We know Google Chrome tends to consume more battery life. Since both Google Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge are based on Chromium, Microsoft is working on a solution to solve the battery issue experienced by Chromium-based browser users, specifically during video streaming.
Microsoft Takes Initiative
According to a GitHub commit by Shawn Pickett, a senior software engineer at Microsoft, the battery life of a laptop or Windows PC running Chrome can be improved by preventing the caching of media on the disk of the device.
While streaming media content on a device, the media is cached on the disk of the device. This process of caching increases the power consumed by the device, which eventually affects the device’s battery life.
How Does It Work?
Most media streaming services use the Range HTTP request headers for adaptive streaming content get hold of the media resources being cached. The Request Header can act as an indicator to disable caching.
However, there are some platforms that don’t use request headers such as YouTube, SlingTV but go for segmented content via URLs. Hence, the method suggested by Microsoft won’t work for such platforms.
To prevent the process of disk caching decreasing the battery life of the device, you just have to change the settings of a caching request to “no-store” mode.
For this, Google has even introduced a new flag called “Turn off caching of streaming media to disk” for macOS, Linux, Windows, ChromeOS, and even Android.
Furthermore, the process is mostly for the media playback situations when you tend to play the content again and again to view the previous content. This scenario ensures that there are no downsides to the disabling of media caching.
The document further suggests that the prevention of the battery life of a device could also happen by adding a secondary in-memory backend to HTTPCache if disablement of caching is not an option. However, the process has its own limitations.
Another option would be to check the Range request header in a centralized location. However, this process could also include a range of requests for non-media elements.