Apple seemed to have gotten a lot of flak for not having Adobe Flash pre-installed on the MacBook Air, but ultimately, there is a very good reason why they didn’t; on average, the MacBook Air will use 33% more battery power when running Flash then when it’s completely uninstalled. While we have no real comments about the politics involved, we do see a great way of extending your laptop’s battery.
Logic dictates that if this works so well for the MacBook Air, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work for other types of laptops. So why does Adobe Flash, which is used on websites for animations, games, and videos, use so much battery power? Simply, when a browser loads a Flash file, the computer’s processor has to run a lot harder than if there wasn’t any. Initially, this seems ridiculous, but Ars Technica has run some tests and apparently the new MacBook Air can run up to 6 hours without Flash installed and only 4 when it is installed.
What does this mean for the normal user? Basically, on your home computer, it doesn’t mean anything. However, if you are on the road a lot and rely on battery power to make your laptop run, then a smart move would include uninstalling the Adobe Flash player to get that 30% extra juice for the long hauls.
This will definitely impact how long you can run off the battery when you are on the road. Alternatively, you can install some extensions so that your browser blocks those pesky ads that use Flash, without hampering the playback of some Flash videos, like on YouTube. For Firefox, this includes the NoScript extension and the appropriately-named Flashblockaddon. There’s Foxie for Internet Explorer that includes a flashblocker. Apple’s Safari hasClickToFlash and Google Chrome has got the Flashblock extension.
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.