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Google says Chrome browser update saves memory, improves speed, and reduces crashes

The improvements are good for Windows, macOS, and Android users, but there was no word on iOS users

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Photo (c) SKrow - Getty Images
There’s good news for Chrome users who think Google’s internet browser is slow and a memory hog. The company says it’s made some big time improvements in the efficiency column with Chrome 89, the newest version of its browser that was released earlier this month. 

Those improvements are supposed to be good for users on Mac machines, Windows computers, or Android phones. However, Google made no mention of any improvements specifically for Apple iOS (e.g. iPhones and iPads) users.

Chrome 89 is the second update Google’s made on its legacy browser this year. In January, it released version 88, which was focused mostly on security fixes.

What Google claims will be better

Google’s laundry list of improvements is a little deep in the weeds technically-speaking, but here’s what you can expect:

Memory improvements on Windows and Mac computers: In Chrome M89, Google says it’s seeing “significant memory savings” of up to 22 percent on Windows machines. To make that happen, the company is “discarding” memory that the open tab is not actively using, such as big images you’ve scrolled off screen. 

When it comes to Mac computers, Chrome is also shrinking its memory footprint in background tabs and says it’s seeing up to 8 percent memory savings. “Finally, with more data from the field on tab throttling, we’re seeing up to 65 percent improvement on Apple Energy Impact score for tabs in the background, keeping your Mac cooler and those fans quiet,” wrote Mark Chang, the company’s Chrome Product Manager.

Improvements on Chrome for Android: Google says it’s “repackaged” Chrome on Android so that users who were frustrated by occasional crashes should see those misgivings happen less. In addition, the company claims there’s a 5 percent improvement in memory usage, 7.5 percent faster startup times, and up to 2 percent faster page loads. 

For Android users who bought the latest Android devices (Android Q+ and 8GB+ of RAM), Google says those metrics will be even better.

“Finally, we’ve built a way for Chrome on Android to start up 13 percent faster,” Change says, citing the use of “Freeze-Dried Tabs.” “Chrome now saves a lightweight version of your tabs that are similar in size to a screenshot, but support scrolling, zooming, and tapping on links. We use these Freeze-Dried Tabs at startup while the actual tab loads in the background, getting you to your pages faster.” 

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