It is no secret that one of the primary complaints against Chrome as a browser across most operating systems is the fact that it can be a bit of a resource and battery hog. Google has done things in the past to help remedy this issue, but it is still a reality that Chrome does more damage to your battery across most systems than other browsers do.
When that foreground tab is running something a bit more intensive like a YouTube video on repeat, the savings are a bit more meager, but still net an increase of 36 minutes of extra run time. That is a nice savings with something as resource-heavy as streaming video taking place as the primary activity.
The flag for this was originally spotted in the Canary Channel of Chrome 86 and looks to be headed to all version of Chrome across mobile and desktop. We have internally confirmed that the flag is already present in Chrome 85 in the Developer Channel for Chrome OS. For Chromebook users, this could be an added bonus as our devices tend to have better battery life than most. For Samsung Galaxy Chromebook owners, however, efforts like this could make a substantial difference in the overall usability of a device. While this change may or may not add as much as a couple hours to the lifespan of that particular Chromebook, something like an hour boost would be a huge deal as its current battery life is pretty abysmal by any standard.
We’ll keep an eye out for this possibly moving down the channels as Google continues testing as it isn’t out of the question that this feature could arrive before Chrome 85 that is scheduled for release in late August/early September of this year. With that only being 7 weeks out, however, my bet would be that we’ll see this stay attached to that M85 update from this point forward. As we learn more, we’ll update.