Google reportedly working on new adpative charging system that will extend battery life on Chromebooks

Relatively poor battery life is something that has plagued laptops for a long time. With most activities nowadays being done digitally, from note-taking to doing assignments. Having a laptop that can hold charge for a day’s use is becoming essential.

Chromebooks currently have an advantage over Windows laptops in battery longevity mainly because Chrome OS is lighter than Windows in addition to Chromebooks, in general, being lighter specs-wise compared to Windows laptops.

However, all Lithium-ion batteries, no matter how carefully you handle them, degrade over time due to various factors including heat and ageing. To counter this, phone and laptop manufacturers use various techniques to extend the lifespan of the battery.

For instance, Apple uses “optimized battery charging” on MacBooks that slows down the charging speed once the battery is charged 80%. This is handy if you keep your laptop plugged in for a long period of time.

Keeping a typical laptop battery fully charged for extended periods of time has been found to have a negative effect on the longevity of the battery.

On smartphones, Google uses “Adaptive Charging” on its Pixel phones. This works by intentionally slowing down the charging process when the Pixel phone is plugged in overnight. By doing this, it reduces factors like excess heat that put stress on your battery and helps to prolong its health.

A report by XDA Developers, indicates that Chrome OS is set to gain its own version of Adaptive Charging. Where phones are often charged from a low battery point back to full, often going relatively unused while on the charger, it’s normal to plug a laptop or Chromebook in when you’re seated at a desk, regardless of whether the battery is actually low at the time. However, keeping a typical laptop battery fully charged for extended periods of time has been found to have a negative effect on the longevity of the battery.

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Google is therefore working to reduce this amount of time that your Chromebook spends with its battery charged 100%. Rather than relying on the same technique used on Pixel phones to slowly charge your device at nighttime. The adaptive charging on Chromebooks will use machine learning in order to learn your daily routine, then decide on a charging speed accordingly.

If the machine learning works as expected, your Chromebook’s battery should be fully charged at around the same time that you would normally unplug it. Once adaptive charging is active, you will be notified via a notification along with settings that would allow you to disable the feature altogether.

No timeline has been provided on when we can expect Google to introduce the charging feature. However, it has been noted that it is still in active development, meaning a release in the next few weeks is unlikely.

It is also still in the air whether the feature will be exclusive to newer and upcoming Chromebooks, or it will make its way to existing older models as well. We will update you accordingly once Google provides more information regarding the update.

As mentioned in one of our previous articles, battery technology has relatively lagged behind in development compared to other areas in smartphones like quality of displays and processor speed, and it is good to see companies now making progress rather than simply lumping in a bigger brick in a device to keep up with today’s needs.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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