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Web Browsing Performance on Android 2.2 Hampered by Flash Compatibility

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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PocketNow offers a comparison of Web browsing speeds between Apple's iPhone 3GS and Google's new Android 2.2 "Froyo" announced earlier this week. Froyo is notable for Google's claims regarding browsing speed, but also for its support of Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 Beta, which will allow Android devices running the updated operating system to handle Flash content on the Web, unlike the iPhone.

PocketNow's lengthy video comparison seems to show that Froyo does in fact offer a speedy browsing experience, but that speed increase is canceled out by the need for it to load Flash content on many websites. The result means that users may be able to enjoy the benefit of seeing webpages rendered with Flash content included, but at the expense of slower page loading.

Furthermore, while the demonstration appears to show adequate ability to play Flash-based games, the browser's ability to deal with Flash content on a fluid basis as integrated into a webpage seems less impressive. Flash elements lead to stuttering while scrolling and zooming on webpages with Flash content, and even resulted in a low memory warning requiring the tester to actively manage the currently open applications on the test device. Commenters on the PocketNow article report that users have the ability to load Flash elements only on demand, but that even so the browser experiences some increased lag compared to Flash-free browsing.

While Flash 10.1 remains in beta form and will likely see improvements in both the software and hardware partners' ability to offer hardware-accelerated Flash performance on mobile devices, the current performance is not likely to sway Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who noted in his "Thoughts on Flash" open letter last month that he had yet to see Flash "performing well" on mobile platforms.
We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it.
PocketNow is planning to completely uninstall Flash from its Nexus One handset running Froyo in order to more accurately assess the speed increase associated with the new Android browser when not being hampered by Flash content. Preliminary indications based on benchmarks suggest that its speed easily exceeds that of Android 2.1 and should significantly surpass that of the iPhone 3GS.

Article Link: Web Browsing Performance on Android 2.2 Hampered by Flash Compatibility
 

mrochester

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2009
2,309
589
Better to have the choice to view Flash if you want rather than no choice at all. Looks pretty good actually! And this version of Flash is beta, so hopefully it'll get better still. Google are doing a really great job with Android right now, there's a lot of impressive things coming from them just now.
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
Predictable, really. I am impressed that non-Flash loading speeds are as quick as they are, but I've generally been unimpressed by Android overall, so we'll see how it matures. Haven't gotten to see Froyo in action yet, so maybe it'd be better.

Of course, I'm saying all of this as I'm still stuck with a cheapo Samsung dumb phone, so it's not like it directly affects me much.

Better to have the choice to view Flash if you want rather than no choice at all.

Is it really better if it's not a choice? Since Flash content loads automatically (unless you uninstall Flash completely), and apparently significantly slows down page loading for most webpages (even for nothing more than Flash ads), doesn't that mean that it's worse to have the choice than not to have it at all?

jW
 

DAMNiatx

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2009
668
18
Come on, why do you compare browser with full compability, with the one doesn't even support ?,
Its not fair.
 
B

Black Macbook

Guest
I disable flash on my Mac! Who needs that crap! Some moron playing some lame game on facebook?

The only time I actually need to turn on flash is occasionally when i order domino's pizza! Pages load much quicker without flash and usually most flash content seems to be annoying advertisements.

I also prefer my porn in high quality, hi-def, so no loss for me there either.
 

Doju

macrumors 68000
Jun 16, 2008
1,510
0
Interesting for sure. While I would likely turn Flash off myself, I know some people desire it.

But something tells me if we let it, even as an option, it will continue to thrive. We needed someone like Steve Jobs to say "no" entirely in order to deal it a lethal shot. Now we may see it disappear, albeit slower because of Android.

I'm split.
 

mrochester

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2009
2,309
589
Is it really better if it's not a choice? Since Flash content loads automatically (unless you uninstall Flash completely), and apparently significantly slows down page loading for most webpages (even for nothing more than Flash ads), doesn't that mean that it's worse to have the choice than not to have it at all?

Great if they stuck an option in there to allow/disallow it on the fly. That would be the icing on the cake.
 

thetexan

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
720
0
At least Android gave users the option.

Turn it on if you don't mind the performance decrease, turn it off if you'd rather not see it. I'd much rather the option than to be left out in the dust, as I'd turn it on before going to a website to watch a movie / show and I'd have it turned off for my everyday browsing.
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
Great if they stuck an option in there to allow/disallow it on the fly. That would be the icing on the cake.

TapToFlash?

Heh, sounds kinda scary actually. But yeah, if I was to get a phone that would support Flash, that's the only way I'd use it. If I don't have to deal with the flash content until I tap on it, then it'd be ok (provided that means it really doesn't slow down the browsing experience unless it's in use).

That's what I do on my computer anyways.

jW
 

bocomo

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
495
0
New York
Interesting for sure. While I would likely turn Flash off myself, I know some people desire it.

But something tells me if we let it, even as an option, it will continue to thrive. We needed someone like Steve Jobs to say "no" entirely in order to deal it a lethal shot. Now we may see it disappear, albeit slower because of Android.

I'm split.

this

i'm not split, let's move on to better things
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,232
114
Reading this, the phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind.

I also get the impression when Adobe said they had look at the SDK in 2008 and could bring Flash to the iPhone it was 90% BS and Bravado. I mean THAT hardware (N1) that flash is spluttering and starting on is orders of magnitude faster than the 3G.
 

Padraig

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2005
601
0
I for one am shocked that having to load more data can slow a browser down.
Luckily I only use opera mini with images turned off.
 

mrochester

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2009
2,309
589
RIP Flash.

:)

With Flash heading to the many millions of current and future Android owners, I think Flash is going to be around for a lonnnnggggg time yet. Personally, I don't think Stevie should have any authority over the future of Flash. He should stick to his own walled garden and leave the decision about other products to someone else.
 

m4c1nt05h

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2007
45
0
it's been said before and i'll say it again.

for the general masses, even if they had a choice to turn flash on or off, i assume most people will have it on so the can have the "full internet" experience available.

when a flash page doesn't load, or when their battery life gets significantly reduced, or when their phone crashes, they'll blame the manufacturer of the handset, not adobe.

even if people had a choice, how many of them would know what they're choosing and the implications for each choice?
 

Marcusjlang

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2008
41
0
Am I the only one who thinks playing those flash games was pretty cool?

Am I the only one who is interested on watching Hulu on their phone (yes froyo users can do this with a minor modification)?

It's just a beta version of flash. It's still cool, and there should still be the option.
 

alexk82

macrumors regular
Nov 30, 2009
112
0
East Coast
I wonder

I wonder as more people upgrade will they also disable flash to have their mobile perform better. that would certainly be telling.
 

macfan881

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2006
2,345
0
For those who say flash is great all I need to do is point out to MLB.Tv ever since they switched there have been so many issues with users and problems since going over from silverlight. thankfully i have a ps3 and use iPhone so the issues havent been plagued for me.
 
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