I am generally pretty disappointed with the performance of the applications on my TV and discussions with friends and colleagues confirm I’m not alone. I started to look around and see if anyone had done some rigorous research on the subject.
One of the most enlightening reports I found was a 2017 study into the impact of application performance on consumer behaviour by App Dynamics. They found a staggering 38% of the 5000 respondents were disappointed with app performance. People’s definitions of poor performance vary, but one of the most noticeable manifestations is slow or jerky animations.
Animations are an important part of delivering a quality experience. They can be used to guide the user around the application and deliver visual hints. Smooth animations also help give an overall feeling of good design and product quality.
Most application developers use some sort of framework to shorten development time and many of these frameworks are based around HTML. Most of these frameworks assume the use of the browser that’s built into the OS, but some flexibility in browser choice often exists.
Part of the challenge of writing a high performance application lies in the platform itself. Almost all modern hardware uses multi-core silicon where a number of processors are combined to deliver increased processing capabilities with minimal power consumption. Whilst traditional HTML browsers, including those built into operating systems like Android and iOS, have some multithreaded capabilities, they are unable to harness the combined processing of multi-core silicon to improve application performance.
Native applications authored for a single core environment, and those developed using a framework that assumes a traditional HTML browser, are unable to reap the benefits of multi-core silicon. This results in much of the platform’s available processing power lying idle. Unfortunately developing software to run efficiently in a multi-core environment is considerably more complicated than writing single-core applications, but there is now a great way to write high performance applications without having to learn new skills.
The Flow browser from Ekioh has been specifically designed for modern, multi-core silicon. Flow is able to combine the processing power of all the cores and the GPU to deliver excellent application performance. Under heavy load, Flow is capable of delivering over twice the frame rate of other browsers meaning smoother animations and more responsive apps. Flow is based upon the same open standards as other HTML browsers meaning that applications and content don’t need re-authoring.
Further details on Ekioh’s Flow browser and its performance results can be found in the Ekioh technical papers “Designing a browser to benefit from multi-core silicon” and “An optimal browser design for GPU utilisation”.