Will Chrome OS 105 Carry a Feature to Improve Chromebook Battery Life?

Tech giant Google is currently in the process of testing a new feature for Chromebooks that have the potential to substantially improve laptop battery life.  The upcoming developer release of Chrome OS 105, apparently, has a test feature that could help to minimize the polling activity of a site’s JavaScript.

As a matter of fact, the idea of throttling background JavaScript activity was first introduced in Chrome OS 86, but it was much more conservative in its application. Then, Chrome OS version 88 was the first to introduce the change, when Google introduced “Intensive throttling of javascript timer wake-ups”. Of course, since Google Chrome is currently in release version Chrome 103, the new feature may take some time to reach your Chromebook.  That is, of course, unless you choose to opt into the existing developer channels.

Effectively, here is how the new test feature works; but first let’s take a look at how Chrome uses resources like battery life.  Like so many other web browsers, Chrome will idle background tabs. When idling, these background tabs require less active CPU time, and that means they use less battery life.  In Chrome, any background page idles with the CPU load throttled after five background minutes; and this could be a new tab in the same window or a new window where none of the opened tabs are in focus (or actively in use).  When in that state, these tabs/pages will “wake up” only one time every minute to check for any activity.

Google is proposing, instead, to throttle each page’s CPU load after only ten background seconds, not every five minutes.  A Chrome feature page describes that this simple shift is expected to extend laptop battery life.