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Fullscreen Home Screen Web Apps Load Slower in iOS 4.3?

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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]

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