Your laptop battery can get a free recharge thanks to a new Google Chrome feature

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This expands on a feature added in Chrome OS 88, which set a five-minute timer that prevented the scripts from running straight away. The idea was that these scripts take up CPU power, and the more your laptop’s processor is used, the faster the battery is used up. If you have a lot of tabs open that are all running JavaScript, this can then have a big impact on the battery life of your laptop. As About Chromebooks found, in Chrome OS 105 there is a new experimental flag:

One of the major issues with using Google’s web browser on a mobile device may be resolved by a new feature coming to Chrome that could enhance your laptop’s battery. There is a new flag (which is an experimental feature) in Chrome OS 105 that prevents JavaScript from running in the background on websites that you have open in tabs but aren’t currently looking at, according to the About Chromebooks website(opens in new tab).

Highlights

  • It seems that since being added in Chrome OS 88, the “Quick Intensive Timer Throttling of Loaded Background Pages” feature has been successful, leading Google to look into reducing the “conservative” grace period of five minutes to a matter of seconds. In a post on the Chrome Platform Status page(opens in new tab), it’s reported that “This is expected to extend battery life. An experiment on the Canary and Dev channels did not reveal any regression to our guiding metrics and there are [sic] significant improvement (~10%) to CPU time when all tabs are hidden and silent.”

  • How to Select the Right Microcontroller for an Application. This course will examine how to select a microcontroller using a modern process. We will examine traditional selection techniques and how modern techniques examine security, machine learning, and the software ecosystem. This, according to the documentation by Google(opens in new tab), will reduce the ‘grace period’ from five minutes to just 10 seconds, as long as the web page is opened and hidden (for example, if you open a webpage in a new tab, but don’t switch to the tab instantly).

Matt is TechRadar’s Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there’s no aspect of technology that Matt isn’t passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he’s loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He’s also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.

As a Chrome OS flag, it’s expected that this feature will primarily benefit Chromebooks, which run the operating system. It’s based on the Chrome browser, and makes use of multiple tabs, so we expect Chromebook battery lives, which are already very impressive, to get even longer. However, does this mean non-Chromebook owners are out of luck? Not necessarily, as we’d imagine this feature will also make it into the Chrome web browser, so if you use that on your regular laptop, you will also hopefully see your device lasting longer while on battery – and all for free.

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