Dump Flash get two extra hours of MacBook Air battery life

Want to get two extra hours of battery life out of your MacBook Air? Uninstall Adobe Flash, according to a report.

Ditching Adobe Flash on your Apple MacBook Air can extend your battery life by two hours, according to reports. Chris Foresman at Ars Technica discovered battery life in the new MacBook Airs is 33 per cent longer without the Flash plugin installed. According to his tests having Flash installed shaved two hours off the laptop's battery life.

The revelation puts Apple's notorious Flash trash-talk into perspective. Apple has long maintained Adobe Flash poses a security risk to systems. But the added benefit of battery life might also be part of the unspoken reason Apple doesn't ship with Flash installed on MacBook Air systems. Think about it, if Apple did ship MacBook Air systems with Flash then it would lose two hours of battery life bragging rights.

Apple officially says it doesn't pre-install Flash so users have a chance to download the most recent and secure version available.

At the moment it's unclear whether this applies to other laptops in the MacBook range, but considering basically the same technology is used throughout, results will be similar. I have been using the Flash-blocking ClickToFlash plugin for the past few weeks on a 2009 MacBook Pro, and also noticed battery life improvements, but more importantly, the laptop does not get as hot when it displays multiple tabs with Flash content in the browser.

It's worth noting that Microsoft hasn't been bundling Adobe Flash with Windows since Vista came out in 2007, though an ActiveX control allows users to automatically install the plugin via placeholders within a webpage. Microsoft also kept clear of Flash on its new Windows Phone 7 OS, which doesn't support the technology.

The revelations in the toll Flash takes on laptop battery life shed further light into Apple's resilience into enabling use of the plugin on its line of streamlined iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). Apple CEO Steve Jobs made it clear chances of getting Flash on an iOS device are very remote, because of the strain it puts on battery life.

Unsurprisingly, Flash ads kept the CPU busy, sucking more power, Foresman explains, while if you don't have Flash installed, websites usually display static ads instead, which don't put so much of a strain on the processor, and thus on battery life.

At the moment it's unclear whether this applies to other laptops in the MacBook range, but considering basically the same technology is used throughout, results will be similar. I have been using the Flash-blocking ClickToFlash plugin for the past few weeks on a 2009 MacBook Pro, and also noticed battery life improvements, but more importantly, the laptop does not get as hot when it displays multiple tabs with Flash content in the browser.

It's worth noting that Microsoft hasn't been bundling Adobe Flash with Windows since Vista came out in 2007, though an ActiveX control allows users to automatically install the plugin via placeholders within a webpage. Microsoft also kept clear of Flash on its new Windows Phone 7 OS, which doesn't support the technology.

The revelations in the toll Flash takes on laptop battery life shed further light into Apple's resilience into enabling use of the plugin on its line of streamlined iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). Apple CEO Steve Jobs made it clear chances of getting Flash on an iOS device are very remote, because of the strain it puts on battery life.

Google however, was not shy to incorporate the technology in its Android mobile OS, but early returns were a mixed bag. Research In Motion is also bundling Flash on its upcoming PlayBook tablet.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today@PCWorld on Twitter

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleflashhardware systemslaptopsmac laptop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Secure and Save before time runs out with Bitdefender Exclusive Clearance Offer! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?