Google Chrome for iOS vs Safari: an in-depth speed and feature test
We look at how the new Chrome for iOS compares to Apple's Safari and what new features Chrome has
The iPad 3 uses the A5X processor, Apple's most up-to-date chip. All tests were run on the same iPad 3 keeping every test equal.
Testing HTML5 and Java rendering, BrowserMark kicks out a score and the highest score wins. Safari scored 100,674 while Chrome only managed 49,654. According to this test, Safari runs about 2x faster than Chrome.
Safari - 100,647
Chrome - 49,654
Safari - 1,808.6 ms
Chrome - 7,249.7 ms
Safari - 379
Chrome - 256
V8 Benchmark Suite Version 7: Safari
Safari - 433
Chrome - 113
The HTML5 test: Draw
This test simply rates your browser's ability to support HTML5 and gives a score out of 500, higher being better. ‘Even though the specification isn't finalized yet, all major browser manufacturers are making sure their browser is ready for the future.' In this test both browsers scored 324 with ‘9 bonus points.'
Safari - 324
Chrome - 324
CSS Rendering Benchmark: Draw
This CSS test determines the speed at which the browser formats a page when it loads. After running this test, both Safari and Chrome finished in 15 milliseconds.
Safari - 15 ms
Chrome - 15 ms
Eye Test: Chrome
When using the browsers to surf the web, Chrome is noticeably faster when loading webpages. It seemed strange that Chrome lost every benchmark test, but still seemed faster when browsing.
Users may experience slower scrolling on Chrome because of UIWebView, but we didn't notice any slower speeds. This also helps Safari score better than Chrome on tests like BrowserMark and V8 because Safari renders in a background thread while Chrome renders on the same thread as the rest of the page
This difference is noticeable on webpages like Facebook and Gmail where the page is changing without refreshing. This would be like the Facebook News Feed that continuously loads new data. Safari would slightly out perform Chrome because it loads this new data in the background while Chrome must load it in the main thread.
The key feature of the Chrome is the ability to synchronise the browser across multiple devices, desktop, iPad and iPhone, and continue browsing on the go. The new synchronisation system moves all bookmarks and settings from other devices and allows you to open any tabs currently open on other devices you are signed in on. Not only does this feature work on iOS devices, but it works across all platforms at once: desktop, iOS and Android.
Chrome for iOS is designed to look just like Chrome for your desktop and the tabbed browsing is slightly different than the tabs on Safari. On Chrome, you can add as many tabs as you'd like compared to only nine in Safari.
Also added to Chrome is the Incognito tab. This feature is similar to the desktop Incognito mode, but not identical. Because Chrome uses UIWebView, HTML5 local storage is shared between Incognito and regular tabs. History is not kept, passwords are not remembered, OmniBox suggestions are disabled and cookies and cache are separated.
One feature lacking from Chrome and iOS is the ability to set Chrome as the default browser. On iOS devices, Safari is set as the default and when accessing the web through apps or links, Safari always opens the webpage.
This can be changed if the iOS device is jailbroken. The third-party app BrowserChooser allows users to set Chrome, or any other mobile browser, as the default browser on the device.