Future Versions of Chrome Will Kill Flash, in the Name of Battery Life

By Chris Mills on at

It’s no secret that Google Chrome hogs RAM and battery life like an Overly Attached Browser. In an effort to reduce the strain on your poor overwhelmed laptop, Google is introducing a feature that will auto-pause ‘unimportant’ Flash elements on a webpage. Hell yes.

In a blog post, Google’s Tommy Li, a Software Engineer and Power Conservationist, outlines the update, which is being rolled out in the beta version of Chrome:

When you’re on a webpage that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption. If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback.

Disabling Flash plugins until you click on them isn’t a new idea—it’s a feature that’s been available via extensions like Flash Control for ages. But rather than granular control over every element on the webpage, Google is promising a smart Flash blocker which the average user ideally won’t notice.

Li didn’t give figures for battery life improvements with the Flash blocker enabled, but I typically see an extra hour or so of battery life when I use Flash Control on my laptop. For heavy Chrome users (and those who just can’t get enough of banner ads), the update could see an extra 10-20 pre cent  battery life magically appear overnight, when it rolls out to non-beta Chrome sometime in September. [Google via PC World]