Android Lag - Nonsense or Fact?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by mib1800, May 18, 2013.

  1. mib1800, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 19, 2013

    mib1800 macrumors 68020

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    #1
    When someone said "Android lags compared to Iphone5", does it mean that Android is SLOWER than Iphone? If this is the interpretation then it is a total NONSENSE. In fact, Iphone5 is SLOWER than Android. Due to Apple obsession with "smoothness" of the user interface, the performance is impacted making the Iphone slow. In terms UI speed, iphone is slow compare to Android. I can easily scroll thru App drawer pages in Android faster than on Iphone springboard.

    Look at these video for scrolling speed comparison betw Android/iphne
    Webpages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH1GDLunomY
    List: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dn-8aR_Ht4
    (note: this is the case not just in Safari browser but in list/general UI scrolling).

    Iphone is so much SLOWER than Android due to Iphone wants to maintain the "smoothness". Iphone is like when you do play back of a video and you are stuck at 1x speed. On Android, you can play at 1x, 2x or 4x speed. Thus you can finish seeing the video (i.e. doing the task) faster on Android. Some complained that Android have that occasional slight stutters in the UI but this is due to cpu not able to keep up with speed (just like video playing at 3x speed looks stuttering compared to playing 1x speed)

    So Iphone LAGS because it needed a bit more smoothness but at the expense of raw speed. Personally, I take speed over smoothness. It is so frustrating using Iphone when you have this smoothness "inertia" when interacting with the UI. I think many Ifans have mistaken smoothness for speed. In fact smoothness leads to slower performance. When I use the iphone, I can immediately feel the Iphone lag/slowness after using my S3.

    Iphone lag or slowness is also excerbated by its UI design flaw. In a nested navigation scenario (e.g. open link from email then open app from browser then...), it is so tedious and SLOW to navigate back the stack. On Android, you just hit the "back" button. Having a central Settings also slows things down a lot.

    Even in web pages loading speed Iphone5 lost to Galaxy S3 by this test.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Web-...vs-Galaxy-S-III-vs-One-X-vs-Lumia-900_id35164

    Look the the page load speed (with Flash plugin disable in Android browser). The actual page load test is much faster in S3 than Ip5 eventhough the web benchmark shows ip5 to be better. Having a little more smoothness caused too much cpu/gpu power to be dedicated for UI leaving less for more essential processing.
     
  2. daveathall, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

    daveathall macrumors 68000

    daveathall

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    #2
    I find that my S4 is as smooth and jerk free in scrolling as any of the iPhones that I have owned, I have only found lag when opening the gallery app and battery widget reborn it is a slight lag, but nevertheless, still lag. All of the other apps I have on my home screens are lag free, I don't use the pre installed gallery app anyway but prefer Quick pic (https://play.google.com/store/apps/...bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5hbGVuc3cuUGljRm9sZGVyIl0.) which on my SGS4 is lag free. :)

    I do find the use of the word "lag" annoying when used with flagship Android phones, it certainly put me off trying one for years because of the misconceptions that I had after reading a lot of misinformation written by misinformed authors, I had expected a jerky, juddering and frustrating experience with Android, but found that not to be the case. IMHO, the flagship Android phones I have owned are as good (if not better in some cases) an experience in regards to the U/I as any iPhones, which in their own rights are superb devices. :)


    For reference the phones I have owned and used for at least a month;
    iPhones; 3GS, 4, 4S and 5.
    Android; SGS3, Nexus 4, SGS4.

    Non of the above phones were jailbroken or rooted.
     
  3. inselstudent macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Luckily there are ways to tweak the UI's speed on iPhone. Webscrollian makes scrolling a lot more responsive, and %hook' law speeds up animations. Ofc, only possible devices that are jailbroken, but with those extensions, iOS outdoes Android by far - just my opinion. Now some will probably flame me that it's not fair, comparing jailbroken iOS to Android...
     
  4. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    There is minimal lag and stutter on the flagship android devices running Jellybean however Touchwiz and Sense can introduce a small amount of lag, the new S4 is a perfect example of this. The Nexus 4 really has zero lag except for a select few aftermarket apps that are not optimized for jellybean.
     
  5. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #5
    This. The only reason there may be some lag is b.c the manufactures skins. For example, sense is a lot more lag free than the s4 b.c sense is less bloated than touchwiz. The nexus may be the most lag free of them all, and the s4 google edition will run flawlessly without any bloat. Either way all new flagship android phones run smooth and the complaints come from people who tried android in the pre-jellybean days.
     
  6. zbarvian macrumors 68010

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #6
    Your entire post could've easily been written in 2 paragraphs...

    A couple things: the browser scrolling speed is NOT the general UI/list speed, and isn't even fixed. When Facebook opens a link in their Web view, for example, it is the normal, fast scrolling. Some like it slow, some like it fast.

    Second, from the side-by-side real-world performance tests I've seen, the iPhone is one of the fastest, if not the fastest phones on the market when it comes to actual tasks like opening apps, games, or loading web pages.

    Third, I agree that Android has become far more FLUID, particularly stock Android. Touch response is still lacking, but even that is coming close. The problem is the inconsistency; it's not fluid and responsive everywhere. Some apps are laughably unresponsive, some apps stutter, the performance is just "janky," to steal a word from Chris Pirillo. In the future, I expect Google to optimize more by continuing work on Project Butter and all these aforementioned issues to be fixed.

    So no, it's not nonsense, but it's certainly not much of a problem when you're talking about current Android flagships. On a side note -- do the Android scrolling physics bother anyone? When I flick scroll in an iOS list the motion seems really natural, on Android it doesn't. Just a little gripe I've had for a while.
     
  7. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #7
    I don't have any lag on the S4. Had the 16gb for about a week then switched to the 32gb. No lag at all on both.

    The S3 had minor hiccups every once in a while, but I was probably only on stock for the first week only before I rooted and flashed a rom.

    I think sometimes any lag issue is overblown or just outright fabricated. But I do beleieve some are being truthful about lag they experience. It's just like anything else, differ experiences. Personally, I never had any battery issues on the 3GS, 4, or 4S, while others claimed battery life sucked. Same thing with antenna gate, never experienced that neither.
     
  8. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #8
    I see it on my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. Happens all the time, especially when trying to use apps while others are downloading. The screen gets jerky and apps get jerky, so yeah, I see it all the time.
     
  9. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    #9
    I don't notice much lag on mine

    The main time I do notice it (like mentioned above) is doing app updates on my N7, it's as though it doing a big cache clear out while updating the apps

    Strangely though, I don't get this on my S2 (ICS v JB?)
     
  10. TommyA6 macrumors 65816

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    May 15, 2013
    #10
    I don't know about you, but I prefer iPhones' way for scrolling, it gives me much more control. (You are free to prefer the Android way) Not to mention pinch to zoom is still more precise on iPhone (Don't know how to describe it but if follows my fingers better).
    As for the speed tests, you showed ONE speed test where galaxy s3 beat iPhone 5. There are dozens upon dozens of other videos where iPhone 5 is faster (I've seen them all and Iphone 5 is faster than galaxy s3). Actually, the iPhone 5 is faster than galaxy s4, experia z and the HTC one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XfzNMLDX7s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3pD8gwBfCY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80ANltSIhro

    And yet another little annoyance on Android is when you pinch out of zoom on a heavy website it takes a second or so to reload some parts of a site. That never happenes on my iPhone 5, it is always instant.
    In terms of gaming, iPhone 5 still easily kicks galaxy's, one's and experia's butt in terms of performance and fps (it is more enjoyable to play games on the bigger screen though). So I don't quite understand what you mean by "Apple sacrificing performance for smoothness".
     
  11. daveathall macrumors 68000

    daveathall

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    #11
    I have noticed that lag seems to be a problem, and pointed out more by those with phones that apparently have no lag, it seems to bother those with slight lag on their phones not very much. There also seems to be a lot of people stating as fact and hand wringing when the only thing they have as evidence are comments on a message board. :)
     
  12. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #12
    Annnd we have our daily obligatory android lag thread here folks, enjoy your stay and grab some popcorn!
     
  13. torana355, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

    torana355 macrumors 68020

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    #13
    This is not an Android issue, it is a Browser issue. I don't have this issue at all on my Nexus using AOSP or X-Scope browser. The Chrome browser on Android is surprisingly subpar.
     
  14. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #14

    The only mobile device I like Chrome on is my iPad2. Chrome is near perfection on the iPad. I don't like Chrome at all on the iPhone or any Android phones and tablets.
     
  15. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

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    Montreal, Quebec
    #15
    When using certain apps like Flipboard, Facebook, Chrome and others on my Nexus 7 compared to my Mini, there is definitely lag and jerkiness to be seen with the animations and scrolling. Scrolling and touch sensitivity is also an issue in general as I find my Mini much more responsive with swiping and flicking gestures.

    I'm kinda spoiled by the smoothness of iOS so I guess it irritates me more than someone who's used to how it is on Android. But there is definitely a noticeable difference. I know hardware-wise the Nexus 7 is a capable machine so I blame Android for the slow, jerky feel of the UI.

    Also, I will occasionally play Real Racing 3 on the Nexus 7 and the graphics (they've taken out some of the reflections and effects in the Android version) and frame rate is pretty bad on the Nexus vs. the Mini.

    I guess as Android hardware gets more powerful (such as the S4 or HTC One), the lag will be less and less of an issue but it does say something when you need a beast of a device just to get close to the inherent smoothness of iOS.
     
  16. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #16
    Newsflash: this happens on iOS, too.
     
  17. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Once again this is not an Android issue, this is due to poor app design. A perfect example is Whatsapp for android, the previous version was laggy and it stuttered when you scrolled however on the latest version it is butter smooth. Apps for iOS are easier to code for due to less fragmentation so more of them run smoothly. There are many Android apps that are still based on the older versions of Android like Tapatalk for example, once these are updated there will no longer be an issue.
     
  18. Michael Goff macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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    #18
    Android lag is seemingly there because of the way that the two different OSs prioritize things for resources.
     
  19. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #19
    The issue is that, at a very low level, iOS and Windows Phone use a separate thread for drawing the UI, and the app communicates with that thread to update the UI.

    Android lets the app control the UI thread, so no matter how optimized the app is, there will always be a small amount of lag as the system does not fully control the UI.

    I program on a Nexus 7 at work, and there's hardly any lag, however, it's not the touch->app opens experience that is on WP or iOS.
     
  20. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

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    #20
    Nonsense. The reason for the smoothness on iOS is due to core animation APIs that can create animations on the fly without needing raw CPU/GPU power to do so. Basically, iOS uses UI "tricks" to turn what would usually be a resource-intensive task such as scaling/rotation/shrinking/zooming/scrolling into perfectly smooth animations using minimal resources. Animations are pre-rendered by these APIs and require very little power to be displayed. On Android, such APIs do not exist and the GPU (which is not powerful enough yet on such devices) is forced to render the animations in real-time, taxing the hardware.

    There is 0 effect on speed on iOS as a result. On the contrary, UI animations are more resource intensive on Android as it requires raw CPU and GPU power to render.
     
  21. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #21
    Really? I've used iOS since it came out and have never seen this before. Not even on a first gen iPad.
     
  22. 1member1 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2012
    #22
    What you showed in the video is not lag. lag is when the screen stuck for a moment and you'll feel it. I didn't see the iPhone stuck just has less sensitivity on the scrolling..
     
  23. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    #23
    All those "tricks" do not stop my iPhone 4 from lagging like crazy.
     
  24. sentinelsx, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

    sentinelsx macrumors 68010

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    #24
    Ok, I guess a serious response is in order.

    I posted the explanation from a google employee who worked on android (it is still there on her g+ account) a while back and NO ONE read it. Reading is hard, I get it.

    In layman terms, everything in android is an activity. That activity, if it involves an interface, has a separate window (all activities and windows are sandboxed btw). Tap on an address bar? The keyboard showing up is a separate activity opened by your OS, in a separate window. When it comes on, you see the animation of the "keyboard window", but its hardly noticeable.

    And this is where it gets interesting. Any app that involves UI elements which need constant redrawing (and hence constant window animations) WILL create a burden on the hardware unless it is powerful enough. THIS is why powerful hardware is so much more important, to run those windows and their openGL and webGL contexts. Current hardware is powerful, but a lot of stuff going on can still overpower it.

    The way google tackles it is they build a cache. Say you are scrolling a list, all items are then pre-cached upon launching the list. So they only draw one "window", the list UI, say a contact list UI if you are in a contacts app. Scrolling simply fills the pre-cached items in the window instead of redrawing it with new data again. However, if you tap on "contact details" the contact details window (and a separate activity) will open. Good hardware PLUS good coding will make this process seamless.

    Now here's the thing, the above seems to explain why skins lag when scrolling with lists and other UI because OEMs are probably not getting the hang of it.

    And this is because google gives tremendous freedom to a dev. You can make your app flawlessly smooth, or a disaster. This is a double edged sword. Same like in iOS. Xcode already provides easy layout and coding tools, at the expense of flexibility.

    And by the whole nature of separate sandboxed activities, android is in theory very secure, except the fact google allows apps to interact if given permissions during install. THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T GET A VIRUS WHEN VISITING A SITE ONLY ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICE.

    I think an easy to understand example is contact list in TW. When I was scrolling it on a gs4 with 50+ items, it was grinding along. What I noticed was that after I turned off that air hover think that tries to follow my finger, it was smoother.

    The gs4 all of a sudden was freed from that extra task, that extra activity, and having to render another window showing me the preview. Hence less work and smoother scrolling.

    I hope this was helpful, as much as my lame attempt of making things easy to understand goes lol.
     
  25. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

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    #25
    That's iOS 6's fault. It was lot snappier with 4 and 5. Something about iOS 6 turned the 4 into a god-awful mess.
     

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