A new feature coming to Chrome could increase your laptop’s battery life – potentially solving one of the biggest problems with using Google’s web browser on a mobile device.
This expands on a feature added in Chrome OS 88, which sets a five-minute timer that prevents scripts from running immediately. The idea was that these scripts would consume CPU power, and the more your laptop’s processor is used, the faster the battery will be used.
As about the Chromebooks found, in Chrome OS 105 there is a new experimental flag:
This one, according to Google documentation (opens in new tab)will reduce the ‘grace period’ from five minutes to just 10 seconds, as long as the webpage is both open and hidden (for example, if you open a webpage in a new tab but don’t switch to the tab instantly).
Analysis: What does it mean for you?
It seems that since it was added in Chrome OS 88, the “Quick Intensive Timer Throttling of Loaded Background Pages” feature has been successful, leading Google to reduce the “conservative” grace period from five minutes to a matter of seconds.
In a post on Chrome Platform Status Page (opens in new tab), it is reported that “This is expected to extend battery life. An experiment on the Canary and Dev channels did not reveal any regressions to our guidance metrics and there are [sic] significant improvement (~10%) in CPU time when all tabs are hidden and silent.”
As a flagship of Chrome OS, this feature is expected to primarily benefit Chromebooks, which run the operating system. It’s based on the Chrome browser and uses multiple tabs, so we’d expect the Chromebook’s already very impressive battery life to get even longer.
However, does that mean that non-Chromebook owners are out of luck? Not necessarily, as we imagine this feature will also make its way to the Chrome web browser, so if you use it on your regular laptop, you’ll also see your device last longer on battery power – and all for free.
This remains an experimental feature for now, so it’s not turned on by default, although you can turn it on by going to chrome://flags and finding it there. Hopefully, after a period of testing to ensure it doesn’t cause any issues, it will be added to Chrome OS and Chrome in the near future.