Google Chrome won’t drain your Macbook battery as much anymore

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Up until now, MacBook users seeking the ultimate browser for top battery life have often used Safari, Apple’s own offering, which has been optimized specifically to work in harmony with the company’s other hardware and software.

However this could all be about to change, with the latest version of Google Chrome promising to match Safari’s level of energy efficiency for simple web browsing tasks.

What’s more, opting to use the recently introduced Energy Saver mode will allow Chrome to even exceed Apple’s battery life predictions.

Chrome laptop battery life

Currently, Apple claims a typical battery life of 17 hours under “wireless web” usage on a 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, its best performer in terms of battery life. Google’s testing on that same device (without Energy Save mode enabled), and using Chrome 110.0.5481.100, produced an equal prediction.

Additionally, those tests indicate that a user may be able to stream YouTube content for 18 hours, though this doesn’t quite match Apple’s 20-hour prediction for streaming on the Apple TV app.

Google said that to improve Chrome’s power usage, it tuned iframes to reduce short-term memory usage, reduced how often Javascript timers wake as developers turn to more efficient APIs, streamlined data structures, and eliminated unnecessary redraws to avoid wasting energy.

While testing was carried out on the latest Mac hardware, the developers also suggest that similar benefits will be seen on older models. It’s unclear whether this affects previous Intel-based models, or whether it’s a change primarily focused on devices running Apple Silicon. TechRadar Pro has asked Google to confirm this.

Users looking to eke out the most battery life – on any device – can also choose to enable Energy Saver mode which disables some background activity and visual effects, though the most profound effects are likely to be seen on lower-performance models.

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