Major battery save coming to your devices via Chrome

Chris Burns - Jul 6, 2020, 3:05 pm CDT
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Major battery save coming to your devices via Chrome

There’s a new feature coming to the Chrome web browser from Google that’ll drastically cut down on battery drain on multiple platforms. If you’re using a Windows PC, Mac (Apple), Linux (on a PC), Chrome OS, Android, or just Android WebView, you’ve got the potential to increase your device’s battery life by a noticeable amount. It all comes down to throttling Javascript timers.

The feature is currently an experiment in Google Chrome Canary 86. This experiment goes by the name “Throttle Javascript timers in background,” and it’s ready to roll right now. If you’re using Google Chrome Canary 86, you should be able to switch this feature ON by heading to a new tab with the following: chrome://flags/#intensive-wake-up-throttling and enabling “Enabled” in the tab’s drop-down menu.

After you enable this new feature, you’ll need to restart the web browser entirely before it’ll take effect. Once it takes effect, it’ll apparently lead to a massive drop in battery usage just by throttling JavaScript timers in background tabs.

Per documented tests from Google, “at median, throttling Javascript timers aggressively extends the battery life by almost 2 hours (28%) for a user with many background tabs, when the foreground tab is about:blank.”

The feature rollout includes a 50/50 Experiment on Canary via Finch, Communication on blink-dev@ to gather feedback from Web developers, and another 50/50 Experiment on Beta via Finch. After that they planned on a 1% Experiment on Stable (Chrome) via Finch, and finally 100% on Stable via Finch, synchronized with a version update.

Once this feature is approved, it’ll be “enabled by default in code.” So it’s very possible that this feature will be saving your device’s battery life in the future without you having to do anything special at all. It’ll likely be enabled in your Chrome web browser first, then eventually enabled (in some form or another) on all other applicable web browsers in the future – for the greater good of all!


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