Safari update will boost battery life on MacBook Pro

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Safari will be kinder to MacBook Pro battery life.
Safari will be kinder to MacBook Pro battery life.
Photo: Apple

A Safari Technology Preview rolled out this week brings changes that make battery life even better on the MacBook Pro.

Release 23 of Apple’s web browser is better at switching between GPUs for WebGL content, which means your MacBook’s dedicated graphics chip carries out less work.

Apple rolls out Safari Technology Preview updates every two weeks, but they don’t contain any notable changes all that often. Release 23 is different — particularly for those who own a MacBook Pro with a dedicated graphics chip.

Using a more advanced algorithm, Safari can better determine when it needs to activate a Mac’s dedicated GPU to load a webpage, rather than just firing it up every time a WebGL page is rendered as it does today.

By using the GPU less, Safari becomes more efficient and doesn’t eat into battery life quite as much as it did before on Macs with dedicated GPUs. It should be noticeable if you browse the web a lot (who doesn’t?) on your MacBook Pro.

This change follows other battery-life optimizations Apple made for the latest MacBook Pro lineup following a bad review from Consumer Reports. It turns out that another bug in Safari was causing the browser to drain the battery faster than it should have.

In addition to this change, Apple has fixed gamepad support for PS4 controllers and exposed more direction pads for other types of game controllers. You can find a long list of other changes and fixes in the Safari Technology Preview release notes.

The latest Safari Technology Preview is available to download through Apple’s Developer Center. Apple’s changes will make their way to public Safari releases soon.