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Chrome will no longer eat up all your battery life

The days of Chrome eating all your device’s power are numbered after Google decided to put the browser on a diet.

Almost a year after it was smashed in a power deathmatch by Microsoft Edge, the engineers behind Chrome have moved to throttle the amount of juice that background tabs sap away.

Detailed in a post on the Chromium blog, version 57 of Chrome will cut down the “timer fire rate” for background tabs that are judged to be using “excessive power”.

In testing, Google has found that this much-needed throttling policy reduces the amount of busy background tabs by 25%. The hope is to one day fully suspend background tabs.

“Chrome will continue to take steps in this direction to prolong users’ battery life, while still enabling all the same experiences developers can build today,” said Alexander Timin, software engineer and power saver at Chromium.

The move won’t affect anyone who plays audio or has any other real-time communications – such as chat – open in a background tab, so there’s no need to worry on that front.

In our warts-and-all comparison of the web’s six best web browsers, Chrome came out on top with four out of five – that goes to show why almost 60% of desktop users opt for the browser as their number one.

Is Chrome your browser of choice? Let us know in the comments below.

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