Google has announced plans to capitalize on its commitment to optimizing Chrome “for speed” with a set of updates expected to reduce memory usage by up to 40% and 10GB.
A new memory saving mode promises to free up memory from browser tabs that are open in the background but not in use, which the company claims will make browsing the active tab more fluid.
However, there is a caveat: because inactive tabs will be reloaded when accessed again, memory saving mode may not be suitable for sites that need to remain active in the background.
Google Chrome battery life
There’s also a new power saving mode that will detect when your device’s battery reaches 20%, at which point background activity and visuals like animations and videos will be curtailed, helping you make the most of your extra minutes.
The new settings, which are expected to significantly benefit low-power PCs and laptops that are running low on battery, can be toggled on and off in the browser’s three-dot menu when they roll out “over the next few weeks” for Chrome users on Windows systems , macOS and ChromeOS.
However, Google isn’t the only company looking to improve the performance and battery life of its browser. Microsoft has had so-called Sleeping Tabs for several months, which promise to reduce memory consumption by 85% and CPU usage by as much as 99%.
Chrome accounts for two-thirds (66%) of all desktop browser installs according to the latest versions statistics counter (opens in a new tab) numbers, with Edge lagging far behind at 11%. Safari, which accounts for less than 10% of the market, is also designed to run optimally on Apple’s own hardware.
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