Many phones and tablets have some version of adaptive charging or optimized charging, which limits the maximum charge to improve battery health. Now, this feature could be coming to some of the best Chromebooks.
As C2 Productions pointed out on Twitter, the Chrome OS Canary channel now has a feature flag for “adaptive load.” Once enabled from chrome://flags, a new settings switch is added to the Power menu in Chrome OS settings. The description reads: “prolongs battery life by keeping it around 80%. The battery will fully charge before you typically disconnect from power”.
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Feature validation code reveals that Adaptive Charging on Chrome OS uses a machine learning model to ensure your battery reaches 100% just before you need it. It’s more than likely analyzing your usage over time to guess when you’ll unplug the Chromebook — for example, if you unplug a Chromebook every day around 9 a.m. to start working, Chrome OS could keep your battery at 80 % until 8:30 a.m. or 8:45 a.m.
Google has been working on this feature for a while, as 9to5Google reported on early codes in January, but this is the first time it’s appeared as a feature flag with the intended settings panel.
Chrome OS flags page with “Adaptive Charging” flag enabled
Google already has adaptive charging on its Pixel phones, which also keeps the battery level at around 80% until you need to use the phone. Samsung Galaxy devices have a similar feature called “adaptive battery”, and iPhones have “optimized charging”.
It’s not yet known when this feature will roll out to all Chromebooks. The description of the flag in the Chromium code says “Please do not enable this feature if you are not a developer who wants to test the UI of the adaptive charging feature”, which means it is not not yet intended for regular use. Google could also remove it entirely, but so far it’s still on track to roll out to everyone.