Chrome is a well loved but notoriously hungry browser. Let’s just say we have a lot in common.
Right now, opening up my task manager shows me the only thing currently even trying to put a dent in my computer hardware is Chrome. It’s chomping up CPU and RAM far more than anything else I’m running while doing basic work.
And most users would find themselves in the same boat, especially if you’re a bit of a tab fiend like me, or just have no work life balance like apparently everyone in 2020. It’s certainly no secret, and it looks like Google is working to fix the problem, at least somewhat.
The final Chrome updates of 2020 are being released, and they’re boasting some pretty nifty fixes to help with performance.
One big improvement is the prioritisation of active tabs. This is great if you’ve got several tabs open because you’re keeping an eye on emails, socials, Trello, writing a document, have several source documents also open, waiting for that thing to go on sale, and maybe looking at pics of puppies as well because it’s 2020 and you just need that.
Now Chrome will know to give more oomf to those active tabs, and ramp it down a bit on that tab left open with the recipe you meant to try last night but actually couldn’t be bothered and got UberEats instead but you still have it there out of guilt and maybe a little hope that you’ll try again for today is a brand new day!
Google says this reduces by up to 5x for your CPU, which if you’re on a laptop can reportedly extend battery life by 1.25 hours. That’s a pretty huge deal.
Chrome is speedier now too. The update is increasing start up times by up to 25% and pages load 7% faster while using less RAM. I’m not sure I’ve noticed the 7% boon but every little bit counts.
Aside from performance gains, there are a few other improvements coming in the updates. Now you can pin tabs, group them, and even send them to another device. Plus, if you are a fellow tab fiend, a search function is coming so you can find that one tab again.
The address bar also has some added functionality. You’ll be able to use the address bar to complete functions like clearing browsing data. Chrome's settings have always been a bit of a maze so this is also a very welcome addition.
And speaking of that aforementioned recipe. Maybe you did close it but it looked really good and you can’t find it in your history. Chrome will be adding cards to your tab home pages which show you recently viewed relevant content.
These all sound like legitimately good and helpful changes. It’s not often I read a release blast and actually nod my head at almost every point. I guess today, I’m feeling lucky.
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