Kneecapping At the Big Web Speed Marathon: an iOS Traffic Jam

Hot damn, really?! That’s some serious slowdown…

Interesting news in the iOS jungle today regarding Facebook retooling their app to native functionality instead of just a WebApp in a blue wrapper. It seems that any WebApp uses the UIWebView controller to render web pages whereas mobile Safari has a little javascript accelerator conveniently known as Nitro to help push it past the UIWebView speed bottleneck.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has this to say:

It’s unclear whether these are accidental bugs or issues consciously introduced by Apple. (more here)

And whatever the real story is here, there are significant speed differences  (as seen in the above pic). So go native or go home, I guess, for the time being. What this means for Firefox’s “BootToGecko” project is unclear. I concur with the Moz team that pretty soon everything is going to be running off the web. It’s only a matter of time before a custom solution just isn’t feasible. (Remember the days of custom CMS’s? Ahem…).

In any case, it’s some decidedly first world stuff at stake here, but if you’ve ever stood there waiting for a page load refresh while in line for your KungPao, there’s something to be said for using plain old vanilla Safari to get around these bottlenecks. It’s like having a motorcycle in a traffic jam.


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