Google Chrome gets its biggest performance upgrade yet

The company’s also throwing in a handful of new features.

Google has begun rolling out version 87 of Chrome which it says offers major performance improvements, an incredibly attractive claim for many users since the browser is known to be a performance and battery hog. The update also delivers a handful of useful new features.

But let’s chat about that performance jump. Google says it now prioritizes active tabs in Chrome which should result in a 5x reduction in CPU usage. According to the company’s benchmarks, this should also translate to a 1.25-hour increase in battery life. that’s pretty impressive given how stagnant Google’s underlying development of Chrome has been over the years.

Google’s blog post details this change much more thoroughly, but here’s the basics: Chrome now throttles JavaScript much more often in the background, and a new Occlusion Tracking in the Windows version of the app lets Chrome track what tabs are active and allocate more resources to them. According to the company, this should result in a 25 percent increase in launch time for Chrome along with a seven percent increase in page load times.

The performance increase is reason enough to upgrade to version 87 of Chrome, but Google decided to also throw in a few new features that seem like they’ll come in handy.

  • Google is introducing the ability to search for tabs you have open. That way, if you have dozens of tabs open and can’t find a specific one, locating it will be much easier.
  • Chrome Actions will let you access certain settings right from the address bar. For instance, you could search for “delete history” and be presented with an option to clear your browser history. Right now, there’s only a set amount of Actions, but more will be added over time.
  • Finally, Google will now add content cards to the New Tab page detailing recently-visited and related websites. It’s a way to “pick up where you left off,” according to the company, and will be rolling out to a few users to start out with.

Chrome 87 is now rolling out to all users.


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