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BURNING QUESTION: Are mobile Web apps ever going to grow up?
Apple unveiled the iPad 2 last week in San Francisco, with a companion even in London, U.K., where Jason Jenkins, who writes for CNET UK's Crave gadget blog, had the brilliant idea of actually running a key benchmark test in the few minutes that he had the tablet in his hands.
[Jenkins' original post at the CNET UK was picked up and referenced by a range of tech Web sites, such as here at The Unofficial Apple Webblog; but the original CNET UK post, at this writing, is no longer available. A cached version could still be found.]
"The good news for anyone thinking of buying the iPad 2 is that it did incredibly well in the test, outperforming all the rivals we have in the building to compare with it," Jenkins reported.
The rivals included the Google Nexus S smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, both running Android, and the Android browser. Nexus S with Android 2.3.2, took 6,128 milliseconds to run the benchmark; the Samsung device, 7,066; iPad 2 took 2,097 seconds.
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.