Fullscreen Home Screen Web Apps Load Slower in iOS 4.3?


The Register reports that iOS is apparently ‘crippling’ web applications that run from your home screen. According to developers, when apps are run from the home screen in full screen mode, the new Nitro JavaScript engine doesn’t apply, and runs a different Javascript engine.

“Essentially, there are two different JavaScript engines,” says Alex Kessinger, a mobile application developer and blogger who has focused on building web-standards-based apps for the iPhone. “They’re not using the new JavaScript engine with applications that launch from the home screen.

What’s more, such “home screen web apps” can’t use various web caching systems, including the HTML5 Application Cache, which means they can’t be cached to run offline. And they aren’t rendered using Apple’s newer “asynchronous mode”. They’re saddled with the old “synchronous mode”, which means means they don’t quite look as good.”

So is Apple actually slowing down web apps launched from the home screen? Apparently not. They have made web apps launched from within Safari faster. Either way, there shouldn’t be disparities and Apple should address this in its next iOS update.

Also, web caches have been eliminated since iOS 4.2, as HTML5 apps can’t be played offline. An example was the game Pie Guy. If you save it to your home screen, it can’t be played anymore.

You can see the differences for yourself. Just run this modified SunSpider JavaScript benchmark on iOS 4.3 and follow the instructions.

What do you think? Is this a sort of ‘evil master plan’ by Apple to ‘force’ developers into the App Store?

[The Register]


  • Dale

    No, I don’t think so. We’ve seen other things like retina home screen icon support take a few releases to make it in, I think they’ll add support eventually.

  • Anonymous

    Why wouldn’t it be? The courts down in the US have ruled that jb’ing your iphone is legal since it’s the purchaser’s lawful property and are free to do to it as they will and yet Apple continues to thumb their noses at said ruling and close every exploit that the hackers uncover. This is just another example of Apple’s incessant need for control.