Web browsers uses a lot of battery when they are run on mobile devices such as laptops. While it helps to use content blockers and other extensions to remove or block elements that may draw additional power, it is still problematic from a user perspective.
Experiment 1: 36 popular sites in background tabs, about:blank in foreground.
- Current status: Median time to discharge 6.4 hours
- Throttled status: Median time to discharge 8.2 hours
Experiment 2: 36 background tabs, YouTube in foreground
- Current status: Median time to discharge 4.7 hours
- Throttled status: Median time to discharge 5.3 hours
A new Chrome experimental flag is available to enable the feature in development versions of the Chrome we browser (Canary).
- Description: When enabled, wake ups from DOM Timers are limited to 1 per minute in a page that has been hidden for 5 minutes.
Here is how to enable the experiment:
- Load chrome://flags in the web browser's address bar.
- Set the flag to Enabled.
- Restart the browser.
The feature may be introduced in Chrome 86 on the desktop (currently Canary).
Google plans to introduce an Enterprise policy to disable the intervention. The idea behind the policy is to provide administrators with an option to turn the functionality off if they notice that it breaks functionality.
Tests will be run to find out if the feature will break certain features on sites.
Other Chromium-based browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, or Opera, will get the feature as well unless the developers of the browsers deactivate it actively. It is very likely that Mozilla will implement this also in the Firefox web browser in the future.
Battery life improvements are always welcome, especially if a small change extends the battery life by a lot.
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