Chrome for Mac is about to get a lot faster

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Chrome for iOS  just got faster.
Chrome for iOS just got faster.
Photo: Google

If you’ve been using Google’s Chrome browser on Mac, you’ve been missing out on some serious performance gains made by Apple with its Safari browser: Not only is Cupertino’s favorite browser faster than Chrome, it also saves battery power.

But Chrome is looking to catch up with a coming update that some Mac users are raving about.

After testing Chrome 46 for more than a week, Owen Williams at TheNextWeb says the current test-build brings back the buttery-smooth performance the browser boasted when it first launched.

“I didn’t believe it would be possible at first, but after spending the better part of a week on Chrome 46 I’m blown away,” writes Williams, who says he’s had problems with Chrome in the past. “Memory consumption seems to have halved, groggy slow tabs are snappier than ever and my battery life isn’t shamefully bad anymore — also, my laptop’s fans aren’t constantly blowing.”

Some of the improvements are thanks improvements to Mac graphics performance and a new feature that puts unused background tabs to sleep when memory gets low.

Even though Chrome for Mac has made some big gains, Google’s browser still might not be enough to match the new Safari coming this fall with OS X El Capitan.

While Google has focused on optimizing Chrome to be more efficient than ever at displaying ads, Apple is adding a Content Blocker feature that will strip away JavaScript and battery-draining ads.

Researchers at BatteryBox found that using Safari instead of Chrome or FireFox could get you an extra hour of battery usage, which makes staying with Safari still a no-brainer.