New Chrome Update Extends Battery Life on M2 MacBook Pro

BY Dave Johnson

Published 28 Feb 2023

How To Lock Chrome Incognito Tabs With Face ID on iPhone and iPad

Google has introduced four new optimizations to Chrome for Mac that promise to allow the browser to match Safari’s battery life. 

In December, Google updated the Chrome app for Mac with new Memory Saver and Energy Saver modes. The tech giant described it as giving users more control over their computer’s battery life and memory usage while using the browser. 

So how well do these new features work? 

Well, Google tested the battery-saving modes using Chrome 110.0.5481.100 on the 13-inches M2 MacBook Pro —with 8GB RAM— running macOS Ventura 13.2.1. The result revealed that users could watch YouTube videos for 18 hours and browse for 17 hours on the browser’s latest version. 

That’s similar to the 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 20 hours of Apple TV app movie playback that Apple promises on the M2 MacBook Pro. 

Here are other improvements that came with the Chrome update

Improvements that Came with New Chrome Update

According to 9To5Mac, here are four ways that Chrome updates improve upon the previous version. 

Bypasses Unnecessary Styles

Google analyzed several sites to identify Document Object Model change patterns that don’t affect the screen’s pixel. These include unnecessary style, layout, and paint. So, Chrome can detect these patterns early and bypass them for a faster browsing experience. 

Fine-tuning iFrames

The Chrome team also optimized the garbage collection and memory compression heuristics for recently created iframes. That way, the browser won’t require a lot of energy to reduce short-term memory usage. Furthermore, the optimization will not impact long-term memory usage. 

Tweaking Javascript Timers

Since Javascript timers are responsible for a large portion of a web page’s power consumption, it makes sense that Google would work on it. “We tweaked the way they [javascript timers] fire in Chrome to let the CPU wake up less often. 

The Chrome team also identified opportunities to cancel internal timers when the webpage no longer needs them. That way, the CPU won’t have to wake up so often. 

Streamlining Data Structures

Finally, the Chrome team identified data structures that are frequently accessed with the same key. They then optimized their access pattern.