Apple Confirms Low Performance of Web Apps in iOS 4.3

Apple just confirmed The Register’s claim that the performance of web apps saved to / launched from the home screen of iOS-powered devices running iOS 4.3 is significantly lower than the performance offered by the same web apps, when launched directly via Mobile Safari. The issue was confirmed by Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller, who simply told the news oultet that “the embedded web viewer does not take advantage of Safari’s web performance optimizations.” Two days ago, The Register found out that a web app launched from the home screen under iOS 4.3 runs more than twice as slow as the same app launched from Safari. Apple’s statement acknowledges that the new Nitro JavaScript engine featured in iOS 4.3 is not available for web apps launched from the home screen, and that this limitation may not be lifted anytime soon. Several developers believe that the crippled performance could be intentional, in order to favor native iOS apps over web apps. An anonymous developer interviewed by The Register said he believes that “Apple is basically using subtle defects to make web apps appear to be low quality – even when they claim HTML5 is a fully supported platform.” This ‘theory’, while unconfirmed, is fueled by the fact that web apps do not generate any revenue for Apple, unlike native iOS apps, which proved to be very profitable for the Cupertino-based company.