A beta build of the Google Chrome 43 version released yesterday defaulted a feature which identifies and pauses unimportant features which use Adobe Flash – which could end up reducing consumption of a laptop’s battery while using the browser.
The logic of Chrome’s feature is the following: more content which is displayed on a web page requiring Adobe Flash to be used translates into higher battery consumption, as the flash plugin will suck up more processing power from the CPU to handle them. To counter this, Chrome will try to identify non-essential features using Flash – such as fancy ads – and pause them so they stop draining your battery life while you’re browsing the internet.
The feature is already implemented into current Google Chrome builds; however, it is not yet set as default and may be unstable – the reason it is defaulted in the new beta build is that Google have progressively worked with Adobe to make the feature as stable as possible and unable to shut down flash processes which are important to user experience (such as YouTube videos). The Chrome 43 build which will set it as default will probably be offered as a free update somewhere in September.
To currently activate the feature, users must select the Settings panel from the browser’s menu, select Show advanced settings and then Content settings in the Privacy tab, then click on the Plugins tab and select “Detect and run important plugin content”. If this feature pauses flash content you need to see, you can simply un-pause it on the page or, if it gets annoying, simply get back to the Plugins tab and select “Run all plugin content”, which is currently set as recommended.
This move could drive another nail in the coffin of web advertisers who use Flash-based apps, which have been slowly becoming obsolete since the rise of mobile web surfing, where HTML 5 caters to a wider variety of engines and phones. Google’s advertising service AdWords has been running a campaign for some time to convince Flash-based advertisers to transition to HTML 5, probably prepping the field for this announcement. AdWords itself has the option to convert selected Flash campaigns automatically to HTML 5.
Considering that Google Chrome holds almost 64% of the market share for internet browser according to w3schools statistics, and has been constantly improving its position as the worlds most used browser since surpassing Firefox in 2012, even the most die-hard Flash advertising fans will probably consider moving their campaigns towards HTML 5.
Image Source: Rottmann