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Blaze Software tests Apple iPhone, Google Android for speed

In a test conducted by Canadian software company Blaze Software, Google’s Android beat out the Apple (opens in new tab) iPhone with regard to the speed at which they both accessed the Web through mobile applications. According to the company, which used its own speed-measurement software, the iPhone 4 was slower than Google’s Nexus S smart phone 84 percent of the time when accessing the Web through the browser that operates applications such as Facebook and Twitter — and not by a little. The Android smart phone operated 52 percent faster over a WiFi network after more than 45,000 page loads from 1000 websites; on Android devices, pages took an average of 2.14 seconds to load versus 3.25 seconds on iPhone.

Blaze ran its tests on Fortune 1000 company websites and loaded the pages multiple times on different days. With less media-rich sites, optimized for mobile phones, the difference in downloading speed between the two systems was less obvious, according to the report. Blaze Software did not, however, compare Apple Safari or Google Chrome browsers that access the Web from the phone’s home screen.

Apple was quick to dispute the results of the test, saying it found “only an average of a second difference in loading Web pages,” saying that the research methodology was flawed and that Blaze didn’t actually test the Safari browser on the iPhone, but only their own embedded app. As a result, Apple continued, Blaze would not be able to measure Safari’s Web performance enhancements. Blaze countered that it tested the iPhone using a custom application leveraging Apple's UIWebView technology, which enables programmers to embed Web content into an app. UIWebView doesn’t take advantage of the new iOS 4.3 operating system, but Blaze stated that “this is the only option for iPhone applications … If Apple decides to apply their optimizations across their embedded browser as well, then we would be more than willing to create a new report with the new performance results."