Power consumption has risen to importance in the browser world ever since mobile became the new battle ground. While it is not the only metric that matters and probably not something that most users pick a mobile browser by, it seems to gain some prominence lately due to mobile device power requirements and a lack of breakthroughs in battery technology.
A study from 2014 by Anandtech compared the battery life of a Dell XPS 15 laptop when running popular browsers and Firefox did not perform overly well in the test when compared to Internet Explorer specifically.
Firefox is not the only browser that could do better though. A recent test by the Verge showed that Chrome tapped out after less than 10 hours on a new MacBook Pro with Retina display while Safari did not until 13 hours had passed.
Another recent test concluded that Chrome is doing worst when it comes to battery usage followed by Firefox and then Internet Explorer.
There is also the Energia Dashboard highlighting cpu and power consumption of Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer on popular websites.
Mozilla's Project Candle aims to improve the power consumption of Firefox on all platforms it is offered on (meaning desktop, mobile and Firefox OS).
This is done mostly by evaluating power bugs that exist on Bugzilla but also by adding new bugs that introduce power-related improvements to Firefox to Bugzilla.
The team is working its way through all power-related bugs currently to sort them by priority. It plans to address high priority bugs first, for instance those that affect many users of the browser or will result in power improvements that are not site-specific.
The main list of power related bugs is available on this Bugzilla page. Please note that it mixes desktop, mobile and Firefox OS bugs.
Mozilla hopes to reduce power usage in all versions of Firefox by addressing these bugs and implementing new power saving methods in the browser. The organization notes that doing so may also have an effect on performance as fixes may result in lower cpu usage among other things.
Developers and Firefox users who are interested in this new project can check out the official discussion mailing list (archive) over on Google Groups.
All recent benchmarks show that Firefox could do better when it comes to power consumption, and that's exactly what Mozilla aims for in Project Candle.
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