Google Chrome to gain MacBook battery-saving features soon

Posted:
in Mac Software
Google's Chrome browser will consume fewer resources on Macs in the coming months, the search giant has confirmed, with the browser set to introduce a number of updates that will improve battery consumption and overall performance.




On July 5, reports started to circulate about an experimental feature in Chrome 86, which makes changes to the way it handles background webpages. The feature, which reportedly worked for the macOS version of the browser as well as other platforms, limits Javascript timer wake-ups of background webpages to once per minute, cutting down on processing when a page wasn't in view.

Initial documents seen by TheWindowsClub revealed Google's in-house experiment of the feature could allow a device's battery life to be extended up almost two hours, in an instance where a browser had 36 tabs open and no other processing occurring. Battery life was also prolonged for situations where processing was taking place, alongside the massive number of browser tabs, albeit with shorter times.

In an article about browser performance by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Google confirmed it was actively performing work to make the browser less resource-hungry.

"I view performance on Chrome as a journey not a destination," said director of Chrome browser engineering Max Christoff. "This is an ongoing investment in improvements to speed, performance, and battery life."

On being presented evidence on performance levels of a variety of browsers, Christoff admitted there were three improvements to the browser on the way in the next few months.

Along with the tab throttling, which Christoff said will have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance," the browser is also intended to gain a limit to the amount of power that advertising can use, as well as other optimizations of performance-critical elements of the browser itself.

It seems highly likely that these changes will be making their way to macOS. As well as the earlier experimental feature discovery, Christoff said he was quite encouraged by initial tests of the changes on Chrome installations on MacBooks.

The changes arrive at a time when Chrome's competitors are making major changes to how their browsers operate. Safari will be including support for more web extensions in macOS Big Sur, including those made for other browsers, as well as other performance improvements, while Microsoft's Edge has been migrated over to Chromium, the same browser engine that is used by Chrome.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    There’s a coincidence; I just wiped Chrome off my laptop a few days ago when I realised it had inserted itself into the startup items list. 
    GeorgeBMacrazorpitBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 879member
    Will it send you a cut of what they make off of your info?
    GeorgeBMacrazorpitBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Indeed. It really is time for Google to start sharing its profits with all those who supply it with all that lovely data. That might keep the anti-trust police off their backs? Even if they did, google[dot]com (as is pretty well every other google owned doman) is still blocked at my home firewall.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    svanstromsvanstrom Posts: 702member
    Will it send you a cut of what they make off of your info?
    Just like Apple give you a cut of their profits when you buy their hardware.
    muthuk_vanalingamurahara
  • Reply 5 of 16
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,243member
    Many users have noticed that the web doesn't "feel" any faster than it does from years ago - and they're largely correct in this thinking and Google is largely at fault of this with their garbage, overreaching, tracking scripts.

    As performance and average internet speed increases, the complexity and number of tracking scripts on websites has increased. Additionally these scripts are from multiple vendors, each performing duplicate functions. Google's own tracking scripts are responsible for a significant slow down of the web, and there is no efficiency between running a script for Google's analytics (which you should never do by the way), and their other services. Additionally other methods used to fingerprint the user also require significant upstream too.

    This became most noticed during the introduction of the EU's GDPR, where examples of non-tracking versions of the websites were over 90% smaller in size and significantly faster to use. (Source:  )

    GeorgeBMacDAalsethwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Why would anyone shell out big bucks for a Mac and then install Google spyware on it?  
    If you're going to do that, just buy some cheap HP garbage.
    Beatswatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 7 of 16
    another google engineering triumph: energy-efficient spyware. oh, yea!
    BeatsGeorgeBMacwatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 16
    svanstrom said:
    Will it send you a cut of what they make off of your info?
    Just like Apple give you a cut of their profits when you buy their hardware.

    Not the same at all.
    Beatswatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 9 of 16
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,476member
    Make it shine!

    BeatsGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,027member
    Google will never gain MacBook features. Just crappy half-assed copies.

    svanstrom said:
    Will it send you a cut of what they make off of your info?
    Just like Apple give you a cut of their profits when you buy their hardware.

    Except Google is a dirty company hiding this fact and most people are unaware of this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,646member
    "the browser is also intended to gain a limit to the amount of power that advertising can use,"

    I don't know if Safari does this, but I sure hope so. 90% of the time when a tab is taking up too many resources it's because of ads, not the actual content. 

    The other thing I wish Safari would do is truly block autoplaying videos. Even Apple Insider has them - it's an annoying waste of bandwidth and resources.

    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 16
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    Nearly every time I ask a client why they bothered to install Chrome on their Mac or iPhone, they say "I don't know." Then I ask, "Do you sync your account with your other devices? Because that would be a worthwhile use of a third party browser." and they almost always say "No". It's baffling.

    So, name recognition. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 386member
    Just a counterpoint here then, my main browser will be Safari for many reasons, but I like having a choice in browsers, especially since Safari is lagging in standards support. It's also nice to have a browser focussed on development and one where there are a ton of great extensions for. 
  • Reply 14 of 16
    I think this feature would be useful on any system. I manage a virtual desktop environment with finite resources and users who need chrome for a technical reason linked to G Suite. Would be great if the hundreds of tabs and background resources users had open would be less resource intensive. It already a RAM hog and requires periodic restarts of the application. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 793member
    michelb76 said:
    Just a counterpoint here then, my main browser will be Safari for many reasons, but I like having a choice in browsers, especially since Safari is lagging in standards support. It's also nice to have a browser focussed on development and one where there are a ton of great extensions for. 
    What standards support is Safari lagging in? Links?
    fastasleepsvanstrombaconstang
  • Reply 16 of 16
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    nicholfd said:
    michelb76 said:
    Just a counterpoint here then, my main browser will be Safari for many reasons, but I like having a choice in browsers, especially since Safari is lagging in standards support. It's also nice to have a browser focussed on development and one where there are a ton of great extensions for. 
    What standards support is Safari lagging in? Links?
    Pretty sure Safari supports links. :D 
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