In a rare admission that its Chrome browser may not be as lite and power efficient as previously claimed, Google touted a new update aimed at improving battery life on laptops on its Official Blog. Once touted for being the lightest and most efficient Web browser available, Chrome is now notorious for sucking down hard on laptop batteries when displaying animations and videos. However, Google’s latest updates to Chrome aim to correct that problem, and the results do look promising.
The update is currently only available for Chrome Beta, but you can get it now – Image credit Google.
If you’re an avid online video fan, it won’t come as a surprise that the main target of the update is Adobe Flash and how it impacts performance and battery life. In the blog post, Google engineer, Tommy Li, states that the new update provides “better battery life for your laptop” and “significantly reduces power consumption”. However, in the same post, Li also states“Adobe Flash allows web pages to display rich content – sometimes that can put a squeeze on your laptop’s battery” Li continues further to say Google has been working with Adobe to enable the Chrome browser to “intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption.
Nevertheless, the Chrome update and fix is not perfect as Li readily admits, “if we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback”. Furthermore, Li doesn’t provide many details on how “significant” the power consumption reductions are, other than to say they are “allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet.”
How Do You Get the New Update?
Setting up the fix in the new update required only one mouse click – Image credit Google.
Google has already released the update and fixes for beta versions of Chrome, and Li states that updated for standard Chrome installations will be available “soon.” However, if you don’t want to wait for the updated installation, you can tweak you current version of Chrome with the following steps:
1.) Go to “Settings” (the little gear icon)
2.) Click “Advanced Settings”
3.) Scroll down to the “Privacy” section, and then click “Content Settings”
4.) Select the “Detect and run important plug-in content” option under the “Plug-ins” header.
And, that’s it; you’re done.
Li promises new updates and improvements for battery life by saying “We’ll be rolling out more power improvements in the coming months – stay tuned!” We’ll be looking forward to those updates. YouTube + Chrome on a laptop equals terrible battery life, and we can’t wait for that to change.