Mobile Web Browsing

Why Mobile Browsers Always Seem to Lag

December 19, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

Something many of us take for granted on our smartphones is the web browser.  As devices advance in technology and screen size gets larger, browsing the web is more enjoyable now – remember those nasty 3.5 – 4.0-inch displays – I used to dread looking much up on the internet, or hitting that “link” in an email to open up the browser window.  Transferring you PC web browser that can take up large amounts of space on a hard drive and occupy a tremendous amount of RAM, to a smartphone sized space with limited resources was no small task.

In the “old” days, most websites were built around an 800 x 600 resolution when things were a lot simpler.  Now we have so many screen sizes, resolutions, operating systems, browser version, etc., it makes a mobile browser’s job even more difficult to display everything in a proper fashion.  There were few “mobile friendly” websites back in the day, so in order to handle the scaling of the material, Apple came up with the pinch-to-zoom technique and Android originally used a double-tap technique to zoom-in.

In order for the “double-tap” to work, the programmers had to “insert” a 300ms (about 1/3 second) delay to see if the user was going to single or double tap the display – the system had to “wait” to see if the user would give the display a second tap, and after that 300ms, it would allow you to continue to your next tap location.  However, in doing so, it appears to the user that there is a lag time, and they would be correct, 300ms.  The crazy thing is that this delay is no longer needed, and as programmers begin to write first for the mobile browser, we will see this disappear in our mobile web browsers. Below is an excellent example of just how much of a “lag” there is between tapping the screen:

Let us know on our Google+ Page which mobile browser you are currently using. Many use the stock browser that came with their device and others download Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Dolphin, or our beloved Chrome. Chrome actually has a beta version that has removed this delay – give it a try and let us know what you think:

Google-Play-Banner-Get-it-On-Large1

source: HTML5 Rocks