Google Chrome could soon get a battery saving feature

Google is expected to start testing a battery saving feature for Chrome which comes courtesy of Microsoft.

Google Chrome could get a battery saving feature.

Google Chrome is possibly the most popular and widely used browser but it has a major battery draining problem. Google will now start testing Microsoft's battery saving feature for Chrome users.

Chrome's battery usage problem relies mostly on video streaming. Microsoft worked to resolve this for Chromium-based browsers through a battery saving feature. This essentially prevents media content from being cached to disk. Microsoft also improved on this feature to verify devices running on battery so that the power saving feature can be activated. Google has now confirmed (via Windows Latest) that it will start testing this battery saving feature for Chrome.

Microsoft last year added a commit to the Chromium project for Chromium-based browsers which prevented media content caching to disk to improve battery life for users. "Keeping the disk active during this process increases power consumption in general, and can also prevent certain lower-power modes from being engaged in the operating system," Microsoft's Shawn Pickett said.

A new commit has now been added which adds a check to verify that the device is running on battery and not connected to AC power. This means that the first feature introduced to prevent caching will now work only on devices which are not connected to AC power, meaning laptops. Desktops wouldn't be affected by this change.

"The potential disadvantage is that the caching behavior can now be different depending on whether the device is connected or not. Since the entire change is under a feature key, the idea is to verify that the reduction in media caching does not lead to any discernible difference in user-facing functionality between the scenarios during the testing trials," Shawn explains.

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