MacBooks with Google’s Chrome browser now have longer battery life

Google has made a number of changes to its Chrome web browser that can extend the amount of use that can be done on a single charge and improve the battery life of MacBooks. MacBook users can now use Chrome to browse the web and watch YouTube videos for longer thanks to system optimizations like JavaScript timers and memory compression. Tests on a MacBook Pro 13 (M2, 2022) achieved 17 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of YouTube video playback.

We are unable to make a direct comparison between the device’s battery life before and after this update because Google did not provide figures. However, The Verge was able to run a variety of everyday tasks on the same MacBook for 16 hours and 30 minutes. Chrome version 110.0.5481.100 was used in Google’s performance tests, and the tech giant claims that the new energy optimizations will also help older MacBook hardware. The Verge has been informed by Chrome software developer François Doray that these enhancements will also be implemented on Windows, Linux, and Android devices in subsequent Chrome releases.

But exactly what has changed? Recently developed iframes—an element that loads another HTML element inside of a webpage—had their garbage collection and memory compression fine-tuned by Google, reducing energy consumption without affecting long-term memory usage. JavaScript timers, which are designed to carry out a task or function at a specific time, have been modified to less frequently wake a device’s CPU and completely eliminate outdated timers. Last but not least, a similar update to the Chrome UI has been implemented, as has a change to Chrome that removes unnecessary steps from websites related to style, layout, paint, raster, and the GPU. The majority of these optimizations ought to be invisible to the user.

Additionally, earlier this month, Google released a brand-new Energy Saver mode for Chrome. This mode improves battery life by limiting any unnecessary background activity on websites, such as smooth animation or video scrolling or other visual effects. When compared to the same MacBook Pro 13, the search engine giant claims that activating this mode can provide users with an additional 30 minutes of browsing time (M2, 2022). Even though it’s not much, every second matters if you want to complete important tasks before your laptop dies.

On February 14 for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, the Chrome stable desktop channel received an update to version 110.0.5481.100, which Google stated would be released “over the coming days/weeks.” The update log gives you access to a comprehensive list of the changes made to this release.

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