Google’s Chrome browser is a great many things but one thing it is not, depending on you ask, is lightweight. Of course, those claims have sparked many a browser war. But whether you adhere to the church of Firefox or the religion of Chrome (or maybe even the new cult of Edge), there will always be room for improvement. In version 45 of Google Chrome, those improvements are promises in droves. Or really in three main ways that would actually matter the most to users.
The first improvement sounds almost simple enough. Chrome automatically reloads your previously opened tabs when you start it. But depending on how many tabs you had opened the last time, it could drag your computer to a screeching halt. Now Chrome will be smarter about restoring tabs. It will only immediately restore the most recently visited tabs first and will then go down history to the least visited. That way, on the assumption that the most recent tabs are the ones you’re most interested in, you get access to important tabs sooner. And if Chrome detects that you’re computer is running out of memory, it halts the automatic loading of tabs. You can still do so manually, but only at your own peril.
Speaking of memory, Google promises that Chrome will be better, aggressive even, in freeing up unused memory. When it detects that a web page is being idle, it will use that time to free up old, stale memory. Google claims an improvement of about 10 percent compared to version 43 of the browser. Interestingly, it uses Gmail as a prime example for that. Perhaps it could also work on improving Gmail’s memory consumption.
But memory and CPU isn’t the only concern of Chrome users, especially those who have to use the browser on battery powered devices, like laptops and mobile. Here, Google has a rather simple solution. Automatically pause flash content that is not central to a web page. Usually, that means Flash-based ads, especially the annoying video ones. Battery savings of as much as 15 percent was measured. Undoubtedly, there are also savings of patience.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so says Google. More improvements will be coming and more improvements are indeed needed now that Microsoft Edge seems to be preparing to enter the browser wars as well.