European tech company Opera Software is introducing a new power-saving mode to its desktop browser app, a feature it says can extend a laptop’s battery life by up to 50 percent. The Norway-based company is making the feature available in the developer version of the product from today.
Once you unplug your laptop from a power outlet, you’ll notice a little battery icon next to the URL field in the browser – click that icon and flip the switch to on.
To support the claim that it can save 50 percent more juice, the company compared the new browser against earlier versions of the Opera browser itself as well as Google Chrome, tested on a Windows laptop running Windows 10 (64-bit) across “11 popular websites.”
So for every two hours of browsing allowed by Chrome or the old Opera, the company suggested that the Opera developer version would get you around three hours.
While we have not been able to verify Opera’s claims yet, the company has explained how it optimized the browser’s performance to conserve battery. It credited the savings to a myriad of optimizations, including reducing activities that run in background tabs, fine-tuning video-playback parameters, and adapting page-redrawing frequency.
Power-saving mode is the latest in a long line of new features and apps Opera has launched in recent times. Last week, the company announced the full launch of its built-in ad blocker for its desktop browser, alongside a new version for Android. And earlier this week it launched a free, unlimited VPN app for iOS, which came three weeks after it added the same feature to its desktop app. So Opera is really boosting its smarts of late, and now boasts at least three key differentiators from the competition: a built-in ad-blocker, VPN, and now a power-saver mode.
Mobile has emerged as the preeminent Internet platform for many, with Opera already making moves to conserve battery on smartphones too, but the fact is plenty of people still use laptops due to their screen size, software, power, and physical keyboard. The fact that Opera has been so busy turbo-charging its desktop browser with new features is indicative of this, and today it claims more than 60 million users alone on desktop.
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