Chrome update promises to make it stop devouring your Mac's battery

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While Google Chrome is hands down the most popular browser in the world it is also famously one of the most resource-intensive and macOS laptop users, in particular, are often complaining about its battery-devouring tendencies. While of course they can always move to Safari or take a look at the new Microsoft Edge vs. Chrome, many find it hard to switch

Well, we have good news for those that don't want to give up on Chrome, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Max Christoff the director of Chrome browser engineering, said that there are "three big improvements due in the next few months" that he claims will have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." (via Ubergizmo)

There are three primary changes in the works according to Christoff and while these benefits should carry over to any laptop using the Chrome browser, he was "specifically encouraged by early tests on Mac laptops." 

Christoff cited three components of the new build that should address some of the longstanding concerns with Chrome.

The biggest of these is a new "tab throttling" feature that is meant to both improve the resource prioritization for active tabs while simultaneously restricting the resources that are allocated to tabs that are running in the background. Particularly for users like me that are guilty of running multiple windows with a dozen or more tabs at a time, this alone sounds like a game-changer.

(Image credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Next up is a feature that looks to combat the resource-intensive ads found on some sites. Chrome will identify and limit the power allocated to them. Last up is a new optimization that is strictly about speed allowing the "most performance-critical part of the software to run even faster." 

Christoff said, "I view performance on Chrome as a journey not a destination," which is probably a fair statement regarding any piece of software. However, Chrome needs to take some serious performance strides if it wants most users to stay on that journey.

Christoff didn't specify whether these features were part of Chrome 85 or 86, both of which will arrive in the next few months. The former on August 25 and the latter on October 6 if Google holds to its current schedule, but we'll be ready to put Chrome through its paces to see what kind of an impact they have whenever the update arrives.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.