Chrome’s Battery-Draining Timer Bug Is Getting Some Attention From Google

A few days ago the ongoing topic of Chrome’s poor handling of Windows’ system timer once again reared its head, specifically how its mistreatment has a noticeable, detrimental effect on battery life. Two years after the bug was pointed out on Chromium’s issue tracker, it’s finally being poked at by the company’s developers.

Image: William Hook / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

According to the original bug post, two patches are already up for review — one that disables ramping the timer when a device is on battery power and another that will reset the timer in “many more cases” by better tracking which browser tasks are demanding high-resolution timings.

As Ron Amadeo over at Ars Technica points out, mobile devices are the focus these days and while a PC plugged into a wall doesn’t care so much about the timer’s precision (from a power usage point of view), it’s a big deal with phones, tablets and notebooks. The only problem with this observation is that the issue is exclusive to Windows, so only devices running a flavour of Microsoft’s operating system (including 8 and Phone) would benefit from a fix.

Still, the more easy wins we can make on the software side to improve battery life, the better. Of course, if you’re not particularly attached to Chrome, you could always switch to Internet Explorer, Firefox or another non-Chromium browser.

Google Chrome is not battery friendly on Windows [Chromium, via Ars Technica]

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