Chrome 56 Offers Faster Reloads, Better Security, Lower Power Usage, and More

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Version 56 of Google Chrome browser started rolling out to Macs today, bringing with it several new security enhancements, lower power consumption, and a performance boost.

To begin with, Chrome now presents a clearer warning to users when a website requests password or credit card information over a non-HTTPS, unsecure connection. Chrome 56 is also the first version to make HTML5 the default standard for all users, with Flash content automatically blocked by the browser.

Support for the HTTPS-secure Web Bluetooth API has also been included, allowing websites to connect to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices like printers and lightbulbs for a more interactive online experience. Chrome 56 also brings 51 additional security fixes to the browser.

According to a Google blog post, in the latest version of Chrome, changes to page reload behavior now produce reloads that are 28 percent faster and result in 60 percent less validation requests. The new behavior is said to maximize the reuse of cached resources which results in lower latency, power consumption, and data usage.

In addition, Chrome 56 brings built-in FLAC support for the first time, meaning users of the (non-iTunes compatible) audio format can listen to tracks from within the browser.

Lastly, in an attempt to deal with resource hogging Chrome tabs, Google has introduced a new Browser Timer feature that automatically throttles background pages overstepping their allotted runtime allowance, provided they aren't playing media.

Chrome 56 is available to download for Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app is expected soon.

Article Link: Chrome 56 Offers Faster Reloads, Better Security, Lower Power Usage, and More
 

Peter Abs

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2016
84
72
I'll give it a go, would be interesting to see if it matches safari's efficiency in terms of battery consumption.
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2012
3,269
3,840
Did they remove flash from it altogether or set the the default to disabled in chrome://plugins?

My college is closminded and requires chrome to access their community pages. Doesn't work right with edge, safari, firefox. I told them NO, & figured out a way to bypass the erroring pages with firefox.
Then they freak out when I bring my PowerBook in and connect with TFF. It's almost like they are trying to install a backdoor and it fails because my hardware doesn't comply.

I'll pass anyway. Besides, it doesn't work in snow leopard.
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,130
415
Hehe, 60% less validation requests sounds good but
Furthermore, Facebook contacted us with data showing that Chrome was sending validation requests at three times the rate of other browsers
.. if I'm reading this right, that's a 60% reduction from pummeling at 300% rate of the competition.
 
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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2010
854
74
I'll give it a go, would be interesting to see if it matches safari's efficiency in terms of battery consumption.
It would never match Safari in terms of power consumption. Safari is at least twice more efficient than Chrome (but has twice as less features). With Safari on my 15" 2104 rMBP I get around 8-9 hours of battery (60% brightness), while with Chrome I get 4-4.5 hours at most.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,540
14,285
In between a rock and a hard place
What a great Mac rumour... one of Apple's competitors publicly releases an incremental update to a web browser.

I fail to see the 'Mac' or the 'rumour' in this.
Maybe you need to get your eyes checked. It's in the first darn sentence.
Version 56 of Google Chrome browser started rolling out to Macs today
Some of us prefer to use Chrome instead of Safari. Some of us have to use Chrome at certain times. Some people are curious about Chrome's performance. My point? Eat more carrots, they'll help you see better.;)
 

Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
721
956
Asia
Seems like a pretty big update. If the power usage indeed has been addressed I'm tempted to try switching from Firefox.
 
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juminoz

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2011
17
4
Nope. Just upgraded and it's still number 1 power hogging app with 1 tab opened. Still ridiculous. Hopefully, it at least doesn't take up 20GB of disk space like the previous versions. That's comparing to web server, Elastic Search, Mongo DB, Kibana, Eclipse, Safari and bunch of other things running on my laptop.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,540
14,285
In between a rock and a hard place
Hehe, 60% less validation requests sounds good but

.. if I'm reading this right, that's a 60% reduction from pummeling at 300% rate of the competition.
Isn't it more like in 2014, Chrome made more conditional request at a rate of 63%, Safari at 22%, IE at 14%, and Firefox at 13%. After FB worked with the Chrome team, the 2015 data looked more like this: Chrome 24%, Safari and IE at 14%, and FF at 12%
 
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Penn Jennings

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2010
350
48
Michigan
What a great Mac rumour... one of Apple's competitors publicly releases an incremental update to a web browser.

I fail to see the 'Mac' or the 'rumour' in this.

Really,
  • Chrome is the number browser. If you are a web developer you develop to Chrome first, not Safari.
  • Even if you aren't a developer, some sites work better with Chrome than Safari. For example, purchasing movie tickets at AMC has been a problem in the past with Safari when selecting seats. Safari would not complete the sale. Chrome has never had a problem that I've seen.
  • If you work across Mac and Windows Chrome is certainly the better choice for syncing bookmarks and other features.
  • Google drives the direction of the Internet to a much larger degree than Apple so using their browser makes a certain degree of sense.
  • For the above mentioned reasons, and maybe some I didn't mention, a lot of people prefer Chrome over Safari.

Do you see the 'Mac" in it now?
 

Michaelgtrusa

macrumors 604
Oct 13, 2008
7,900
1,820
Chrome is a hog, both for Windows and OS X. I really hope they've slimmed it down and made it efficient.
They would would have to scrap and re-write the whole browser for that to happen. It seems that is in our dreams for now.
 

scottffitch

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2017
3
7
Baltimore, MD
One of the ways I measure how "power hungry" a browser runs on my system without getting too "scientific" is heat. I have a mid-2015 rMBP 15" and I have iStat Menus installed so I can keep an eye on things like CPU usage, RAM compression, disk usage, but mostly heat (specifically the four CPU cores and GPU..)

Safari has always been the coolest running browser on my system until this update-- Generally, if my system is on and idle (no open programs or apps and all indexing is complete after boot up) it will hover around 35-40° celsius. With Safari running and doing my "normal" browsing behavior (checking a few news sites, maybe an open tab with a video playing or audio in the background) Safari will typically bring the system temps to anywhere from 45-60° celsius. Which IMO, is acceptable for light browsing. Chrome by comparison has generally given me 15-30% hotter temps as measured at the CPU cores and GPU.

However, with this most recent chrome update, I'm noticing all four cores and the GPU stand steady around 40-45°. Now, obviously when visiting a site with heavy javascript or or other bells and whistles, it can go up--which is ALSO true for Safari--but so far with chrome 56, I'm noticing a sharp drop off and cool off (CPU cores and GPU returning to the more normal "resting" temps of around 40°) that I don't see in Safari--meaning, Chrome seems to be getting done with the CPU tasks faster and seems to have less background CPU usage--which for anyone using a Mac on battery power can be huge.

As it's been said before on here, I don't know if Chrome can ever be as "efficient" as Safari--which for me, is fine.

There are lots of things I like about Chrome, and just as many that I like about Safari--which is probably why my decision for which browser to use is mostly based on heat generation (the more heat generated, the harder my Mac works to cool it down--which in turn, shortens the lifespan of some of the components...)

I don't really think the two browsers should be looked at as interchangeable in the traditional sense. I think people should go with what they like. The beauty is, we have choice. I'm happy to see Google working to make their offering a little more reasonable on CPU usage, as it's been my number one gripe with it since it's inception.
 

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,789
3,553
This is excellent news. Chrome may be an absolute RAM destroyer, but MAN does it perform.

Besides, I typically try not to have 10+ tabs open so usually the RAM usage isn't too big an issue for me.
 
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Bart Kela

Suspended
Oct 12, 2016
865
593
Searching...
Is Chrome better than Safari for everyday browsing?
For some people yes, for other people no.

Chrome is a free application from Google. The best way is to try it out yourself and see if you like it better than Safari.

Speaking for myself, I have found Chrome to be a chronic resource hog -- power, memory, CPU cycles -- so I do not run it as my primary browser. The Flash plugin is still enabled in version 56, I just tried it out, so clearly when I run Chrome, I had to deal with more resource hogging from Flash as well as the security risks it exposes me to.

Your experience may be different than mine, or perhaps you might not care about resource hogging web browsers. The decision is all yours.
 

edgonzalez32

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2011
529
944
Is Chrome better than Safari for everyday browsing?

Eh, depends. I use Chrome at work for web dev tools and because a majority of our clients use Chrome. So support for that and IE come first.

Uses a lot of power, but if a tab crashes, the whole browser won't (somtimes I'll have 25+ tabs open). I believe a crashed tab in Safari can bring down the browser (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

That being said, I use Safari on my personal Mac because iCloud.
[doublepost=1485537563][/doublepost]
What a great Mac rumour... one of Apple's competitors publicly releases an incremental update to a web browser.

I fail to see the 'Mac' or the 'rumour' in this.
??? It's an insanely popular browser used on Macs. It's all we use at work. If it doesn't apply to you then don't worry about it. A lot of us rely on Chrome. Please tell me how web dev tools are better on Safari than Chrome, for example.
 
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