Google Chrome Just Got a Lot Faster

By Adam Clark Estes on at

After months—if not years—of bellyaching over slow speeds and shaky stability, Google finally announced an array of improvements to Chrome that could improve the lives of millions. The company says the browser will now offer users “a faster and more efficient web.” Well, Google certainly couldn’t make it slower or less efficient.

The latest version of Chrome includes some under-the-hood upgrades that will cut down on RAM usage and improve battery life. Google explains the nuts-and-bolts in a blog post:

Chrome can now detect when a webpage isn’t busy with some other task, and use the free time to aggressively clean up old, unused memory. In practice we found that this reduced website memory usage by 10% on average, but the effect is even more dramatic on complex web apps. With Gmail, for example, we can free up nearly a quarter of the memory used by the tab.

On top of that, your tabs will now be restored in a quicker, more useful fashion. The most recent tabs get loaded first, so you can pick up where you left off more intuitively. The Flash-killing feature that we first heard about in June is now standard on the latest version. That means that Flash plugins won’t load unless you click them which, be honest, you probably won’t.

This all sounds great! We installed the update and noticed the difference in speed immediately as our most few relevant tabs (out of about 50) loaded right away. But as we all know, performance features in a press release do not always equal performance in the real world. So go ahead and restart Chrome to get the latest version, and do let us know if you notice a difference.