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Stop in the name of battery life! Chrome beta automatically pauses Flash elements

chrome intelligently pause flash acer chromebook
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Battery life in laptops has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, but no matter how much battery life you have, it always seems like you need a little bit more. Google seems to understand that, and a coming update to Chrome could help users squeeze those extra few minutes in before shutting the lid.

An update to the Chrome beta now allows the browser to detect and intelligently pause Adobe Flash animations, according to a post on the Google Chrome Blog. The intelligence comes in what it pauses, not how it’s done. Those Flash animations that aren’t important to the content of the page will be paused, while key elements like videos will continue to play as they always have.

This update “significantly reduces power consumption,” according to the blog post. It will also likely have the side effect of slightly boosting performance on aging hardware.

Related: New Chrome extension from Google yells at nearby computers to transfer data

Of course, this isn’t an entirely new idea. Similar functionality has been available in Apple’s Safari browser and even in Chrome via third-party extensions for some time now. Still, it’s nice to see this implemented in the browser itself. Google has been working with Adobe on this feature, so it’s far less likely to cause problems with certain sites than similar third-party implementations.

If you need to manually enable the feature, or if you wish to disable it, this can be done in the Chrome content settings. Just select the “detect and run important content” under Plugins. If you wish to have all Flash disabled by default, you’ll also find the “let me choose when to run plugin content” open available here.

The feature is rolling out on the Chrome beta channel today, and is enabled by default on the new build. The feature is said to be coming to all Chrome users in the near future, though according to a Google+ post dug up by PC World, it likely won’t be turned on by default until September.