In brief: Google Chrome may soon become less performance-oriented, especially if you keep a lot of tabs open in the background. A recently discovered feature in the dev build will improve battery life for mobile devices and maybe even improve performance on old low-end PCs.

Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser, although it has also developed a reputation for eating up system resources. That may soon change to some degree, as the company tests a new feature that improves battery life for Chrome users across all platforms who like to keep a lot of tabs open.

Currently, Chrome only allows web pages to run JavaScript code once per minute after you haven’t interacted with them for more than five minutes, essentially putting inactive tabs to sleep.

About Chromebooks saw a new flag called “Fast intensive timer limitation of loaded background pages” in Chrome OS 105 (Dev Channel). This feature changes the default five-minute grace period to just 10 seconds, supposedly improving CPU time by about 10 percent.

The improvement doesn’t mean a 10 percent increase in battery life, as the CPU is only a fraction of a system’s total power consumption. Nevertheless, it can still make a noticeable difference depending on how many tabs you keep open and how inefficiently encrypted websites you visit.

The feature should be available to Chrome users on all platforms in a few months, including Windows, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Android. Other Chromium-based browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Opera, may also choose to make the change, especially considering that Edge already has an efficiency mode that works the same way.

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