New Android OS helps Nexus One browser beat iPhone 4

Jul 07, 2010

Android 2.2 includes speed and browser updates (with Flash!) that allow the 6-month old Nexus One to browse the web faster than the brand-new iPhone 4.

Don't believe Google's I/O hype!  They said that the new Android 2.2 OS would propel the Nexus One browser to speeds significantly faster than the speedy Apple iPad (video below), never mind competing with the speed of last year's iPhones.

But the iPad runs the third generation of Apple's iOS.  The iPhone 4, released last month, runs an updated version of the mobile OS.  Google's (goog) Android 2.2 is now starting to roll out to high end Android devices.

Both Apple (aapl) and Google  use their own implementations of the Open Source Webkit browsing engine.

How do the two leading Smartphone OS's browsers compare speed-wise?

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In a post entitled  'Android 2.2 demolishes iOS4 in JavaScript benchmarks', Ars Technica says it isn't even close.  Android's browser runs circles around Mobile Safari Javascript rendering.  That is probably the most important metric (among others) in determining how fast web pages render.

In the Sunspider Javascript benchmark, the Nexus One rendered the tests in half of the time of Mobile Safari.  In the V8 test, Android 2.2 beat the iPhone OS by more than a factor of four.  This isn't even close.  But how do these tests translate into everyday browsing speeds?

Not satisfied with the results, technology blog Engadget followed up with some real world browsing tests which showed much less of a gap between the two leading platforms.  Android still beat  rendering most of the websites they tested. When Flash was disabled on the Nexus One, Android's margin of victory increased.

While Apple traditionally updates its iPhone software and hardware once per year (though browser tweeks could come more frequently), Android devices are already surpassing Apple's iPhone 4 in browsing speed. With another 11 months likely to go before Apple updates their product, Android's advantage in the very important field of mobile browsing speed will likely only increase.

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