Chrome App Puts Tabs to Sleep

The Chrome browser is great. Its simple, easily navigable interface has some of the coolest apps and extensions around (Kami), and it is fully integrated with most of Google’s primary services. However, there’s one problem: it is a memory hog. Thankfully, we have one more digital vanguard that can help us mitigate this inherent problem, and this new Chrome app can wilfully put the browser to a partial sleep.

The Great Suspender, this new Chrome extension has the specific function to negate Chrome’s greatest drawback by suspending tabs that you are not currently using. It does this by letting the user set an amount of time for how long the tab is to be suspended. For example, if you want your email page to be suspended after it goes idle for the next three hours, you can directly modify such option on the app to suspend your email page up for that amount of time.

While a tab or page is suspended, a big blue message that reads “Tab suspended. Click to reload.” will appear, designating its status as a sleeping tab. The page is still visibly seen and is listed on the tab list, and if you follow the same instructions, it will spring back to life, instantly showing back everything the page has prior to its suspension.

You might have certain pages that you constantly use, pages that you do not want to put to sleep no matter how long time passes. The extension solves this would-be problem by giving users a whitelist of tabs and pages that it should not suspend. For instance, if you keep your Facebook page open often but don’t usually check it within the minimum amount of time a page sleeps, then you might want to include it in the no-sleep list. Also, such tweaks themselves can be edited to function or activate automatically only on certain conditions, all of which can be conveniently accessed and edited on the app’s main settings menu.

The Great Suspender will be convenient for power users, those who like to open tab after tab and still require all the other previous tabs opened. There’s no need to restart the browser just to get the hogged memory back; the automatically suspended tabs and pages can simply be restored with one click. Moreover, if you are using Chrome on a portable machine, then you can set the app to automatically activate once it reaches a certain level of charge.

Of course, browser-based memory-saving apps are not uncommon in Chrome (and it is, in fact, a standard staple due to the browser’s specific notoriety). However, this is the first time that an extension has tried to do this without whisking the pages inside a bottle. Everything’s instantly accessible again whenever needed, as if it never became suspended or put to sleep in the first place.

If you need another memory-saving app for Chrome, give The Great Suspender a shot. Sure, you may already be using other extensions with the same function, but there’s always room for a change of heart for something that could just be better.

Christian Crisostomo
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