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Easy Google Chrome Fix Boosts Your Laptop Battery

Love or hate Chrome, few will deny it is brutal on laptop battery life. But that might be about to change…

‘Better battery life for your laptop’ is a fascinating new post on Chrome’s official blog page and in it Google software engineer and ‘power conservationist’ Tommy Li claims the team have made a major breakthrough which “significantly reduces power consumption”.

Flash Focus

Perhaps unsurprisingly the target is Adobe Flash and Li admits that while “Adobe Flash allows web pages to display rich content – sometimes that can put a squeeze on your laptop’s battery”.

To counter this Google has been working with Adobe to enable Chrome to “intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption.”

Li admits the fix may not be perfect 100% of the time, but “if we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback”.

That said Li doesn’t elaborate further on the “significant” power consumption reductions, other than to say it’s “allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet.” Some percentages would’ve been nice.

Applying the Chrome fix takes seconds...

How Do You Get It?

The good news is Chrome’s new way of handling Flash has already hit the browser’s Beta channel and Li promises it will roll out to standard Chrome installs ‘soon’. If you’re impatient, however, the changes can be made to any version of Chrome with a simple tweak.

  • Go to browser’s settings
  • Click ‘Advanced Settings’
  • Scroll to the ‘Privacy’ section
  • Open ‘Content Settings’
  • Under ‘Plug-ins’ select ‘Detect and run important plug-in content’.

You’re done. And the good news is this is just the start…

More To Come

The Chrome blog post is perhaps the first time Google has admitted its web browser is not as power efficient as it should be. This is a big change given the web browser launched in 2008 under the claim it was the lightest and most efficient web browser in the world and has undeniably undergone major feature bloat in recent years.

The good news is this admission also comes with promise of further action and Li states the Adobe tweak is just the start:

“We’ll be rolling out more power improvements in the coming months – stay tuned!”

I, for one, certainly will be…

Contributor: Gordon Kelly 

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