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New Chrome 57 comes with enhanced background tabs throttling to improve battery life

by Felix Omondi
chrome 57

Google Chrome is just one of those things we hate to love; the browser is the fastest one out there, but it is quite power hungry and hogs so much memory. However, for all its downsides Chrome compensates for them by giving you speed compared to other browsers.

The fact is other browsers are not that far behind Chrome in terms of speed, so if battery power is a concern. Most users will shun away from using Chrome. Browsers such as Microsoft Edge (only available on Windows PCs) and Opera claim to give you more working hours on a single battery charge.

That is to say, if you are traveling or you are far from a power outlet. Most people will opt not to use Chrome to surf the internet and instead choose other alternative browsers. If your internet connection if fast, you might not really miss Chrome if you are on other browsers like Firefox, Edge, or Opera.

Google also knows this fact; they’re losing users to other browsers due to Chrome’s memory hog and faster battery drain. They have repeatedly tried improving Chrome, and the latest effort in Chrome 57 comes with further background tab management.

With Chrome 57, any tab opened but not currently being used will be more aggressively throttled to save more power and consume less RAM space. The new Chrome version accomplishes this by more aggressively limiting the pages fire up timer rate when the browser notices those particular unused tabs are consuming more power than they ought to consume.

The browser will more aggressively delay the timers to an average CPU load of less than 1% of the core being used. However, any tab that is playing audio or video will not be throttled. According to tests by Google, Chrome 57 new background tabs policies has led to 25% drop in busy background tab activities.

The success of this new feature will also depend on webpage developers adopting new behaviors and relying on the new APIs for service workers in executing background tasks. This is as opposed to forcing tabs to stay active, even when they are in the background.

Hopefully, this means you won’t have to choose different browsers for different occasions; when you’re concerned about fast battery power drainage and when you’re not. You can keep using Chrome regardless, but first, you need to update the browser to enjoy this feature.

Click the three dots button at the top right corner of Chrome browser, go to Help > About Google Chrome. Your browser should start updating itself if it is an earlier version.

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