iOS 4.3 boosts first-gen iPad browser speed by 18 percent

Apple's JavaScript enhancements show up clearly in Peacekeeper tests

With all eyes on the iPad 2 that becomes available tomorrow at 5 p.m. in each time zone, Apple has released its iOS 4.3 update for the first-gen iPad, iPhone 3G S, non-Verizon Wireless iPhone 4, and recent iPod Touch models. InfoWorld.com ran the Futuremark Peacekeeper browser tests on a first-gen iPad with iOS 4.2 and with iOS 4.3 to see if Apple's claims of a turbocharged JavaScript engine were justified.

The answer is yes. The test ran 18 percent faster under iOS 4.3 than under iOS 4.2 on the same iPad, the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model, with a score of 508 versus 430. (Larger numbers are better.) Those results bode well for the iPad 2, which sports a dual-core A5 processor versus the iPad 1's single-core A4.

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For comparison, a single-core Verizon iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2.6 (there is no 4.3 update for this model) scored 482, while a dual-core Motorola Mobility Atrix 4G Android 2.2 smartphone scored 662 and a dual-core Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 tablet scored 897. A quad-core i7-based, 2011-model MacBook Pro 15 running Safari 5 scored 2812, and a prototype Chrome OS "Chromebook" laptop scored 1310.

Of course, synthetic tests such as Peacekeeper don't necessarily reflect real-world usage, as each website has very different code and thus may not stress all the functions in the Peacekeeper's repertoire. But such tests do provide a good baseline for comparing media-rich and JavaScript-heavy sites.

This story, "iOS 4.3 boosts first-gen iPad browser speed by 18 percent," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in technology, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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