wake-ups, Google is hoping to cut back on Chrome's battery drain.

In recent builds of Chrome for Android, Google provided a hidden option that allowed users to force dark mode onto websites that would normally feature bright white backgrounds. Google, though, appears to be making moves to improve the battery life of devices that run Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge will benefit too.

We reported recently that Google was experimenting with throttling the Javascript wake-up timer in Chrome to significantly extend battery life.

For its testing, Google opened 36 random tabs in the background of Chrome, with the foreground tab on the "about:blank" address.

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The flag for this was originally spotted in the Canary Channel of Chrome 86 and looks to be headed to all version of Chrome across mobile and desktop.

Take a sample across any slice of professionals that use Chrome extensively (and we'll very much add the Pocket-lint team to that list) and you'll often find that they have one complaint in common.

System administrators will initially have the ability to disable the feature in the enterprise version of Chrome.

If you're someone who is invested in Google Chrome and Google's ecosystem, you should keep an eye out on the new battery-saving feature.

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