Google updates its Chrome and promises up to 10% faster page loads for inactive background tabs.
Google will begin rolling out several updates to its Chrome web browser today, with the goal of increasing user productivity and making the browsing experience faster.
Specifically, Google is making Chrome’s tabs and its newer tab groups easier and faster to use. Under the hood, it promises improvements that will deliver up to 10% faster page loads and those that will reduce the impact of having inactive background tabs.
Google is faster regardless of your tabs
The full set of new features addresses the concerns of advanced Chrome users who tend to have many tabs open at once and work in their browser on a regular basis.
This May, Google introduced groups of tabs, initially in beta. The feature allows users to add their open tabs to a group that they can then name and tag, to keep their various projects, tasks, applications, and other online research organized. In this release, tab groups will be implemented for all users.
Based on feedback from beta users, Google is also tweaking how tab groups work.
Chrome will now cause users to collapse and expand their tab groups, so you can focus on the ones you need to access right now. Google says this was the most popular request it heard from those using tab groups during testing. Additionally, Google is introducing a new tabbed touchscreen interface designed for laptops used in tablet mode, coming to Chromebooks first. This will make it easier for users to flip through the tabs.
In the Android version of Chrome, if you start typing a page in the address bar, you’ll see a suggestion to switch to that tab if it’s already open. Android users will also get simplified URL sharing to make it easier to copy links and share with other devices or send links through other applications.
QR codes for Chrome
In addition, they will be able to print the page or even generate a QR code to scan or download.
The new QR code feature is also coming to Chrome on the desktop and will be accessible from a new QR code icon in Chrome’s address bar.
Google will also start rolling out what will likely be a very popular new feature in this latest version: the ability to fill out and save PDF forms directly from Chrome. You can even reopen these files and pick up where you left off. However, this feature will roll out slowly over the next several weeks, Google says.
Meanwhile, the Beta version of the Chrome browser will introduce a feature that allows you to hover over a tab to see a thumbnail preview of the page. This could be especially useful for those times when you have many tabs open from the same domain, like Google Docs.
To improve the overall experience of using many tabs in Chrome, this version (version M85) will offer two improvements. The first is profile-driven optimization, which is a compiler optimization technique in which the most performance-critical parts of the code can run faster, Google explains. He says this will bring up to 10% faster page loads by prioritizing the most common tasks. The enhancement will be implemented on Mac and Windows with Chrome M85. (The technique was first introduced in M53 using Microsoft Visual C ++ [MSVC], the older build environment for Chrome. It now uses Clang and will come to both Mac and Windows).
In the Chrome Beta channel, Google is also introducing tab throttling, which brings more resources to the tabs you are currently using by reclaiming resources from tabs that have been in the background for a long time. This change should bring improvements in charging speed, battery and memory savings.
Chrome has often been criticized for being slow and resource consuming on the Mac. While user complaints can be attributed to a variety of issues, ultimately users will blame the software, not the operating system it runs on. That means Google has to make an effort to address the areas it can correct by implementing optimizations like these. However, the extent to which the improvements deliver the results Google promises will need to be confirmed by third-party tests once they arrive.