Chrome browser update saves Windows battery life

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Google has rolled out a stable updated for its flagship browser that supports GPU-accelerated video decoding for Chrome on Windows.

As Google engineer Amy Fischman points out, dedicated graphics chips draw far less power than a computer's CPU. As such, using GPU-accelerated video decoding while watching videos can increase battery life significantly.

"In our tests, the battery lasted 25% longer when GPU-accelerated video decoding was enabled," Fischman explained. 

"Now Chrome users on Windows will experience longer battery life so they don’t get cut off while watching their favorite YouTube video on repeat."

According to Fischman, Chrome users will now find it much easier to view and control any website’s permissions for capabilities such as geolocation, pop-ups, and camera/microphone access.

"This saves you from having to dig through settings pages to find these permissions. Now, simply click on the page/lock icon next to a website’s address in the omnibox to see a list of permissions and tweak them as you wish," she added. 

The latest stable release of Chrome for Windows also includes an option to send a “do not track” request to websites and web services. The effectiveness of such requests are obviously contingent upon on how websites and services respond, so Mountain View is currently working with others on a common way to respond to these requests in the future.

Google Chrome can best be described as a freeware web browser built around the WebKit layout engine. Chrome hit beta for Windows on September 2, 2008, with a stable public release going live on December 11, 2008. 

Google Chrome is currently believed to boast a 34% worldwide usage share - making it the most widely used web browser.