Ramiro Franco

Chrome vs Safari on iOS 5

Written on Thursday June 28, 2012 at 9:47 p.m.

As anyone who's interested in this topic already knows, Google has created a port of Chrome for iOS designed to work on the iPhone and on the iPad.

I did a little bit of testing today, hoping to see what the primary differences in rendering were and found that they were largely the same. Primarily because they are both using iOS's webkit rendering. This is actually a good thing, it helps to speed up the app and it keeps web pages consistent on the device.

Where they differ, is the javascript implementation. Chrome has a reputation for having a very fast javascription engine, but some preliminary testing shows that at least on iOS, Safari is a clear winner in terms of speed. A quick benchmark of dom render time using jQuery, Mootools, and Dojo clearly shows that Safari outpaces Chrome.

I love the Chrome UI, and I'm a big fan of the synchronization, but the speed benefits on Safari might actually keep me from making the switch.

Update Turns out, Google isn't going to use their own rendering or javascript engine, and Apple has restricted direct access to their javascript engine posting security concerns, which causes it to run slower in third party apps like Chrome.