For all its popularity, Chrome can still be an irritating browser to use — soaking up processing power and draining battery life. And while these issues are true on any platform, they seem particularly acute on Macs, especially when compared to Apple's native Safari browser. Google isn't blind to these issues, though, and is keen to catch up, with senior Chrome engineer Peter Kasting this week explaining several recent tweaks to the browser aimed at improving performance.
"Expect us to continually improve in this area."
In a post on Google+, Kasting outlines a number of under-the-hood adjustments that should be making their way to regular users soon, including changing how Chrome renders pages to prioritize foreground tabs over background tabs, and reducing the CPU strain when loading pages such as Google search results. "The Chrome team has no intention of sitting idly by (pun intended) when our users are suffering," says Kasting. "You should expect us to continually improve in this area."
Earlier this month, Google introduced a much-needed feature for Chrome to beta users: pausing unnecessary Flash content on websites. As Google explained then, the change is simple enough but "significantly reduces power consumption" — meaning more battery life for both Mac and PC users. The most recent tweaks outlined by Kasting should also contribute to this, arriving on the beta version of Chrome in around six weeks' time and the stable version six weeks after that.