Google Chrome Update Limits Flash, Increases Battery Life

Google Chrome will soon be updated to enable users to limit Adobe Flash on webpages. Google released the news in a blog post detailing the new feature.

“When you’re on a webpage that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption.”

The feature will be available by default on the upcoming Google Chrome update. Google has already begun rolling out the new feature for beta users. Other users can expect to see the updated Chrome with the new option soon.

Having the option to block unnecessary Flash is more important than you may think. As Wired explains, flash is pretty rough on your computer’s CPU. It requires a lot of power, and with power goes your battery life. Chrome has long been known as a resource-hog of an application, and it looks like Google wants to try and fix that.

If you use Chrome, soon you won’t have to see or listen to auto-playing Flash advertisements. Not only will this improvement make users happier because they don’t have to see the advertisement, but it should also significantly improve performance.

The late Steve Jobs was not a fan of Adobe Flash to say the least. The co-founder of Apple was adamant about keeping Flash away from his mobile products. In a post published in 2010, Jobs wrote down a list of why Adobe Flash wasn’t available on Apple’s mobile devices.

“Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

It appears as though Google is now in agreement will Apple’s opinion on Flash. Though Flash will still remain usable on Chrome. The user would have to enable auto-playing Flash in their Chrome browser’s options menu. You can also play individual Flash ads manually.

It’s not clear what effect Google’s newest browser feature will have on advertisers. As Ars Technica writes, advertisers will probably abandon Flash altogether as a result of Google’s decision. The advertisement industry will likely switch from Flash to another, more modern alternative, like HTML5.

You can try out the new version of Chrome by downloading the latest beta build. Just know that beta applications may crash often and have other stability or functionality issues.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]