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iPad 2's Web speed boost coming to other iOS devices this week

John Cox | March 7, 2011
A quick and dirty JavaScript speed test of the new iPad 2 gives an early indication of how the tablet's processor, operating system and HTML improvements pay off in terms of performance.

Jenkins concluded that overall iPad 2 is about 1.5 times faster on the Web than the original tablet.

The 4.3 iOS version will be released for existing iPads, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS models on March 11. Users likely will see a noticeable improvement in Web performance, at least in some applications.

Jenkins argues that this level of improved Web performance make buying the original iPad a very good deal, especially with the current discount now being offered by Apple. "Our numbers indicate that -- providing you're mainly going to use the iPad for Web browsing rather than gaming or videoconferencing -- that's a pretty nifty deal, as the performance difference between the two [iPads] is closer than Apple's marketing might lead you to believe," he writes.

Jenkins quick benchmark is not intended as a definitive analysis of how well iPad 2, and iOS 4.3 with the latest Safari actually handle Web content. That's a complex field, depending on more than just the raw processing power of the computing hardware. Performance can be heavily influenced by the various components of inside the Web browser, by the Web server itself, and the way that browser and server interact.

With iOS 4.3, Apple has incorporated into Safari an updated Nitro (formerly Squirrelfish) JavaScript engine. The engine is the component that interprets and executes the actual JavaScript either in a browser or for a Web server). Apple has an aggressive program to implement HTML5 specifications in Safari, and refine and improve its Web performance.

 

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