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Apple Explodes at "Android Is Faster" Study

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Hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned.

When word came down that Android is 50% faster than the iPhone in web speed, the reaction was more of a psychological experiment in cognitive dissonance than a simple web speed study. Apple proponents did everything they could to disprove the story, or just render it meaningless.

"It's only a second! Big deal!"

"The people who conducted the study are biased!"

"Yet still the iPhone provides the best overall experience. Apple is still the leader in innovation and Android is no more than a copycat." (An actual comment from my article yesterday.)

You can only imagine the comments from their camp if the results were reversed.

But nobody wanted the story disproved and buried as much as Cupertino. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris immediately offered a response:

"Their testing is flawed. They didn't actually test the Safari browser on the iPhone. Instead they only tested their own proprietary app, which uses an embedded Web viewer that doesn't actually take advantage of Safari's Web performance optimizations. Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading Web pages."

In other words, Blaze conducted the study with the web access Apple provides developers called UIWebView. The technology allows app developers to embed web content into their programs and, as such, does not benefit from the performance enhancements and improvements that Apple provides its standalone Safari browser.

And that sound you hear is the collective cheer of fanboys who've found a loophole. After Blaze stood by its results, angry, self-satisfied comments flooded the article.

"You screwed up, just admit it."

"Full of lies, you are not using iPhone's Browser. You are using the embedded browser of iOS. Why are you in denial? It does not make sense."

"Your 15 minutes of fame will be up pretty soon. Next time test the browser instead of the embedded uiWebView control. You did prove one thing however, the incompetence of your company. I don't think your [sic] going to be selling too many of your services with a study like that."

But they're missing the forest for the trees.

The average user must rely on UIWebView all the time. Any time a web app is used, they will see that same lag in rendering web sites. Apple and its fans can't shrug off and dismiss such results when they occur during common, everyday usage. Especially when there is no distinction in Android's default and embedded browsers.

The results still tell us that Android's embedded browser performs 52% better than iPhone's embedded browser. No matter how you spin it, that's a significant lead.

And if Apple did indeed enhance and improve Safari, why didn't the UIWebView earn the same improvements? And why did the company keep such discrepancies secret until now? Under these conditions, app developers and the quality of their programs suffer. We were under the impression that Apple provides the best environment for developers and, in turn, the end user who runs their apps.

If anything, this revelation sheds a light on Apple's selective development rather than attempt to disprove a study.

But as of now, we don't have a pure browser-to-browser comparison and therefore, can't categorically state which OS has the faster default browser. So until then, the smug self-righteousness will never subside.

Unless, of course, Apple wins that round.

(See also: Android 50% Faster Than iPhone in Web Speed and Should You Wait on Buying Android's Best 4G Smartphone?)

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