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Google tests battery-conserving feature suitable for billboards tabs

Sharon Harding

Google is testing a method to extend a Chromebook’s battery life by changing the way it works with the Chrome web browser. This is shaping up to be a potentially lucrative update for users who leave a lot of tabs open on their Chromebooks.

Google Chrome currently cuts down on CPU time and throttles CPU load for any tabs you haven’t touched or viewed for five minutes. Google calls this “intense throttling of JavaScript timer wake up,” and it’s supposed to help save system battery life. This feature activates the page once every 60 seconds to check whether you are actively re-using the tab.

It looks like Google is interested in taking the idea further, at least for Chromebook users. About Chromebooks This week saw a new flag in Chrome OS 105, which is currently being tested in the Dev Channel, that changes this five-minute duration to 10 seconds.

“This is expected to increase battery life,” reads the Chrome features page. “An experiment on the Canary and Dev channels revealed no regression in our guiding metrics, and there are significant improvements (~10 percent) in CPU time when all tabs are hidden and silent.”

As mentioned with Chromebooks, the expected profit will increase as more browser tabs are opened. In this scenario, the JavaScript code should use 10 percent less energy, but that’s just one of many things that can drain a Chromebook’s battery life at any time.

This feature is still under development; Should it make it to the general public, it’s not expected until Chrome OS 105. Most Chromebooks currently run Chrome OS 103.

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