Lack Of Nitro Slowing iPhone Web Apps

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Something fishy is going on with how the new iOS 4.3 handles web apps, leading to some concern that Apple may be trying to encourage its user base to favor programs bought through the App Store. Web apps saved to the home screen, when launched full-screen directly from there instead of through Safari, are running at less than half-speed.

The Register has dissected all the iOS quirks that lead to this behavior, and there are plenty. The big one seems to be that the high-speed Nitro javascript engine that Safari now features isn’t invoked when web apps are launched directly from the home screen. Addition problems, all contributing to the slow-downs, include the rendering mode used to display the web apps, as well the inability to use the system web cache to store files. While web apps used to have cache access, it was cut back with the introduction of iOS 4.2.

Now sure, it might look like Apple has set things up so that users get frustrated with slow web apps and stick to buying native iOS apps, but it’s likely a far less sinister story. After all, it’s mostly a case of web apps now running much better in-browser than they used to, making them just seem sluggish on the home screen by comparison. Look to Apple’s next update to see if, now that these problems are known, it takes the steps to correct the performance gap. If it’s in favor of a level playing field, expect Nitro to be implemented across-the-board.

Source: The Register

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!