If you’ve noticed that Google Chrome is a major drain on your MacBook’s battery, you’re not imagining it. Google has been aware of the issue for a while, and now, it’s finally addressing the issue.
Peter Kasting, a senior software engineer on the Google Chrome team, posted on his Google Plus page on June 10 that several improvements have been made to the browser for OS X. For instance, renderers for background tabs now get a lower priority. This reduces idle wakeups, which can eat up a device’s battery.
Google strongly based its improvements to Chrome’s overzealous battery usage by comparing it to Apple’s Safari browser. For example, it tested the browser on Amazon.com, finding a total of 768 wakeups over 30 seconds. Safari had just 312 wakes over the same time period. With a 59 percent reduction in timer firings, Chrome now clocks in with about 316 wakeups in 30 seconds (closer to Safari’s total).
Another improvement to Chrome applies to the Google search results page. Instead of using 0.3 percent of the CPU, Chrome now utilizes 0.1 percent as a result of a 66 percent reduction in timer firings. On CapitalOne.com, Chrome has cut the number of wakeups from 1010 to 720.
Many of the improvements made to Chrome have been through reducing timer firings and CPU use. However, this isn’t the end of the upgrades for the popular browser, according to Kasting.
“The Chrome team has no intention of sitting idly by (pun intended) when our users are suffering,” Kasting wrote on his Google Plus page. “You should expect us to continually improve in this area.”
Chrome has been changing its face in many ways as of late. Google also recently announced that Chrome would only allow extensions to be installed from the Chrome Web Store, in an effort to block malicious extensions.