If your mobile is your prime source of news, you’ll know how slowly browsers load web pages. Even if you’re using 4G mobile data, a web page takes 14 seconds on average to load properly. In today’s fast-paced life, who’s got 14 seconds to spare? Hence, it becomes a nuisance to sit around and wait for a web page to properly load. But a new technology is vowing to put an end to your excruciating pain.
A team of Computer Science researchers from University of Michigan and MIT has found a way to dramatically increase the speed of the mobile web. Their software, called Vroom optimizes the end-to-end interaction between mobile devices and the web servers. The team tested the prototype on over 100 news media and sports websites and found that the median load time for their landing pages decreased from 10 seconds to 5 seconds.
The mobile web is slow because when a user visits a mobile-optimized website, the browser is tasked with downloading and processing over 100 URLs that make up that particular page. The constant back and forth communication between the mobile and the web servers is necessary but results in the mobile CPU to sit idle while the requests are being processed. Proxies, which essentially act as virtual CPUs, could be used to speed up websites but they pose a privacy and security threat.
Companies like Google and Facebook have been taking significant steps to help improve the browsing experience of mobile users. Facebook’s Instant Articles load articles quickly. Moreover, it recently reported that users abandon a website after 3 seconds of waiting time and their algorithm will now be stacking the News Feed in such a way that faster websites get higher priority. Moreover, Google has also introduced its Accelerated Mobile Pages which are rewritten web pages but give a boost to the page load time. No matter what kind of web page is in question, Vroom will optimize the process of loading that page.
Vroom accelerates web pages by bundling together all the dependent resources a particular page will require in order to fully load. In the first step, it augments the HTTP responses with custom headers in order to send dependent resources. Then Vroom makes the web servers capable of identifying which resources or dependencies the server should pass onto the browser. And finally, coordinates the communication between the server and browser to maximize the usage of the mobile CPU.
This technology hasn’t been commercialized yet but the fact that it is backed by Google Faculty Research Award and the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing shows that if tech giants are interested, this technology will definitely see the light of day!