Web Browsing Performance on Android 2.2 Hampered by Flash Compatibility [Updated]

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.

Update: PocketNow has now posted a follow-up video showing that, with Flash disabled, the Android 2.2 browser is indeed faster than Safari on the iPhone 3GS in many of the real-world tests shown, sometimes by a significant margin.

Popular Stories

Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

Five iPhone 14 Rumors You May Have Missed

Thursday August 4, 2022 6:05 am PDT by
With August upon us, the countdown is officially on. We're just weeks away from when we're expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 14 lineup. Rumors of the next iPhone start early in the year, and as a result, some details about the upcoming device sometimes get lost in the crowd. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo To help MacRumors readers, we've created a ...
banish safari app pop ups

New iOS App Blocks Those Annoying 'Open in App' Pop-Ups in Safari

Friday August 5, 2022 2:47 am PDT by
You've probably experienced visiting a website like Reddit or LinkedIn on your iPhone only to be greeted with an annoying, almost full-screen pop-up urging you to view the content in their app instead of on the website. It's a common practice for websites that have accompanying iOS apps to push users to open (if they already have the app installed) or download their app from the App Store to ...
top stories 7aug22

Top Stories: iPadOS 16 Delayed, iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, Studio Display Speaker Issues

Saturday August 6, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The big Apple news this week was word that the upcoming iPadOS 16 update apparently won't be arriving alongside its counterpart update for the iPhone in September, largely due to a need to continue refining the new Stage Manager multitasking feature. Other popular stories this week included more hints about the iPhone 14 Pro's rumored always-on display, potential design leaks for the...