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.

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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.

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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% battery life magically appear overnight, when it roles out to non-beta Chrome sometime in September.

[Google via PC World]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

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