The world’s most popular browser is getting a major performance update to end the year.
Google detailed its new Chrome update in a blog post, which describes some internal changes that improve performance. Along with better performance, Chrome will also introduce some useful new features that make it easier to access some features.
First are the performance improvements. The most significant change Google made is the way Chrome handles tabs: the browser will now prioritize users’ active tab over others running in the background. According to Google, this change reduces CPU usage by up to five times while extending battery life up to 1.25 hours, although that’s based on internal benchmarks. Usage in the real world could (and probably will) differ.
Additionally, Chrome should now start about 25 percent faster and load pages up to seven percent faster, all while using less power and RAM.
Tabbed search and ‘Actions’ allow smarter navigation
Performance aside, Google added some smart features to Chrome that many users will probably appreciate. That includes ‘tab search’, which allows users to quickly search open tabs to find what they are looking for. This feature will be incredibly useful, especially for those who often have too many tabs open.
As someone who does most of my work from a web browser, I often come across an unmanageable number of tabs. I usually use Firefox, which has had a tab search feature built into the address bar for a while now and is an absolute lifesaver.
Search for tabs in #Chrome it’s a new way to find an open tab – just type in the name of the page you are looking for and it will appear. Learn more about this latest version of Chrome → https://t.co/NrsADN8PMv pic.twitter.com/1R5azL68lf
– Chrome (@googlechrome) November 17, 2020
Google is also implementing a feature called ‘Chrome Actions’ in the address bar (or as Google calls it, the ‘omnibox’).
Chrome Actions will give users quick access to settings and features; for example, typing “open an incognito tab” can open an incognito tab. You can learn more about Chrome actions on this support page.
For now, Actions will only be on the desktop versions of Chrome, but Google will likely expand it to mobile devices in the future.
In addition to Actions, when opening a new tab in Chrome, ‘cards’ will appear to help users return to previous activities. For example, cards can help you re-research gift ideas or plan a meal by sending users to recently visited content.
Google says the cards will only appear for some users to get started, and can be found in the ‘shortcut areas’. Additionally, the search giant plans to add entertainment-focused cards next year.
Overall, it seems like a pretty great update for the Chrome browser. Considering the number of people who use Chrome, these new features are likely to be welcomed by many, improving performance and making the browser easier to use.
Unfortunately for some, performance improvements come too late. Chrome has earned a reputation for consuming RAM and many people have opted for other browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, which offers better RAM management than Chrome. You can learn more about the new Google Chrome update here.