Google to 'dramatically' improve Chrome's impact on Mac battery life

The Dock on Mac
The Dock on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google is working to fix battery drain issues from Chrome on the Mac.
  • The company will limit the power that inactive parts of the browser have access to.
  • Apple's latest version of Safari will up its competition with Chrome even more.

If you have ever used Chrome instead of Safari on your MacBook, you are sure to have noticed that, while Chrome offers a lot of fantastic features, it is incredibly power-hungry and drains your battery faster than its competitors.

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal via MacRumors, Google is finally working to address these battery issues. One of the major areas they will be making changes to are inactive tabs, which are currently pulling too much power in the background.

Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in particular.

In addition to limiting the power that inactive parts of the browser have access to, such as ads, Google says that the improvements will make the parts that you actually interact with even faster.

In May, Google set out plans to improve Chrome battery toll by blocking resource-heavy ads. Chrome will also limit the resources that an ad can use before the user interacts with it. In addition to this, Chrome will soon be updated with new optimization that will allow the most performance-critical parts of the software to run even faster.

Max Christoff, Director of Chrome Browser Engineering, says that the work the company is doing is part of an ongoing investment into the overall performance of the browser across its compatible devices.

"This is an ongoing investment in improvements to speed, performance and battery life," said Max Christoff, director of Chrome browser engineering. Chrome has previously been criticized for poor use of RAM, battery draining, and privacy concerns.

Apple, in addition to its new privacy features for Safari that will be released when macOS Big Sur debuts this fall, is really starting to put pressure on Chrome. Safari will soon, for instance, make it easy for developers to port their browser extensions over, a direct shot at one of the main use cases for Chrome.

One of Chrome's biggest issues on the Mac, in addition to its privacy concerns, has always been battery drain. If Google can fix those issues, it will certainly keep its competition with Safari alive and well.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.