Android vs. iPhone: Which web browser is faster?

Mar 18, 2011
Tech

Although Google hasn’t chimed in, recent reports have offered conflicting results over which web browser is faster – Android’s or iPhone’s. Software company Blaze, released a study that said after testing 45,000 real sites, Google’s (GOOG) Android loaded web pages 52 percent faster than Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone did. “While we expected to see one of the […]

Although Google hasn’t chimed in, recent reports have offered conflicting results over which web browser is faster – Android’s or iPhone’s.

Software company Blaze, released a study that said after testing 45,000 real sites, Google’s (GOOG) Android loaded web pages 52 percent faster than Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone did.

“While we expected to see one of the browsers come out on top, we didn’t expect this gap,” the Blaze report said.

Blaze’s test revealed Chrome beat Safari 84 percent of the time using the latest versions of each operating system, iPhone version 4.3 and Android version 2.3, to yield results.

“Android’s browser is faster. MUCH faster,” Blaze said. “On average, Android 2.3 was a 52 percent faster than iPhone 4.3, with a median load time of 2.144 seconds vs. iPhone’s median load time of 3.254 seconds. Both median load times are generally fast, but keep in mind the test was done over a fast Wi-Fi connection, and both the devices and network weren’t doing anything else.”

But Gomez, a company similar to Blaze that aims to make websites and apps run faster on mobile devices, stated the iPhone loads 17 seconds faster than Google.

Gomez said they used data from customers and looked at 282 million web pages loaded across 200 websites.

In its defense, Apple says Blaze’s testing is flawed because they didn’t test the Safari browser on an iPhone.

“They only tested their own proprietary app, which uses an embedded web viewer that doesn’t actually take advantage of Safari’s Web performance optimizations,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. “Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading web pages.”

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To test the websites, Blaze used its own web browser that uses Apple’s UIWebView, which lets developers embed their own content into an app.

According to Google, Blaze’s effort didn’t take advantage of what Safari offers as a standalone browser. But Blaze said they assumed Apple would apply the same updates to their embedded browser as they would to their regular browser.

Blaze said they’re willing to retest if Apple decides to change the way UIWebView is run. “It’s certainly possible the embedded browser might produce different results,” Blaze said. “If Apple decides to apply their optimizations across their embedded browser as well, then we would be more than willing to create a new report with the new performance results.”

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Shardae Smith

Shardae is a senior honor student at Columbia College Chicago majoring in journalism. She enjoys, in no particular order, reading books on her Kindle app, over-visiting blog sites and reading books to her daughter.

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