We know the M1 and M2 MacBooks get incredible battery life, but the exact number can vary wildly depending on which apps you’re using. The latest Chrome update is designed to make sure Chrome is one of the best.
Google on Tuesday revealed some details about the new version of its browser that will be particularly interesting to MacBook users. Due to “a ton of optimizations under the hood,” Google has made Chrome more power-efficient and less taxing on the MacBook’s battery. Google claims that its new optimizations allow users to browse for 17 hours on a 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, which matches Apple’s claim for Safari on the same laptop.
Google also claims you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos for 18 hours. Apple doesn’t provide a battery life rating for YouTube in Safari, but it does claim a 20-hour battery life while watching videos in the TV app.
The under-the-hood optimizations, which will also impact older MacBook models but to a lesser degree, are detailed on Google’s Chromium Blog:
- iframes: Inline frames (iframes) are used to host other HTML elements within a webpage, such as videos or ads. Google has fine-tuned the “garbage collection and memory compression heuristics” for recently created iframes so they use less energy and memory.
- Data structures: When Chrome has to access a data structure frequently, the browser now can optimize the access to that data.
- Screen redraws: Google did research with websites to identify Document Object Model change patterns and adjusted Chrome to detect “unnecessary style, layout, paint, raster, and GPU steps” to prevent unnecessary screen redraws.
Last December, Chrome released Energy Saver, which activates when Chrome senses that the MacBook battery has reached 20 percent battery life. Energy Saver limits background activity and the visual effects of animations and videos on a website.
The new version of Chrome is available for download. Users who are already using it can check for an update by launching Chrome, clicking on the Chrome menu, and then selecting About Chrome. The browser will download the update if available and restart to complete the installation.