Chrome's December update will be less of a memory hog

An update to Google's browser will use less RAM when visiting JavaScript-heavy websites.

Google has spent a while reducing Chrome's sometimes notorious demands on your system, but it knows that its web browser still needs some work. Accordingly, the upcoming Chrome 55 will include an upgraded JavaScript engine that significantly reduces the memory footprint. Given that many modern websites thrive on JavaScript, this should lead to some dramatic improvements -- Google says its test sites (including the New York Times, Reddit and YouTube) used 50 percent less RAM on average than Chrome 53.

You'll have to wait until December 6th to try the finished version of this update on the desktop, although you'll almost certainly get to try it earlier if you're willing to run pre-release code. Whatever you try, it's important to stress that this won't improve performance across the board. You'll mainly notice the difference if your device doesn't have much memory to start with, or if you're juggling Chrome alongside other apps (especially if you have many browser tabs open). Take heart if Chrome is still chewing up resources, though -- the V8 team still expects more improvements ahead, and it's particularly interested in lightening the load for entry-level devices with under 1GB of RAM.