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article imageGoogle Chrome is going on a diet today

By James Walker     Sep 4, 2015 in Technology
Google has updated its Chrome web browser with several new features designed to make the browsing experience feel much faster, especially on low-end devices. There are also some major improvements to battery life, another traditional issue in Chrome.
Google claims in a blog post that speed is "one of the founding principles" of Chrome. That isn't always confirmed by users though as the browser is notorious for its high memory usage and often lacklustre performance.
From today, Google is hoping to change that with the release of Chrome 45. The company is improving on the two most prominent shortcomings of the hugely successful browser: memory usage and power consumption.
Chrome now analyses running webpages to detect when they aren’t doing much work. It can then use that free processor time to clean up old memory and filter the junk out. Google claims that this process can free up 10% of memory, compared with Chrome 43.
Google has released a video comparing the two versions. It clearly shows that 45 uses significantly less memory than 43 across all of its running operations. Some websites benefit more than others with Google's own Gmail web app seeing a 25% reduction in memory usage in Chrome 45.
Many users enjoy Chrome's ability to re-open all of the tabs from the last session when the browser is started. However, This can cause a considerable delay as the browser reloads all the pages. Google has been working on this issue too, making the feature more intelligent so you can get back to work faster.
Tabs are now restored in order from most to least recently viewed. The tab you were working in when the browser was closed will be reloaded first. The others will then load sequentially in the background.
The process will stop if restoring tabs begins to consume large amounts of CPU power or memory to prevent Chrome from hogging your computer's hardware capabilities. The rest of the tabs can be manually restored by clicking on them. This procedure will make Chrome much quicker to resume after start-up and keep more system resources free for other applications.
As was recently reported, Chrome 45 also pauses Flash-based content by default. Flash media on websites is "frozen" unless it is detected as being the main content, such as a video player. Google says that this can increase battery power by as much as 15%. The setting has been available to manually enable since June.
Chrome 45 is rolling out now but Google promises even more improvements in future versions. It seems as though one of the most resource-intensive browsers is finally being trimmed back a little, giving low-power, small-battery devices a better chance to breath.
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