The Web Browser

Google made some functional and performance enhancements to the web browser in Android 3.1. Adobe recommends that you have 3.1 installed if you want to run Flash 10.3, although both Android 3.0.1 and 3.1 will let you install the latest version of Flash. I ran several Flash benchmarks to see if there was any performance difference however I couldn't find any - both versions of Android seem to run Flash at the same speed.

Browser compatibility hasn't been significantly improved from what I can tell. Reddit's front page is still far too zoomed out by default and overall HTML5 compatibility hasn't changed:

Google did enable embedded HTML5 video on Android 3.1. In the past if you encountered an embedded HTML5 video it would only play full screen, but now you can play it in inline on a webpage.

The Android browser now supports saving web pages to webarchives. There's a contextual menu option that lets you save any webpage you'd like. The webarchive is stored as a .webarchivexml file in Android's Downloads directory. Chrome won't open the webarchive but you can view it on the device itself.

I didn't have time before boarding my flight to run through our 2011 page loading test, but subjective web browsing seems to be quicker on 3.1 than it was on 3.0.1. Javascript performance is a bit lower, although BrowserMark mostly no change:

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1

Rightware BrowserMark

The browser gains a scrolling widget on the right side for quickly moving up and down pages:

Scrolling performance seems improved, but it's at the cost of how aggressively the browser renders the web page as you scroll. Both Android and iOS only render to the frame buffer only a portion of what you see on a web page, when you scroll down old data is evicted from memory and what you're scrolling to gets rendered in real time. On iOS this can manifest as a checkerboard pattern if you quickly scroll down a web page. On Android 3.1 this appears as a lot of white blocks that quickly fill in with data. The animation is smooth but the effect feels unfinished as you can see from the video on the previous page.

I didn't notice a huge difference in performance while zooming but I'd say that the browsing experience overall is just faster than it was under 3.0.1.

Improved 3D Performance The Dock Experience
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  • Secondstupid - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - link

    I think this pad is more useful than iPad beacause everything for iPad are not free. IPAD is expensive and there is not even flashpalyer for it! Jobs was crazy and he wanted money only.I say no to iPad.

    I have a android pad with Android OS 2.2 install. It's very useful. Most of usb devices can be supported!

    abount the solution for android pad,see below.

    about the difference between Capacitive touchscreen and Resistive touchscreen,see below

    I bought a android pad with 3G,HDMI,g-senor and the other function from here:

    You can not make it instead of your desktop computer but you can make it instead of iPad
  • eeetransformerugly - Sunday, September 25, 2011 - link

    good tablet for its price but had to return my eee transformer because of the screen flashing with horizontal lines and camera not working right. probably one of those defective ones but overall not a bad buy. also, found out that u cnt use video on skype and on yahoo messenger. love that it is adobe supported! resolution is awesome! love most of its features. dual cam. and apps!
  • sealesmemory - Monday, March 5, 2012 - link

    I bought mini speakers from Ceramic Glaze for my asus transformer tft101. According to the manual, the audio should automatically switch from the internal speakers to external when you plug it in. Mine do not. I tried to chat asus for help, and they were "momentarily," unavailable all night long. And every other time ive tried that route. I called their customer service, and long story short, im still trying to simmer down from the virtual abuse i recieved. After an hour of waiting for an "unavailable" supervisor, i hung up. I have no idea what to do. Can anyone help???

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