Why Android Will Always Be Laggier Than iOS

Why Android Will Always Be Laggier Than iOS

One of the things that really stands out using an iPhone is just how smooth it feels compared to using Android. Where as Android is laggy, with a measurable interim between when you touch the screen and when the OS responds, iOS almost seems to anticipate what you want to do before your finger touches the display.

How has Apple managed this incredible feat? A better question might be: “How has Google managed to screw up Android’s multitouch so much?” According to Andrew Munn — a software engineering student and ex-Google intern — Android is so messed up that Google might never be able to match an iPhone or iPad’s performance. Ouch!

Before we begin, here’s some background. In the past, it has been said that Android’s UI is laggy compared to iOS because the UI elements weren’t hardware accelerated until Honeycomb. In other words, every time you swipe the screen on an Android phone, the CPU needs to draw every single pixel over again, and that’s not something CPUs are very good at.

That argument makes sense, except if it were true, Android would have stopped measurably lagging in touch responsiveness compared to iOS when Android 3.0 Honeycomb was released. Except guess what? Android devices are still laggy even after Honeycomb is installed on them.

Most modern Android phones have specs that are equivalent or even better than the iPhone’s (for example, most Android phones ship with 1GB of RAM, compared to the iPhone 4S’s 512MB); the problem isn’t hardware. So what’s the issue?

Here’s why Android can’t render its touch UI without lagging, according to Munn. In iOS, UI rendering processes occur with dedicated threads in real-time priority, halting other processes and focusing all attention on rendering the UI. . In other words, every time you touch your finger to your iPhone’s display, the OS literally goes crazy: “Someone’s touching us! Someone’s touching us! Stop everything else you’re doing, someone’s touching us!”

In Android, though, UI rendering processes occur along with the main thread with normal priority. In other words, it treats rendering the UI the same way as it would, say, downloading a podcast in the background, checking for SMSes, or anything else. Hence, a choppy UI.

Here’s Munn explaining what this all means, and why Google was stupid enough to design Android this way.

Android UI will never be completely smooth because of the design constraints I discussed at the beginning:

– UI rendering occurs on the main thread of an app
– UI rendering has normal priority

Even with a Galaxy Nexus, or the quad-core EeePad Transformer Prime, there is no way to guarantee a smooth frame rate if these two design constraints remain true. It’s telling that it takes the power of a Galaxy Nexus to approach the smoothness of a three year old iPhone. So why did the Android team design the rendering framework like this?

Work on Android started before the release of the iPhone, and at the time Android was designed to be a competitor to the Blackberry. The original Android prototype wasn’t a touch screen device. Android’s rendering trade-offs make sense for a keyboard and trackball device. When the iPhone came out, the Android team rushed to release a competitor product, but unfortunately it was too late to rewrite the UI framework.

So why hasn’t Google just changed the UI framework? Well, it’s a daunting task that would involve every app on Android Market to be rewritten to support the new framework. That’s at least a year away, and may never happen.

In other words, for Google to ever fully deal with Android’s lag problems, it needs to basically hit the reset button and destroy its app ecosystem. iOS, on the other hand, was built from the ground up to support multitouch smartphones; hell, Apple was the supreme visionary of it. It’s important to get things right.

[via Redmond Pie]

  • Steve J

    Mann’s explanation has already been kinda debunked: http://jstn.cc/post/1382972058
    The Cliff’s Notes version is that it really has nothing to do with hardware or thread priority, it’s just that it’s not coded as well on android.

  • jeanlouisnguyen

    Touch responsiveness also has to do with hardware – not just UI rendering. The iPhone and iPad are capable of tracking not only gestures, but also precise contact points and pressure levels – all of these combined with a rendering method that prioritizes this goal. This is why users feel like screens on iOS not only follow, but literally ‘stick’ to the fingers, no matter how subtle the gesture is. It’s designed from the get-go; it’s what Apple does. However, I expect Android to get progressively better to a point where hardware and software improvements will eventually close the gap. Look at Eclair just 2-3 years ago, and compare it with ICS. It’s night and day.

  • giazzon

    “Or Windows Phone 7″. You’re welcome for completing the missing words from the article’s title.

  • mduncanvm

    “In other words, every time you touch your finger to your iPhone’s display, the OS literally goes crazy: “Someone’s touching us! Someone’s touching us! Stop everything else you’re doing, someone’s touching us!”

    hahaha I love this.

  • AforAppleAforAndoid

    Google should change their OS name to LagDroid Or JunkDroid .

  • jpv41193

    Funny, my iPod experiences UI lag on a regular basis wit iOS5, even after a full restore. Sure, it’s better than Android. But this is written as though iOS never has lag, but I’ve had a laggy experience with it for a while.

  • volodoscope

    So is my original iPad. It almost feels like Apple is making older iPads and iPhones slower on purpose so you buy new ones. I think the secret is to never update past iOS3.2

  • AforAppleAforAndoid

    you’ve must be jailbroken & had installed winterboard.

  • Agree (with Alumnus)

    The theory sounds good. However, on my iPad 2 last night, I had a chat going, and the tablet would simply freeze up… I could hit a letter on the keyboard over and over again, and… nuthin’
    This kept on happening until I did a formal shutdown, and a restart… software is still software, and when something unexpected happens, it gets buggy and refuses to reply…The explanation of a ‘choppy UI’ is great but this is not always the case!

  • jpv41193

     Nope. I haven’t jailbroken. It’s a 4G iPod touch, I’ve had lag with iOS 4 and 5. More so with 5, but it did happen on 4.

  • Joe

    I have never had any lag issues with my Samsung.. Sorry to bust this bias report’s bubble. In fact, I bought the wife an Asus Transformer and it’s really quick and responsive. Three months ago, we converted an iZombie to one and he has never looked back.

  • djrobsd

    John,

    Is this seriously the best article you could come up with today?  I am really starting to question the credibility of this site.  First of all, I have a non jailbroken iPhone 4 on iOS 5.01 and my phone lags ALL the time.  Especially now with iTunes Match, when I go into my Music it REALLY lags.

    Second,

    I have an HP Touchpad that is NOT even made to run Android, and I installed Android using Cyanogenmod and guess what?  It doesn’t lag… It’s not clunky as you describe in this article.   

    Maybe you better do your homework before just quoting these nut jobs who claim they know everything about the Android and the tablet world.

  • Asszem

    This is a very good article indeed. My favorite part is when the guy explains that the development of android was started before the iPhone and it was meant to compete with Blackberry phones

  • AforAppleAforAndoid

    i have iPodtouch 4thgen 32gigs ios 5.0.1 tethered jailbreaked, lots of tweaks & Apps, only 7GB left & still no lag here,runs like butter :p

  • Steven Zahl

    Lagging more obvious on the Tablet, less on the phones.

  • Erik Chavez

    Agreed. My iPhone 4s lags EVERYTIME I swipe right to get to the search bar. Also, wtf, the guy you’re quoting is a student and an intern and he talks like he knows shit. Get out of here. I like my iPhone (it’s my first) after many android phones but lets not get carried away.

  • Alex Peterson

    The key word here is “Cyanogenmod”.  The Android rooting community has been much more successful in minimizing lag than Google has.  I owned a Droid Incredible that was laggy between screen swipes.  After installing Cyanogenmod 7, the lag was seriously reduced (although still there occasionally).

    To those who believe that Android isn’t laggy, may I direct you to the Kindle Fire.

  • Alex Peterson

    N/M

  • Mike Rathjen

    My experience is exactly the opposite. iPhone 4 no jailbreak 5.01, very smooth. HP Touchpad… laggy as hell.

  • Mafo5000

    This is a great article. My android Captivate is laggy SOMETIMES, but when i over-clock it it’s super smooth and i love it.

  • LeCorsaire

    I don’t think you can judge the merit of the claim by the age and occupation of the claimer, esp. in the computer business.  Linus Torvalds wrote Linux when he was a student.  Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computer when he was at the age of a graduate student.  You just never know who are you talking about.  I mean, Google hired this guy, even as an intern, so he must know -something-.  If you don’t believe me, just try yourself and see if you can get pass Google’s 1st round of interview.

  • Timothy Weaver

    There is no one in any measurable number using Windows Phone 7.

  • cliqsquad

    Rooting it is the only thing that made me keep the Fire. The lags and the App icons are pixelated. Plus most of the damn good Apps in the Amazon App Store are restricted from use on the Fire. I rooted that sucker quick and now it is the household tablet, rather than my iPad 2.

  • Adrayven

    Sounds like this girl I once knew. :D

  • Steven Sill

    Article is based on feedback from an ex-intern!?LMAO! Wonder if he was bitter because they told him he would not be invited back.

  • Daniel Harris

    I disagree. I can easily measure the number of Windows Phone 7 users by using my fingers.

  • Kerim Incedayi

    haha +1

  • Paulakero

    Google makes very small amounts of money off Android vs what Apple makes off mobile: Googles mobile profits is 1 to 2 billion a year, Apple is way over 50 b
    In fact two thirds of Google’s mobile searches is from iOS.(I’m not even minusing Android costs like R&D and the 12 billion pending purchase of Motorola)and with the android market facturing into areas like OMS and Kindle and OEMS locking phones to Bidu, Bing etc where Google is locked out from much of the profits you have to wonder how much commitment going forward Google has to Android development (vs Apple ) . 

  • Wesley Gray

    “LMAO”
    Just reveals a complete lack of programming knowledge. 

  • Astro Turfer

    “lag” is probably the wrong word to use (although Android handsets also suffer from lag). “UI fluidity” is probably a more appropriate term. The basic UI just isn’t smooth when you scroll/zoom. Samsung did some great work making the Galaxy S2 (and the Galaxy S with Android 2.2.1) much better, but it’s still not as fluid or smooth as an iDevice, WP7, or even MeeGo or Bada handset.

    Even on the Galaxy Nexus scrolling is so stuttery and jerky that it destroys the end-user experience. I have created a YouTube video to try and demonstrate the problem, unfortunately the iPad I shot the video with doesn’t seem to capture at a high enough frame-rate to show how bad the problem really is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    It’s not just the browser – it’s everywhere! It some places it’s not so bad (like scrolling through contacts, and the calendar is generally really smooth), but try scrolling an SMS thread with a mere 27 messages, and the stutter/jerkiness will drive you nuts.

    Where ever there’s a ListView, where ever there’s scrolling to be done, you gotta ask yourself if you feel lucky… Well, do ya…. punk?

  • STRIPBLUNTS

    That’s obviously NOT true! You need to provide a video with evidence. My iPad is faster, smoother & the battery lasts longer since I upgraded to iOS5. Nice try though! How much do they pay you to spread propaganda? 

  • Garrett Lofland

    i have a lot of android based items… none of which lag a bit. 

  • Goldie20

    This is getting so predictable you only have to read the title to know who wrote the story.

    No need to even post the byline

  • Goldie20

    This is getting so predictable you only have to read the title to know who wrote the story.

    No need to even post the byline

  • Evan Benford

    This really maks me think Android will come late to the high res tablet party. Maybe Tegra 3 could handle it, but that just says the processor will always need to do the heavy lifting of those pixels.

  • Evan Benford

    i dont think stating how Android manages touch input and how it is not superior for implmentaion on multitouch devices is biased. I think its just facts.

  • RangyG

    i didn’t know what lag was, until i installed iOS 4 on my iPhone 3G, there’s a device with a lifetime of <12 months

  • ajendus

    Something else is going on. 

  • Roy Lin

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. :)

  • Aelfwyne

    Seriously? I don’t detect ANY lag on my Android…. this is all just FUD. Is there something to what that guy said? Sure. Does it affect the average consumer? Not really.

    Now, what I get out of that is that I realize that Android is *actually* multitasking, whereas IOS is NOT multitasking. It doesn’t update while you’re touching the screen? What??? Seems like a huge flaw to me.

  • Steven King

    I think the article is spot on.

    I`ve never touched an Android device that compares to any iOS device as far as smooth UI rendering goes.
    It`s good to know why.

  • tutaina

    So ios cant walk and pee at the same time?

  • ntcongit

    first world problem: you can’t use touch screen and load browser at the same time in iOS, just tested on iPad 2

  • Hetal Patel

    Headless Article by John Brownlee

  • Theo Clark

    I guess my 1st Gen iPad missed the memo. Up to 5 seconds of lag just tapping buttons in the settings menus since iOS5… 

  • David McClellan

    A hired intern. Now that’s a first for the term. 

  • David McClellan

    You have an Apple logo as an avatar. How much do they pay YOU to spread propaganda? Believe it or not, some people have poor experiences on iDevices. Just like people have poor experience on Android devices. 

  • Casey McG.

    So you don’t think his knowledge or experience should have any bearing on his credibility?

    Here is how the author himself described himself: “I do not have any authoritative Android knowledge.” (See link to his name in body of story.)

    According to same author, his qualifications to make claim that Android is and will always be fundamentally inferior to iOS: (1) studies software engineering as a junior at unnamed college; (2) interned at Google on Android team – BUT, not on framework team, nor did he ever read Android rendering source code; (3) Romain Guy once reviewed his code; (3) he has “done [his] best to do his homework.”

    Maybe he’s right, maybe not.  I am sure he is a bright, serious and capable person.  Still, FWIW, he is not the first person in the world I would look to for expert advice on this topic.

  • totnuckers

    Well he also said that he hasn’t seen Android rendering code and  he cannot guarantee what he says on the post is necessarily 100% accurate.

  • RilesPro

    Good article. Android is a ripoff serves em right

  • RilesPro

    Ha

  • RilesPro

    You don’t count

  • Mino Giacomo A. Marimat

    sure, but this article doesn’t exclude the fact that lagging still occurs in iOS. 

  • Aleksandr Avseyev

    Article is technically wrong at many levels. Technically there’s no real-time UI thread in iOS. In fact there’s no a dedicated part in kernel (micro-kernel to be more exact) which is solely responsible for rendering. Responsiveness is a combination of multiple techniques and fine tuning in API’s at many levels. Also, to my knowledge, iPhone was the first mobile phone where rendering of UI components was delegated to GPU. Another architectural flop for Android in my opinion was use of JVM as a basis for Android apps. Besides being an extra middle-ware, eating more resources etc, garbage collection in JVM is not controlled by a developer. It may kill smoothness of UI and general user experience at very unpredictable moments. In iOS developer is in control of all resources app allocates and disposes.

  • Anuj Pandey

    Try windows phone 7/7.5 Its lot smoother touch interfaces and works like charm. Loving it.

  • Derrick Best

    More because they want everything to be free.

  • epicmaster

    very biased, you should stop writing for life….

  • epicmaster

    Wait, your saying that As soon as I touch the screen iOS stops what ever its doing to complete the UI tasks? Have you wondered how it does multi-tasking then? maybe read up on how this stuff works before just giving out biased BS.

  • ocdtrekkie

    LOL, stupid article. And if anything, proof of Apple’s stupid design. The phone should do what it’s supposed to do. If every time I waved the mouse, my PC choked up trying to respond to it, it wouldn’t get any actual processing done.

    Gotta love how Apple fanboys can twist common sense.

  • Casper Bang

    Wow, every time I am starting liking Apple stuff, I come across some BS talk like this.

    As Dianne Hackborn explains here, Android has been using hardware acceleration from the get go: https://plus.google.com/105051

    Both Android and iOS delegates UI work to a responsible thread, that is the de-facto standard way of doing widget toolkits and is also used in Qt, NextStep, X Windows etc. Have a look at Android’s http://developer.android.com/r

    Good think the article wasn’t longer, who knows what you would’ve come up with then!

  • Asszem

    “One thing that upsets me is that Apple blogs are using my post as evidence that Android will never, ever be as smooth as iOS. I don’t think this is necessarily true. It may not be at the moment, but look at all the progress that’s been made between Android 1.5 and 4.0 in a few short years.”
    Andrew Munn, on GPlus, directly reeferring to cult of mac: https://plus.google.com/u/0/10

  • Astro Turfer

    I think it’s a very well written and very relevant article. I for one am sick and tired of hoping for a smooth Android handset with every Android release, only to be left feeling very disappointed when Google fails to deliver. Fool me once, shame on you…” etc.

    Those who throw up ‘fanboy’ comments have either never used an Android and experienced the lag, have used an Android but haven’t used anything else to compare it with, or are just fanboys themselves defending their mobile OS of choice by going on the attack. In any event, the end result is they’re not pushing Google to fix the problem, and are contributing to the sub-standard user-experience 200 million Android users must endure every day.

    I have created a video here demonstrating the problem in the browser alone on the Galaxy Nexus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v….

    If you want to see Google’s attitude towards the problem, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    Then there is Android issue 6914: http://code.google.com/p/andro
    and 20278: http://code.google.com/p/andro

    It’s a real problem. When the ‘fan-club’ comes out of denial and takes a bit of the reality cake, perhaps then Google will finally do something constructive towards fixing the issue once and for all instead of waiting around for fast CPUs with more cores (even the quad-core Asus Transformer suffers from the problem).

    I want to love the little green Android, I really do. But while this problem remains, I can barely tolerate him.

  • ALF

    I have a cheap  100$ android, ZTE blade, and I don’t have any disturbing lag. Any way, I would prefer lag and freedom than smoothness in jail.

  • Hosni

    You have a mouse on your phone?  Have you tried a trackball?

  • Hosni

    Good decision: you’re going to replace your 4-year old phone in less than 12 months. 

  • Hosni

    Maybe you weren’t doing it right.

  • Casper Bang

    http://www.cultofmac.com/13362

    Wow, every time I am starting liking Apple stuff, I come across some BS talk like this.

    As Dianne Hackborn explains here, Android has been using hardware acceleration from the get go: https://plus.google.com/105051

    Both Android and iOS delegates UI work to a responsible thread, that is the de-facto standard way of doing widget toolkits and is also used in Qt, NextStep, X Windows etc. Have a look at Android’s http://developer.android.com/r

    Good think the article wasn’t longer, who knows what you would’ve come up with then!

    (Repost, as apparently cultofmac.com sensors the truth)

  • Casper Bang

    http://www.cultofmac.com/13362

    Wow, every time I am starting liking Apple stuff, I come across some BS talk like this.

    As Dianne Hackborn explains here, Android has been using hardware acceleration from the get go: https://plus.google.com/105051

    Both Android and iOS delegates UI work to a responsible thread, that is the de-facto standard way of doing widget toolkits and is also used in Qt, NextStep, X Windows etc. Have a look at Android’s http://developer.android.com/r

    Good think the article wasn’t longer, who knows what you would’ve come up with then!

    (Repost, as apparently cultofmac.com sensors the truth)

  • Matt Ledbetter

    So…your main source for your article was a former intern?  Cool!

  • blaque_prince

    Android is not built to run on any specific hardware. So immediately you need an interpreted or JIT compiled solution or else app devs will be compiling their apps for every platform. GC apparently isn’t the problem. To be honest there’s barely a problem to begin with. But for what its worth Jobs told everybody exactly how they handle this. They limit what the devices can do until theres hardware to run it smoothly. Thats why there were no backgrounds and multitasking in previous iPhones and still limited multitasking now. Its a form before function attitude that gets you a smooth phone with last years feature set.

  • blaque_prince

    I think that two thirds of mobile searches stat has been falsely tossed about. I remember Google tying a huge increase in search traffic to Android. Regardless Google never sought to make money directly from Android so why would they change their minds now. Its been WAY more successful than they probably every planned. The whole point was to get a seat at the table to keep the others honest. It was the same thing they did with the Chrome browser. Now if they take a direction with Chrome the others pretty much have to follow. The others can’t pull some proprietary garbage like ActiveX because there are big enough alternatives for people to move to. Well in the case of Android they now dominate the market. And don’t even try to bring profit margin or share into it. Google now guides the mobile industry. If they do something with Android the others have to follow or risk Android grabbing even more share. So theres no locking Google out of mobile search and other mobile services. They’ve done exactly what they set out to do.

  • Abhishek Tyagi

    umm, did you say ex-google “intern”? The source is just too weak to be credible. But yes I concur that touch is way too smooth on iPhone than Android. 

  • Hampus

    Oh yea, clearly stupid design… Just look at common users like my mom or stepdad, having the OS deal with what’s important rather than drawing the UI is really important to them, I can tell every time they get annoyed at their device because it’s not responding to input the moment input is needed.

    Now that said, this article is kind of stupid because this isnt really the way it works. The difference in iOS and Android rendering is that iOS uses OpenGL this means that unlike the renderer in Android every part of the UI doesn’t have to be redrawn from scratch every frame of an animation.

  • Hampus

    Yea, as many have pointed out the article isn’t exactly technically correct.
    Want a good read on the same topic? (And some other Android and iOS topics) check out this link http://nfarina.com/post/823963
    It’s focused on the differences between developing for iOS vs Android but the last part (Animation) is about what this Article was trying to tell us.

  • Mark Kamoski

     Regarding this…
     
    >>> In other words, for Google to ever fully deal with Android’s lag problems, it needs to basically hit the reset button and destroy its app ecosystem

    …I cannot see why that must be the case…

    …it is not a “reset” rather just a “this app runs on Android OS 4 and lower” and “this app over here runs on Android OS 5 and higher”…

    …similar to what Apple does… I have an old iPhone 1 (now my 5-year-olds-gaming-device) that cannot upgrade to iOS 4 and therefore there are A LOT of apps in the Apple iTunes store that simply will not install to it…

    …so, it is the case that the claim that a the claim by the “reset and destroy” poster is a bit over the top and inaccurate.

  • ocdtrekkie

    As a productive device, Android is more capable. Because it prioritizes doing things. As an eye candy toy, yes, iPhone’s ability to scroll in a shinier fashion makes it look more fun.

  • digit13

    or faildroid

  • innovationseo

    Iphone Application Development – Nice one.. Iphoes are better than anyother smart phones with greater speed, much better OS ,and UI

  • IgnasS

    iOS can do that, because it doesn’t have a real multitasking, it’s just a fake multitasking, typical appl :)

  • Nasry Al-Haddad


    The Android rooting community has been much more successful in minimizing lag than Google has.”
    That’s the beauty of Open Source OS, Open Source Apps, and Open Source community

  • jazzstore

    What else would they compete with if there was no iPhone? Shit, Andy Rubin also played a big roll in Danger/Sidekick OS development, which to me was the Blackberry competitor and if it wasn’t for less apps, was way better. Form factor, UI design and all. Plus it was the first phone I remember having an App Store. In true Google fashion, before its time, it even synced everything back to T-mobile servers.

    OpenMoko (never really released) was also being developed openly before the iPhone came out and that was a straight slate design exactly like the iPhone. Linux based open source phone.

  • Tom Hermans

    This is “your opinion” based on a few true or not facts from your “source”, an intern.. way to go.

    and then, based on the perceived smoothness of a platform you’re trying to diss it and suggest to dismantle it..  At that point I was laughing even harder than usual at the herd..

  • Daniel Ruzhitsky

    You do realize that Google had nothing to do with the lag on your Incredible and that it was HTC’s fault? It lagged because of the skin HTC puts on their phones. That’s why I use cm7, miui, and omfgb on every phone I own.

  • topscientist

    Uh, actually, half-wit, it has real multi-tasking.  It’s Unix, Einstein. They just don’t allow sandboxed apps full access to it.

  • topscientist

    Why don’t you freaking learn the English language?  The adjective is “biased.”

  • AGWednesday

    I don’t think he realizes that CM brings him much closer to the true Google Android experience than HTC’s Sense ROM ever would.

  • Jack

    Why don’t you grow up.

  • Robert Munro

    What a load of ****. I seriously cant see any lag on honeycomb. Even on older devices the android graphics API uses native methods to draw.

    And having the advantage of true multitasking instead of the iOS approach makes it worth it.

  • volodoscope

    lol i’m a hard core apple fan too i wasn’t trying to be trolling or anything. it’s just something i noticed with my iPad. But then again, i think i was running developer preview iOS 5.

  • Goliath711

    Lol, this article is a complete joke. My SGS2 runs as smooth as butter, no lag whatsoever with this phone. You can obviously tell that this is biased towards iOS. Cmon how much could an intern know? He probably was just an intern for a week or two, lol.

  • Geoff Spink

    I love that you have linked to Andrew Munn’s commentary – yet if you follow the link you will discover that he refutes what he originally said: and I quote “A LOT OF MY ANALYSIS OF ANDROID PERFORMANCE IS WRONG”… Yet, where is the edit or footnote on your article to suggest you have taken the misinformed word of an unqualified intern as gospel??

  • dserodio

    Angry commenters, do you really expect a balanced view of the competition from a site that’s called “CULT of Mac”? This is a place for religious fervor! Don’t question the dogmas! :-) 

  • VCsekhar Parepalli

    I want to believe this “..Someone’s touching us! Stop everything else you’re doing,.. ” is true because the Iphone-Safari didn’t allow me to scroll horizontally and vertically at the same time while some game-apps did. But I couldn’t believe this as an iOS issue as this sounds to be more like an apps issue. I guess there is more to iOS’s super responsiveness than just “stop everything else and process this touch ” stuff. 

  • instinctive

    Android is pretty lucky because – as unbelievable as it seems – nobody seems to notice this lag.

    Yes, I today was introduced to another “amazingly fast” Android device (don’t remember the name, but the person said it’s the fastest on the planet – “proven by reviews”), and dude, everything was a slideshow (to MY eyes). Swiping gestures yielded at most 8-10 fps, compared to around 30 fps on my iPhone 4 (I can sense fps pretty exactly without any tools).

    But, the person very obviously didn’t notice it, OR Android users are so fanboyish that they just willingly ignore the obvious weaknesses of their gadgets.

    At once point, the person even struggled to bring down the Android equivalent of “Notification center”, because it lagged so much that there were only 2 frames: “Up” and “Down”.

    I repeatedly commented on all this, and all the person was repeating was that “It’s much faster than the iPhone, Reviews prove it ™!”, and “I had an iPhone too, and it turned itself off all the time”.

    Dude, that is odd. As I said, Android is probably lucky there’s so many people out there who don’t notice a thing, and thus can taylor to those.

  • mauricekindermann

    Great article. You should download and try iOS7. It’s going to be interesting the cool new things people will start making with the crazy API changes. Most people don’t realise Apple have spent a tonne of time updating all their API’s, in fact all their new apps are built with the API’s us developers will be able to use.

    Here’s a UX comparison between Android and iOS standard widgets, with links to the documentation on the relevant Apple / Android websites. It’s a nice way to get started learning all the technical terms. (ios6 / Android)

    http://kintek.com.au/blog/portkit-ux-metaphor-equivalents-for-ios-6-and-android-4/

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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