Google has announced a new update for Chrome that will enable it to intelligently pause Flash content to increase performance and laptop battery life. The feature is designed to only show Flash content that is central to the webpage you are looking at.
Google says it has been working with Adobe “to ensure that your experience on the web can be power-efficient as well as rich and interactive.” Chrome is already one of the best browsers you can get on Windows and Mac OS X, but it can be a battery hog when used on notebooks.
To solve this problem, Chrome will now pause Flash content — such as animations — that aren’t central to the content you’re viewing. Flash videos will continue to play without interruption, and if you wish to see something that’s paused, you can simply click it.
“This update significantly reduces power consumption, allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet,” Google says. It should also improve performance — including RAM usage — because Chrome will no longer have to load so much Flash content.
The new feature is rolling out in the latest Chrome beta, and will be coming soon to the regular Chrome release. If it isn’t automatically enabled by default for you when you get the update, you can active it by selecting “Detect and run important plugin content” in Chrome’s content settings.