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Faster Forward
Posted at 02:46 PM ET, 03/17/2011

Study races mobile Chrome and Safari browsers

Canadian firm Blaze Software released a study this morning showing that Android’s Chrome browser had load times that left Apple’s iPhone version of Safari in the dust. Taking over 45,000 measurements, the study found Android 2.3 was, on average, 52 percent faster and that it beat the iPhone’s iOS 4.3 at 84 percent of sites. Not only that, the study found that Android beat Safari by about a second when it came to load times. Android had a median time of 2.144 seconds to the iPhone’s 3.254 seconds.

But soon after the study was released, The Loop’s Jim Darymple raised questions about its methodology.

For its study, Blaze used the embedded browsers on the iPhone and Google Nexus S, which Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg says just isn’t fair to Safari. “It’s not an apples to apples test,” he told Darymple.

What’s the problem? Safari just got an iOS 4.3 boost in its Web version, claiming to run JavaScript up to twice as fast as its predecessor. But the embedded browsers on iPhones never got that bump.

On its site, Blaze has issued the following update:

Some wonder whether the new Nitro JavaScript engine was used in our measurements. We’re still investigating this issue, as the report was completed before it was made known. So far we’ve seen indications in both directions, so we can’t say for sure it’s being applied.

That said, the results from measuring Android show that JavaScript only accounts for a small percentage of the total load time, about 15% on average. This implies that even if Nitro is not in use, it likely can only slightly narrow the gap. We’ll follow up with any additional info.

Anyone out there done their own informal tests? And would a second of load time make or break anyone’s decision when buying a handset?

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By  |  02:46 PM ET, 03/17/2011

Tags:  apple, google, mobile

 
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