New Google Chrome update increases MacBook battery life — here's how

MacBook Pro battery life increase
MacBook Pro battery life increase (Image credit: Future)

Google announced today that newest Chrome update now lets MacBook owners squeeze out more productivity out of their browsing sessions. In other words, if you're a macOS user, you can surf the web for much longer than ever before. Say hello to more battery life!

Google tested the newly optimized Chrome on an 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro (2022); it discovered that the laptop endured a browsing session for 17 hours and a YouTube-watching marathon for 18 hours. Win!

How did Google improve macOS' battery life on Chrome?

Google tinkered with Chrome's under-the-hood operations to maximize browsing sessions on a single charge. Some of the tweaks and optimizations the search-engine giant made consist of the following:

  • Fine tuning memory compression heuristics and garbage collection for iFrames. This begets lower energy consumption to reduce short-term memory usage.

Google Chrome improvements

Google Chrome improvements to RAM (Image credit: Google)
  • Improving the way Javascript timers are fired in Chrome to reduce the frequency in which the CPU wakes up. After all, Javascript timers are one of the greatest culprits of power consumption for web pages, so Google pulled out all the stops to ease its burden on the CPU.

Javascript timer

Javascript timer (Image credit: Future)
  • Streamlining structures of data. Google tracked down data structures in which "there were frequent accesses with the same key and optimized their access pattern," Chrome Software Developer François Doray said in a press release.

Streamlining data structures

Streamlining data structures (Image credit: Google)
  • Getting rid of unnecessary style, layout, paint, raster and GPU steps. Google used a bot on real-world sites to identify Document Object Model (DOM) pattern changes that add zero value to the pixels on the screen — and eliminated them to optimize Chrome's UI.

To squeeze out even more battery life out of your MacBook, you can take advantage of Chrome's Energy Saver mode, too. Although Google tested the new-and-improved Chrome on the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, the company says that other Macs should see performance gains, too.

Google admits there's "more work to be done," but it's one-step closer to making Chrome a power-efficient paradise.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!