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MacRumors
Jun 17, 2011, 09:28 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/17/ios-5-to-bring-nitro-javascript-speed-enhancements-to-home-screen-web-apps/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/ios5_icon.jpg

Back in March, we noted (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/15/performance-of-web-apps-saved-to-home-screen-hampered-in-ios-4-3/) that Safari speed improvements in iOS 4.3 brought about by the addition of a new Nitro JavaScript engine did not extend to web apps launched from the home screen, meaning that webpages launched from convenient home screen icons exhibit significantly slower performance than those exact same pages loaded manually or from bookmarks within Safari.

As noticed by CNET (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20071897-264/ios-5-could-fix-some-slow-web-apps/), a thread (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2661974) on Hacker News shares that iOS 5 does in fact provide home screen web apps with access to the Nitro capabilities, making them comparable to their directly-loaded counterparts.Q: Did they fix the bug from 4.3 where home screen web apps don't use Nitro?

A: This is probably breaking my NDA to say this, but yes, they did. Web.app now has the "dynamic-codesigning" entitlement, which enables Nitro.The thread goes on to reveal that the Nitro implementation does not extend to web pages loaded within other apps that take advantage of UIWebView to provide browser functionality without redirecting users out of the app and into Safari directly. That omission is reportedly due to restrictions that prevent the Nitro entitlement from being extended to all apps for security reasons.

Article Link: iOS 5 to Bring Nitro JavaScript Speed Enhancements to Home Screen Web Apps (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/17/ios-5-to-bring-nitro-javascript-speed-enhancements-to-home-screen-web-apps/)



spazzcat
Jun 17, 2011, 09:50 AM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

chrmjenkins
Jun 17, 2011, 09:53 AM
Uh, how would this break NDA? I presume it's in the developer copy everyone has access to? Does the guy answering this have some credentials we don't know about?

How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

Anyone who wants the functionality of a specifically formatted iphone webpage that does not have an app that replicates the functionality. For example, sigalert.com

joseph2166
Jun 17, 2011, 10:05 AM
Uh, how would this break NDA? I presume it's in the developer copy everyone has access to? Does the guy answering this have some credentials we don't know about?

The developer copy is theoretically for developers only... Hence the name. And therefore its covered by the NDA. It's so we don't all reveal the secret feature you're not meant to know about yet. You know the one...

blackcrayon
Jun 17, 2011, 10:11 AM
Ahh, disappointed it can't be extended to UIWebView, as a lot of apps use this (including a couple of my own). Hopefully that's still something they can address in the future. Some of the most marquee iPad apps use this (FlipBoard, Twitter, to name two).

Farplaner
Jun 17, 2011, 10:23 AM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

Not just bookmarks. HTML5 web apps too.

nagromme
Jun 17, 2011, 10:37 AM
So all the absurd paranoia about how Apple is trying to slowly and sneakily “kill” web apps can evaporate now? :o

chrmjenkins
Jun 17, 2011, 10:39 AM
The developer copy is theoretically for developers only... Hence the name. And therefore its covered by the NDA. It's so we don't all reveal the secret feature you're not meant to know about yet. You know the one...

And by developer you mean any joe blow willing to drop 100 bucks to download iOS 5 early. There's no way Apple would try and hunt down every last person who dropped the 100 and is leaking stuff that is basically public knowledge from using the developer build.

houdinize
Jun 17, 2011, 10:42 AM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

Macrumors has been on my home screen since I got the iPhone

ArtOfWarfare
Jun 17, 2011, 11:32 AM
And by developer you mean any joe blow willing to drop 100 bucks to download iOS 5 early. There's no way Apple would try and hunt down every last person who dropped the 100 and is leaking stuff that is basically public knowledge from using the developer build.

Developers who break the NDA risk having their apps pulled off the app store. They don't need to hunt down every last person who leaks, they just need to hit enough people that the rest are scared into following the rules and not leaking.

chrmjenkins
Jun 17, 2011, 11:35 AM
Developers who break the NDA risk having their apps pulled off the app store. They don't need to hunt down every last person who leaks, they just need to hit enough people that the rest are scared into following the rules and not leaking.

But that guy has absolutely zero traceability. You would have to be a prominent developer and making the statements though an online identity directly associated with your developer account. Everyone else can make the statements completely anonymously.

JulianL
Jun 17, 2011, 11:44 AM
And by developer you mean any joe blow willing to drop 100 bucks to download iOS 5 early. There's no way Apple would try and hunt down every last person who dropped the 100 and is leaking stuff that is basically public knowledge from using the developer build.
In my opinion your observations above are valid, but the fact still remains that the developer releases are covered by an NDA so the guy would have been breaking it.

The message I take away from this though is that Apple shouldn't bother trying to slap an NDA on this stuff because it is so widely distributed and an NDA so unenforceable that it is in danger of undermining the power of genuinely enforceable "we really mean it, this stuff is secret" NDAs. Obviously there needs to be an agreement in place to cover copyright, IP, copying and redistribution etc, but trying to keep such widely and relatively indiscrimately distributed documentation under NDA is pointless (in my opinion).

- Julian

chrmjenkins
Jun 17, 2011, 11:52 AM
In my opinion your observations above are valid, but the fact still remains that the developer releases are covered by an NDA so the guy would have been breaking it.

The message I take away from this though is that Apple shouldn't bother trying to slap an NDA on this stuff because it is so widely distributed and an NDA so unenforceable that it is in danger of undermining the power of genuinely enforceable "we really mean it, this stuff is secret" NDAs. Obviously there needs to be an agreement in place to cover copyright, IP, copying and redistribution etc, but trying to keep such widely and relatively indiscrimately distributed documentation under NDA is pointless (in my opinion).

- Julian

That's essentially my opinion too. As soon as a new developer build comes out, threads immediately start on here to document all of the unannounced features that the keynote didn't cover.

lazyrighteye
Jun 17, 2011, 12:26 PM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

MR &  are maybe the only shortcuts I have on my iPhone home screen. Most other sites I hit with a frequency that warranted a shortcut have some sort of app now (twitter, tumblr, etc.).

smithrh
Jun 17, 2011, 12:54 PM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

I have a whole host of bookmarks on my home screen - whole folders of them also.

There isn't an app for everything yet.

Anonymous Freak
Jun 17, 2011, 02:23 PM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

Considering that the Google Maps iOS-optimized website is significantly better than the native Maps app, I long ago relegated the native Maps app to a subfolder, and put a bookmark to Google Maps website in its place.

And this is one where the optimizations should help significantly.


Uh, how would this break NDA? I presume it's in the developer copy everyone has access to? Does the guy answering this have some credentials we don't know about?

Regardless of every paid (and under NDA) developer having access to the information, it is still violating the NDA. Will Apple do anything about it? I really doubt it. This isn't exactly a massive secret worth hiding. But it is still a violation of the developer's NDA.

2 Replies
Jun 17, 2011, 05:29 PM
I'm really glad that this FIX isn't getting a ton of fanfare.
We shouldn't be patting Apple on it's head and cheering them for fixing their own engineering mistakes.

How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

m.youtube.com > Apple's native app. BY FAR


Macrumors has been on my home screen since I got the iPhone

To be fair, this means nothing since no one knows when you got your iphone.
It could have been five minutes before posting that post.
:-/

caspersoong
Jun 17, 2011, 08:57 PM
This is nice. Might use web apps for once. I always was disappointed by the speed of the web apps until I ditched them.

kiljoy616
Jun 18, 2011, 01:08 PM
How many people save bookmarks to their home screen?

Me, why do you ask? :) Not many but I do. :D I even do it on the desktop, some people brains think differently so its nice to have the feature even if you don't use it.

MrNomNoms
Jun 18, 2011, 01:31 PM
And by developer you mean any joe blow willing to drop 100 bucks to download iOS 5 early. There's no way Apple would try and hunt down every last person who dropped the 100 and is leaking stuff that is basically public knowledge from using the developer build.

But I doubt Apple is naive enough to believe that they can keep everything under wraps - if Apple really want to keep something secret they would ensure it never leaves the campus of Apple or if given to third parties they only do so for a small elect group of organisations. To be totally honest the fact that nitro javascript is coming to iOS is hardly something that should be 'shocking' to most people - it was going to happen.

Don Kosak
Jun 18, 2011, 10:18 PM
This would be great news for folks building native HTML5 Apps, or people using platforms and frameworks that generate HTML5 Apps.

It means you have access to offline storage, most of the hardware (i.e.: accelerometer, etc.) and now the accelerated JavaScript engine for your web app.

Some major player (Facebook? Amazon?) needs to create an App Store(tm) to sell these installable HTML5 Apps.

As for breaking the NDA, s/he is guilty. It's not the $99 bucks, it's the principle that you agreed to keep quiet for just a couple of months in exchange for early access to the technology. What if 3 weeks from now, Apple discovers a security issue and decides to delay launching this? Or what if other paid developers were counting on this staying quiet as a competitive advantage so they could get out with a product on launch day?

Violating the NDA gives us small independent developers a bad wrap and makes Apple toss around phrases like "amateur hour".

Sooner or later Apple will react and require $1000 to join the iOS program just to weed out this type of behavior. The old Apple developer programs had $1000+ annual fees. We're pretty lucky to have the type of program Apple setup for iOS. Let's not mess it up.

Westacular
Jun 20, 2011, 04:44 PM
Considering that the Google Maps iOS-optimized website is significantly better than the native Maps app, I long ago relegated the native Maps app to a subfolder, and put a bookmark to Google Maps website in its place.

And this is one where the optimizations should help significantly.

You do realize this change doesn't apply to you, because it was never broken in the first place?

Home Screen bookmarks are no different from any other bookmark -- the page gets loaded in Safari, with all of the benefits.

It's only special Home Screen web apps that previously lacked and are now gaining Nitro. These are web pages that include some special code that tells Safari to handle them differently when saving to the home screen -- instead of just saving a bookmark, it saves the necessary code to run the web app while offline, and packages it into it's own little standalone app.

When loaded from the home screen, these web apps appear as entirely independent, native apps: they load outside of Safari, without any of Safari's browser chrome. They get their own entry in the multitasking tray. And, prior to iOS 5, they run using the slower pre-Nitro JavaScript engine (aka the only JS engine in all iOS releases prior to 4.3)

Simple rule: if, when you tap the bookmark on your home screen, Safari loads and you can see Safari's toolbar at the bottom, then this issue with Nitro has never affected you.

Anonymous Freak
Jun 20, 2011, 07:23 PM
Simple rule: if, when you tap the bookmark on your home screen, Safari loads and you can see Safari's toolbar at the bottom, then this issue with Nitro has never affected you.

Ah... I'd been misunderstanding it. I guess Google Maps is just slow because I have an old/slow iPhone 3G, then!

Westacular
Jun 25, 2011, 01:13 AM
The media have been quite poor at making that distinction (which is why there might be an annoyed tone to my comment).

My problem with the Google Maps site (on an iPhone 4) isn't speed -- it's the appearance. Google still serves non-Retina Display resolution images, which look remarkably ugly when you're used to the crisp level of detail in the native iOS maps. (The native Maps also performs better, too, although I'd say the website is acceptably fast.)