It’s no secret that Google Chrome hogs RAM and battery life like an Overly Attached Browser. In an effort to reduce the strain on your poor overwhelmed laptop, Google is introducing a feature that will auto-pause ‘unimportant’ Flash elements on a web page. Hell yes.
In a blog post, Google’s Tommy Li, a Software Engineer and Power Conservationist, outlines the update, which is being rolled out in the beta version of Chrome:
When you’re on a webpage that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption. If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback.
Disabling Flash plugins until you click on them isn’t a new idea — it’s a feature that’s been available via extensions like Flash Control for ages. But rather than granular control over every element on the web page, Google is promising a smart Flash blocker which the average user ideally won’t notice.
Li didn’t give figures for battery life improvements with the Flash blocker enabled, but I typically see an extra hour or so of battery life when I use Flash Control on my laptop. For heavy Chrome users (and those who just can’t get enough of banner ads), the update could see an extra 10-20 per cent battery life magically appear overnight, when it roles out to non-beta Chrome sometime in September.