Chrome SUCKS (battery). But Google has a cunning plan

Chrome browser will neuter Adobe Flash ads; advertisers should use HTML5

Are you fed up of Google Chrome sucking your battery and heating up your lap when it displays Adobe Flash animations? You're not alone: Google's fed up with it, too. So it's quietly added a new feature, which selectively pauses "unimportant" Flash objects.

It's not enabled by default, though. But yesterday's beta build now makes it the default, and that'll migrate to the stable version in a few months' time. So advertisers beware!

You don't need to be running the beta to try it out: In Chrome 43, you can enable the feature for yourself.

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Frederic "baconbaconbacon" Lardinois crunches the numbers:

Auto-playing Flash content can drain your laptop’s batteries [so] Google has now partnered with Adobe to keep Flash on Chrome in check. [It] will now automatically pause Flash animations that — in Google’s words — “aren’t central to the webpage.”

Until now, the only two options Chrome offered were to allow all...or to stop all...from running. ... In my (brief) tests, the feature worked as advertised and happily blocked a number of Flash ads...from running in the background.  MORE

Who can tell us more? Jordan Kahn can: [You're fired -Ed.]

The new feature aims to detect Flash...that is actually important...and “intelligently pause content” that isn’t.

The result is to hopefully make [it] more power efficient. ... The feature is already available by default on Google’s latest beta.

Google teases that more Chrome power improvements are headed our way over the coming months.  MORE

Flash that's not "central"? That's not "important"? What does this mean? Google's Tommy Li gives some examples:

We’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing.

If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume.  MORE

Oh. That's embarrassing. Neil McAllister (or his subed) thought of a similar hed joke to mine:

Concerned that the Chrome browser seems to be eating up your laptop's battery? Google...says it's not all its fault – Adobe's to blame, too.

Beginning with the latest Chrome Beta..."Detect and run important plugin content" will be the default setting. The same change will roll out to Stable the near future. ... You'll still be able to switch back to the setting's original default, if that's what you prefer.  MORE

Cue an angry mob of Web advertisers with flaming pitchforks? Google's AdWords team's got your back:

As soon as September...this setting will be turned on by default so Chrome users can enjoy faster performance.

Over the last few years, we’ve...encourage[d] advertisers to use HTML5. [You] have three easy ways to navigate the transition.

1. Let AdWords automatically convert Flash to HTML5:..Eligible Flash campaigns...are now automatically converted to HTML5. ...
2. Create HTML5 ads easily:..Google has several free tools you can use to build new HTML5 ads...
3. Upload your own:..Soon, you’ll be able to upload HTML5 ads directly.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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