Google Chrome ruining device’s battery life? Microsoft has a fix

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New Delhi | Updated: Aug 20, 2019 7:11 PM

Microsoft has now come up with its Windows-level power management experience through a fix to the Chromium project

google chrome, google chrome download, google chromecast, google charts, google chrome extensions, google chat, google chrome update, google chrome for pc, microsoft edge, microsoft edge downloadMedia consumption leads to high usage, extra power usage affects battery life negatively (Image source: Reuters)

It has been a few years since that Blue “E” of the Internet Explorer was replaced by the new and improved Microsoft Edge. While Explorer will always be a legacy of sorts for Microsoft, it is the company’s claim that Edge was more lenient with a laptop’s battery than Chrome is worth noting. Microsoft has now come up with its Windows-level power management experience through a fix to the Chromium project.

In 2018, prior to Microsoft dropping its own browser to replace it with Chromium, the tech giant boasted of Edge defeating Chrome in a video-streaming testing on Surface Books running Windows 10.

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Microsoft, which now contributes to Chromium, recently added a commit which shows how Google could enhance a device’s battery life by altering the manner in which Chrome caches video.

Adding that these days media content is cached to disk through acquisition and playback, keeping the said disk active while this process continues, Shawn Pickett, a senior software engineer, Microsoft said that it increases power consumption and can also avert certain lower-power modes from being engaged into the operating system.

The report by ZDNet further quotes him as saying that as media consumption leads to high usage, the extra power usage affects battery life negatively. The change will prevent the caching of certain media content to disk in order to improve upon the device battery life.

Pickett also went on to suggest that Chromium stops ‘streaming media content from caching to disk where possible”, citing his document on a Microsoft Edge page on GitHub, which highlights the main concern – how to improve battery life by stopping unnecessary media caching.

He also noted that his proposal is aimed at media playback instances where the user is watching content and, on occasions, is accessing other content as well.

Keeping in mind these instances, Pickett explains that disabling the disk caching has no drawback as the existing Media Source implementation already keeps the recent content in memory, the user will still be able to engage in usual tasks like going backwards a few seconds during playback without the need to get the content from the network again. The seek responsiveness, at present, will be kept in these instances.

A Google engineer, in a note posted to the Chromium Gerrit last week, demonstrated that the change adopted ” will avert the caching of certain media content to disk in order to improve the device battery life for its users.

According to Neowin, Google has also added a card, “Turn off caching of streaming media to disk” to the Canary build of Chrome for macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, Android and Windows.

The new update should benefit all Chromium-based browsers, which includes the brand new Edge, and on the side, should also help in maintaining the battery life of all Windows PCs, as well.

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