Google is trying to make Chrome less of a resource hog

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Google Chrome is to become faster and more efficient on macOS, following criticisms — and following similar improvements already made on other platforms.

Google's Chrome browser is known for being bloated and slow on the Mac — and was recently demonstrated to be many times less efficient than Safari. Now Google is claiming to be undertaking "ongoing efforts" to improve the browser.

"Chrome is also shrinking its memory footprint in background tabs on macOS, something we've been doing on other platforms for a while," writes Mark Chang, Chrome Product Manager, in a blog post. "We're seeing up to 8% memory savings, which is more than [one gigabyte] in some cases!"

"In addition to improving how we allocate memory, Chrome is now smarter about using (and discarding) memory," he continues. "Chrome now reclaims up to 100MiB per tab, which is more than 20% on some popular sites, by discarding memory that the foreground tab is not actively using, such as big images you've scrolled off screen."

The improvements are in the latest Chrome M89 release, which will reportedly now use a new Google-written advanced memory allocator — for Android and 64-bit Windows. For Windows, Google says it's getting up to 22% memory savings, and has improved the browser's responsiveness by up to 9%.

There is no detail of when Mac users may see this, but Google does also report on a significant improvement for Chrome's macOS version.

"[We're] seeing up to 65% improvement on Apple Energy Impact score for tabs in the background," says Chang, "keeping your Mac cooler and those fans quiet."

Google's previous Chrome 87 update recently improved issues for Mac users. It's available in a native Apple Silicon version which, separately, Google notes gains a 25% faster launch time.

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