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How Google Will Make Flash Content Load Smarter in Chrome

battery plain tile

From MacBooks to Chromebooks – battery life is crucial

Chrome is to get smarter about the way it runs battery-sapping Flash web content.

Google has worked with Adobe, the makers of the power-hungry plugin, on a way to balance power efficiency without hiding popular Flash-based web content.

The result?

An intelligent auto-detect feature that only loads the primary Flash content on a page, like a video player or game.

Everything else is ‘paused’.

Google say the feature will “significantly” reduce Chrome’s power usage so that you can browse the web for longer without needing to dive for a charger.

Chrome’s power management… let’s call them ‘shortcomings’… are well known. A recent test performed on the new Apple Macbook showed using Chrome over Apple’s Safari web-browser uses reduces battery life by over three hours.

It’s On The Beta Channel Now

intelligent flash chrome setting

Smarter in a click

If you’re on the Google Chrome Beta channel you will automatically enrol in the new ‘intelligent’ flash behaviour shortly.

If you’re saddled up on the developer channel you can also ‘opt-in’ to the feature from the ‘Content Settings > Plugin’ section in Settings:

  1. Open Chrome’s Settings page
  2. Click the “Show advanced settings” link at the bottom of the window
  3. Under the “Privacy section” click the “Content settings” button
  4. Under the “Plugins” section select “Detect and run important plugin content”

Once enabled all Flash elements secondary to the main activity you’ve visited the page for, be it watching a video or playing a game, will ‘intelligently pause’ until you click on them.

Google say they’ll be  rolling out further improvements to power consumption in the coming months.

A quick tip for those who would prefer to load ALL flash content on demand, when they want it so that nothing is chomping away in the background, is to select the ‘Let me choose when to run plugin content’ option.

Summary

  • A new default setting will ‘intelligently pause’ irrelevant Flash content on web-pages
  • The feature will help improve battery life when Chrome is running
  • Other plugin management options, including ‘play on demand’, remain available
  • Beta channel users will receive the update starting today