iOS 5 closes Apple's infamous homescreen webapp gap
So says Xuzz
Apple's iOS 5 will close the speed gap between web apps run inside the company's Safari browser and those that run in "fullscreen mode" from the iOS home screen, according to a web post from a developer with early access to the operating system.
"The embedded web viewer does not take advantage of Safari's web performance optimizations." Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Register in March (no, really, she did). Apparently, these optimizations also included certain Safari caches and the browser's "asynchronous" rendering mode.
But on Thursday, during a discussion on Hacker News, a developer calling himself Xuzz said that with iOS 5, fullscreen web apps will at least have access to Nitro. "Did they fix the bug from 4.3 where home screen Web apps don't use Nitro?" asked one poster. Xuzz replied: "This is probably breaking my NDA to say this, but yes, they did. Web.app now has the 'dynamic-codesigning' entitlement, which enables Nitro."
But he indicated that Nitro is still missing from the UIWebView API used by native iOS applications, attributing this to Apple's security stance on Nitro's JIT (just-in-time) compiler. "They don't [get Nitro benefits], but that's a security restriction," Xuzz said. "They can't give dynamic-codesigning to all apps, or their security (which that disables, as a requirement to enable the JIT) would then be useless."
It's unclear whether Apple has changed the cache and synchronous mode discrepancies.
With Apple's current operating system, iOS 4.3, the discrepancies between home screen apps and Safari apps creates a significant performance gap. In tests run by The Register, Safari on an iOS 4.3 iPhone 4 run the Sunspider benchmark in about 4047ms. Running from the home screen, it took about 10747ms. It should be noted that users can not run web apps in fullscreen mode unless the developer allows them to. ®
Does that mean it will run them in a.. errr.. Flash?
What? Do You Have Something Better To Do…
… than run SunSpider benchmarks all day long?
Can you not imagine how many precious <b>whole milliseconds</b> the Register's devoted iPhone lovers have lost due to Apple's inaction?
After all, lots of iOS users have trouble finding first-class apps to do things and depend on webpage fake-apps, unlike Windows, WebOS, BlackBerry, Playbook and Android users who ALL have huge native app libraries that run compiled code.
Yet again, the Register has found a crucial distinction between Apple's support for customers and all the other smartphone vendors'. You ought to admire their writers' keen sense of priorities!
Did anyone actually notice? Has anyone had a particularly rough three months whilst this hasn't been rolled out?
iPad Safari sucks! Give me the option to change font size, or go full screen, or fix the reloading page when you click the back button (no gestures for touch screen Safari), before worrying about speeding up web pages by milli seconds.