Chrome and ChromeOS 105 feature could make your device’s battery last longer

Battery life can make or break a device, no matter how beautiful or trendy. Although battery performance is highly dependent on the hardware and usage of said device, it is no secret that the Chrome browser is a memory hog. However, it looks like Google is readying a change that might help with this, and it will be available on desktop versions of Chrome as well as ChromeOS.

About Chromebooks uncovered a flag in ChromeOS 105 (Dev Channel) which expands on a version 88 change and could boost Chromebook battery life. The change affects background JavaScript on browser tabs you have opened but aren’t using. For example, back in the Chrome OS 88 days, Google introduced “Intensive throttling of Javascript timer wake-ups,” which essentially woke up a web page every 5 minutes to re-run the code. Basically, the idea was that running code more frequently on a page drained a Chromebook’s battery faster, whereas throttling said code reduced overall energy use.

However, in version 105, we see the introduction of the chrome://flags#quick-intensive-throttling-after-loading experimental flag, which enables a feature called “Quick intensive throttling after loading.” The feature is described as “for pages that are loaded when backgrounded, activates intensive throttling after 10 seconds instead of the default 5 minutes. Intensive throttling will limit wake ups.

chrome://flags#quick-intensive-throttling-after-loading flag
Source: About Chromebooks

On the Chrome Platform Status page, the feature is said to be expected to extended battery life by about 10% when all tabs are hidden and silent, as found in experiments conducted on the Canary and Dev channels. That said, it’s important to note that this only applies to the JavaScript code on those tabs.

It would be interesting to see how much this feature does improve battery life in real-world situations once it reaches the Stable channel. Unfortunately, as I usually tend to stay in the Beta channel, I probably won’t be able to try this out for a few more weeks, but I definitely intend to put it through its paces once I’m able to. I will take any improvement in battery life however I can get it on both my Chromebook and my other devices in which I use Chrome.

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