Ipad web browsers: checkerboarding or jerky scrolling

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Marzzz, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Marzzz
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    Marzzz iPF Noob

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    Hi
    I recently bought an Ipad, mainly for reading (not only ebooks but also magazines and comics). I have heard much how good it is to browse the web on ipad... But the reality is quite different, it's rather unpleasant experience due to browsers slowness... In Safari you have to wait for page to fully load (takes ages, eg. Cnn.com ~ 10 sec) or you will be exposed to the checkerboard pattern when you try to scroll down the page... There are "alternative" browsers (in fact all are based on safari engine), but they either copycat safari behavior (checkerboard when scrolling before page is fully loaded) or introduce new problem which is jerky scrolling on complex pages, especially on pages full of images (eg picture galleries). Now my question is why is that? Is it impossible to create browser that will scroll smoothly and load page as desktop browser - text first, images next so there is no checkerboard "below the fold"? Is Safari using some kind of trick to achieve smooth scrolling so it's impossible to make it load page proper way so you can scroll and watch images appear during page load? I made little test - loaded tinyurl.com/6ceoc5y and compared different browsers... Only two non-checkerboarding browsers were able to scroll this page somewhat smoothly (with slowdowns) - 1Hand Browser and TickerBrowser. Both of them have no zoom (1Hand has zoom scrollbar but it doesn't work for me). Hmmm....
    And one more word about checkerboarding... Using Perfect Browser I found that checkerboarding when scrolling is*exaggerated by... scrolling. If you use scrollbar provided by this browser the checkerboard disappears quicker - little experiment shows that while you scroll page standard way all processing of it is stopped - to see that scroll down to checkerboard and don't lift your finger - checkerboard won't disappear. Or scroll down to checkerboard and keep it moving by scrolling up and down a bit - it won't load as well... If you use scrollbar then it will continue to load despite scrolling - looks like this engine engage some kind of "lock" when you operate on page display area... Can we have fullscreen scrollbar then?

    Ok, time for some questions...*
    1 Why does the checkerboard occur?
    2 Why some browsers are free of checkerboarding...
    3 ... But introduce jerky scrolling instead?
    4 Why page display area is locked when scrolling so the checkerboarding gets worse than it's really is?

    Smooth scrolling but with checkerboard:
    Safari
    Terra (current version)
    Atomic
    iLunascape
    Mercury
    Perfect Browser
    ICab Mobile
    Night Browser
    iBrowse
    Journey
    360 Browser
    Sleipmir
    Grazing

    No checkerboard but jerky scrolling at times:
    1Hand Web
    TickerBrowser
    Skyfire
    Terra (prev version)
    All In One Browser
    Mango
    Multiweb
    Ringo
    Aarde Browser
    Simplicity
    Tabs*
    BrowserHD
    Browser+
    Last Pass Tab
    TabsKiwi
    QQBrowserHD
    NLIA
    Fraktol
    Private Browser with fullscreen
    Tapu
    TrendMicro SmartSurfing
    Maven
    Roboform
    Bolt HD
  2. graywolf
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    graywolf iPad Super Guru

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    Well.... Safari isn't very slow, if you have decent Internet. It doesn't bother many people including me. Check your Internet speed. Slow Internet=checker boarding. Some browsers just lag and jump when the page isn't done loading. Safari checkerboards to prevent lagging.
  3. Marzzz
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    Marzzz iPF Noob

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    I have >10Mbps Internet (measured on Ipad via speedtest app) so thats not the problem.
    The lagging I'm talking about occurs in this browser after whole page is loaded... And no, it's not my Ipad as they work similar on my iphone
  4. ipaduser434
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    ipaduser434 iPad Fan

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    I use both Safari and Terra. On occasion I've had checkerboarding with a WiFi hotspot, but only momentarily. If I'm in an AT&T Edge area, it's pronounced because the signal is so lousy.

    Have you tried deleting the history, cache, and cookies?
  5. Marzzz
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    Marzzz iPF Noob

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    My ipad is like brand new so this isn't cache issue... Just take a stopwatch and clock how long does it take to load cnn.com completly... Unless it's completly loaded it will checkerboard in browsers like Safari or current Terra
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Checker boarding happens for two reasons, and possible a third on rare occasions. (educated guesses, not proven fact)

    Either the page is not fully loaded, due to internet speed, or there isn't enough RAM available to hold the whole page.

    I'm going to ignore the first, it's obvious.

    The second is variable. Even though the iPad has 256 or 512 MB of RAM, that does not mean that it is all available to the browser. Other apps frozen in RAM may not be released just because you've loaded a big page. Depending on how the browser was written it may only be able to use the RAM it was assigned on launch. If a lot of stuff was already loaded, it may not have enough RAM for larger pages.

    This would be easy to test. Just try different kinds of pages. If simple HTML pages with few or no images checker board, then it might be something else. You can also be careful to shut down the last several apps in the multitask menu before launching the browser and see if you get better performance.

    Obviously an iPad 2 with more RAM should be less likely to be short on RAM.

    The third possibility is a bogged down CPU. If you've got a lot of active tasks in the background, like music, downloads, or location services running then rendering time may be slowed. Combined with a heavy javascript page (even more CPU cycles) the page may take a bit longer to render, even if it is in RAM. I don't think this is likely in most cases, and if it became a serious problem you'd be likely to see other delays and problems besides page rendering.

    Keep an eye out in the status bar for extra icons showing active locations and music services running. Be aware of any apps you may have started downloads in before you closed them.

    Again, the iPad 2 with it's faster processor should be less likely to have a problem like this.

    If you get a lot of checker boarding with Safari on simple pages with few or no images, and with no background tasks or frozen apps in RAM, then you've probably got a problem with the iPad itself.

    Other apps, well that would depend on the app. Currently even the best of them are probably slower than Safari depending on the page. Some of the latest javascript optimizations are not available to third party developers yet.

    Jerky scrolling vs. smooth but checker boarding would be the developer's choice on how they coded the app. Maybe a developer could tell you what that exact difference is, I can't.
  7. Marzzz
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    Marzzz iPF Noob

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    It's not the RAM for sure as I'm talking about checkerboarding occuring during page load. CPU is more likely the reason, but then how other browser can overcome this? Disabling javascript helps a bit but it isn't acceptable solution of course. Whatever the reason I just can't understand why it isn't possible to combine this two methods of rendering to get no checkerboarding during page load and smoot scrolling after page is fully loaded.
  8. Guy1717
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    Guy1717 iPF Novice

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    I sent a "complaint" mail to a browser developer for the non smoothing scrolling and this is the answer i got :



    "Unfortunately I (and other browser developers) was forced to make this
    change because Apple has requested this. There's a big issue with the
    "Web View" object of the iOS we need to use to display web pages (Apple
    doesn't allow other web engines than their own), and this is issue is
    that the scrolling is very jerky, especially on more complex web pages.
    This is a well known issue from the beginning.
    Writing bugreports to Apple didn't help, the scrolling issue did never
    get fixed. But because Safari doesn't have an issue with the scrolling
    though it uses the same web engine, it seems that there's a
    hidden (private) call in the iOS which enabled the smooth scrolling.
    So because Apple has obviously no intention in fixing this issue,
    developers started to "fix" this by themselves by using this private
    (but forbidden) call. All other web browser in the App store are doing
    this, and my browser did this as well. But now Apple has detected this in my browser
    and demanded that I remove this private call. It is possible that Apple
    will be more strict in general now, so maybe in the future you'll see
    more and more Apps getting jerky scrolling, when Apple is asking the
    developers to remove this special call from their Apps as well."



    Try this website www.bgr.com. Or www.imdb.com wit a long list, i alway wait until the site is fully rendered

    If this is true, then this is a scandal, i want my money back for all the browsers I bought and even the money I spent on my Ipad2.
    One of the reasons I choose Ipad and not the Xoom was the fine and smooth scrolling !!! I have only one word for this : Dictatorship !
    I HATE SAFARI !

    "Apple doesn't allow" thats all I read. I knew about Flash and accepted, but this is ridiculous. Hey Mr Jobs, Sire, are we allowed to use the Ipad after 10 pm?
    A very very dissapointed Apple customer, this was my first and last purchase from Apple

    Guy, ( if you haven't noticed, I'm mad)

    I would never jailbreak, but if I have too for getting smooth scrolling then I WILL

    Ps : If you get a Terra browser update, don't do it, it will be jerky afterwards. Terra is at this moment not available in the Apple store, hmmm I wonder why
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  9. Guy1717
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    Guy1717 iPF Novice

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    Example

    And here is an example that i posted today on youtube


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXoK7A9x6jg]YouTube - ‪MOV010‬‏[/ame]


    You can try any complex website, it will be the same
  10. Guy1717
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    Guy1717 iPF Novice

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    I just noticed that I swiped 3 times and not responding
    Last edited: May 27, 2011

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