Google has begun rolling out an updated version of Chrome that promises to bring speed improvements and memory management improvements. Chrome 45, for those keeping score at home, is starting to hit users of Chrome now (Chrome OS has already been updated to Build 45) so if you are using the browser on your PC, go to Settings>About to force the browser to look for the update.
In a blog post on the Chrome blog, Google points out that they have continued to focus on speed improvements in the browser. The first area was improving the “continue where you left off option” in the browser. This lets you restore tabs when you relaunch Chrome. Now the browser is a bit smarter about how it restores these tabs. Now tabs are restroed from the most to least recently viewed so you get to the fresher (and likely more important data) faster. Also, Chrome can detect if your computer is running low on resources and will stop restoring the rest of your tabs to save memory. You can of course restore them later if you’d like.
Second in this update to Chrome has a new memory saving process that can detect when a webpage isn’t busy with some other task. Chrome will then use those resources to clean up old and
unused memory. This should reduce the memory footprint of the app which, if you have a lot of extensions, can be consume a fair amount of resources. Google states that with Gmail they were able to free up nearly a quarter of the memory used by that tab. Obviously your mileage will vary but clearly it is a step in the right direction and should bring some speed back to Chrome as well.
Google put together a small video comparing Gmail in Chrome 43 and the new Chrome 45 to give you an idea of the speed and resource differences.
Finally, there is the new function of auto-pause of Flash content on a page that is non-essential.
A new setting introduced in June will auto-pause Flash content that’s not central to a website. Our testing has shown that turning on this setting makes your battery last up to 15% longer depending on your operating system, so over the next few weeks we’ll begin turning on this feature by default for all users.
Many people are referring to this feature as the Flash killer and while it will certainly help kill it off, it won’t completely. You can still have all the Flash you want on a page but as has been documented time and again, it is a resource consumer.
All-in-all a great release in Chrome 45 and one that everyone should be seeing now or in the coming days.