Tab search in Chrome is a new way to find an open tab

Tab search in Chrome is a new way to find an open tab

Google is winding up in 2020 with what it requires are significant performance enhancements to the company’s Google Chrome browser. “This month’s update describes the largest gain in Chrome performance in years,” Matt Waddell, Chrome’s director of product, wrote in a blog post.

Sounds pretty impressive on the surface, no? Waddell announces a slew of under-the-hood changes and optimizations that have led to boosts to Chrome on several fronts.

The first has to do with tabs. Chrome now will prioritize your current tab over the others in the background, “reducing CPU usage by up to 5x and extending battery life by up to 1.25 hours (based on our internal benchmarks).”

Google goes into a more comprehensive feature on just what it’s doing to keep tabs in check (hint: it involves throttling JavaScript) at the Chromium blog. “We’ve done this without sacrificing the background features that users care about, like playing music and getting notifications.”

But even starting Chrome should feel faster. The browser now launches 25 per cent more quickly hopefully to where you’ll see the difference. It loads pages up to 7 per cent more quickly, “and does all of this utilizing less power and RAM than before.”

Google is also adding tab search, which is precisely what it sounds like and could be a godsend for those of us immersed under an avalanche of them. “You’ll now be ready to see a list of your open tabs — although of the window they’re in — then immediately type to find the one you need.”

This feature is debuting on Chromebooks first and then growing to other desktop versions of Chrome.

The address bar is becoming a bit more useful with something Google calls Chrome Actions, “a more active way to get things done with just a few keystrokes.”

For example: when you type “edit passwords,” or “delete history,” you can now take action right from the bar. Our first set of activities — available initially on desktop — concentrates on privacy and security so that you can improve your peace of mind in a few clicks.

And last, you might soon see “cards” when you open a new tab in Chrome.

To assist you to jump back into activities like organizing a meal, researching a holiday gift, or bending down with a video, we’ll soon add cards to your new tab page in Chrome. Clicking on them will take you to recently-visited and relevant content on the web, and save you time in the process.”

For now, cards will only seem “for some users” beneath the shortcuts area; Google states it’s planning to add entertainment-focused cards in 2021.

All these things collectively add up to a significant update for the world’s most popular web browser. And they get on the very day that Apple is being lauded for the speed and efficiency of its new M1 Mac computers.

Talking of which, Chrome for macOS also makes a new icon that’s a more suitable fit for the latest Big Sur release. But if the optimizations meet Google’s claims, I’m way more passionate about the enhanced efficiency. The update to Chrome 87 is rolling out.


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