Google plans to dramatically improve battery life with new Chrome throttling move

by Surur
July 5, 2020

Google is looking at dramatically reducing the energy consumption of its Chrome browser by throttling background processes for tabs.

The company is looking at reducing the javascript wake-up timer to 1 minute for tabs which are currently in the background, a move which in some of their test cases improved laptop battery life by 28% (2 hours).

The move would limit javascript in background tabs from engaging in unnecessary tasks such as checking if the scroll position changed, reporting logs and analyzing interactions with ads.

In a test case where Google loaded 36 random background tabs and had a blank foreground tab battery life increased by 28%, and when Google had a 36 random background tabs and a foreground tab playing a YouTube video (a more realistic scenario) battery life still increased 13% (36 minutes) over no throttling.

Safari is already using a 1-minute polling interval, but in case reducing the polling limit causes web app issues, Google is considering activating the new limit only after 5 minutes of inactivity, and are considering letting enterprise users opt-out of the change using a group policy for one year.

Google will also post a message in the DevTools console when a Javascript timer is delayed by more than 5 seconds.

The move is currently in testing in Chrome 86 behind a flag, but it is not certain if it will be rolled out to mainstream users yet.

via TheWindowsClub

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