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Google says Chrome 89 was built to save memory and load faster

Mariella Moon
·Associate Editor
·2-min read

Google has discussed how Chrome version 89 has improved the browser's memory usage and loading times on Mac, Windows and Android in a new post on the Chromium blog. The tech giant says the browser is now smarter when it comes to using and discarding memory across platforms — for instance, it now discards memory that the foreground tab is not actively using, such as big images that you've already scrolled past.

In addition, the update is also shrinking the browser's memory footprint in background tabs for macOS, which Chrome has already been doing on other platforms for a while now. For macOS, in particular, Google is seeing up to eight percent in memory savings and up to 65 percent in improvement on Apple Energy Impact score for tabs in the background. Those translate to a cooler Mac with quieter fans. Chrome 89 now also uses PartitionAlloc, the company's own advanced memory allocator, everywhere on Android and 64-bit Windows. Thanks to that change, it has improved browser responsiveness by up to 9 percent, and it's seeing up to 22 percent in memory savings on Windows.

The Chrome team says new Play and Android capabilities allowed it to repackage the browser for fewer crashes and that it rebuilt the browser to be more stable for newer Android devices. It has also introduced a feature called "Freeze-Dried Tabs" to make starting up Chrome on Android up to 13 percent faster. Freeze-Dried Tabs work by saving a lightweight version of your tabs — it's around the size of a screenshot, but it still supports scrolling and zooming, and it keeps links clickable. The screenshot-like tabs show up when you first fire up Chrome and while the actual tabs are loading in the background, so you can see pages load faster than before.