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  1. #1
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Do mobile phones download data slower than desktop computers?

    I don't have a mobile phone, or I would try it myself. I'm including other mobile devices such as tablets and iTouches.

    ~TehYoyo

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    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    I assume it depends on what kind of internet connection the device has. If my smartphone is connected to the web via my modem, it downloads at the same rate as my desktop (so far as I can tell). But when connected via 3G, it's slower.

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Even on 3G with full signal strength showing, my phone can be painfully slow to download anything, although that may be partly because I'm on a cheapo network. It seems to be the http handshakes that cause the problem, rather than the actual data transfer, because pages often take several attempts to load at all, and frequently come up without styles or images.

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    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Do most mobile phones have wireless hardware capable of providing desktop-quality downloading?

    Are we that far w/ the technology?

    ~TehYoyo

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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    Do most mobile phones have wireless hardware capable of providing desktop-quality downloading?

    Are we that far w/ the technology?

    ~TehYoyo
    No.

  6. #6
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    How far behind would you say phones are to reaching desktop-level wireless? 2, 3 years?

    ~TehYoyo

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    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    How far behind would you say phones are to reaching desktop-level wireless? 2, 3 years?

    ~TehYoyo

    I wouldn't know, but LTE might improve things a bit.
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    SitePoint Zealot coloradojaguar's Avatar
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    Your mobile speed will also vary from place to place as the connection varies. It doesn't always download at the same speed. Dead zones still exist all over the place as well. Speeds will keep improving but as to a time frame who can really day. Bandwidth availability issues will also continue to be on the rise unless a solution is proposed and achieved soon.
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  9. #9
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    I wouldn't know, but LTE might improve things a bit.
    Good point. The article sites that DL speeds can get to 300 mbits/sec.
    Quote Originally Posted by coloradojaguar View Post
    Your mobile speed will also vary from place to place as the connection varies. It doesn't always download at the same speed. Dead zones still exist all over the place as well. Speeds will keep improving but as to a time frame who can really day. Bandwidth availability issues will also continue to be on the rise unless a solution is proposed and achieved soon.
    Yeah. I was talking about peak performance in, say, and industrial setting just for benchmarks.

  10. #10
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    Do most mobile phones have wireless hardware capable of providing desktop-quality downloading?
    No. I've got an 18-month old smartphone that doesn't have wi-fi capability. And that assumes that I'm somewhere that supports wi-fi, which is not all that common here in the UK.

    I realise that there is an element of self-selection going on – the people who are most likely to be using their phones a lot for browsing the internet are likely to have more up-to-date phones with more connectivity options and better packages – but we still need to remember that there are a lot of people using older, slower phones on slower or patchy networks, and just because someone doesn't use their phone as much doesn't mean that we should ignore them when they do use their phone.

  11. #11
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    No. I've got an 18-month old smartphone that doesn't have wi-fi capability. And that assumes that I'm somewhere that supports wi-fi, which is not all that common here in the UK.

    I realise that there is an element of self-selection going on – the people who are most likely to be using their phones a lot for browsing the internet are likely to have more up-to-date phones with more connectivity options and better packages – but we still need to remember that there are a lot of people using older, slower phones on slower or patchy networks, and just because someone doesn't use their phone as much doesn't mean that we should ignore them when they do use their phone.
    Right. I suppose it's like browser compatibility, huh?

    What would you guys recommend as an optimal size/HTTP request size for a mobile website?

    ~TehYoyo

  12. #12
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    What would you guys recommend as an optimal size/HTTP request size for a mobile website?
    As small as possible, and no smaller.

    Trite, but true.

    As I said, on my phone/network, it seems to be the HTTP requests that cause the problems, rather than the actual number of bytes being downloaded, so the fewer scripts, stylesheets and images you can use, the better. And complicated scripts or stylesheets, and large images, are likely to require a lot more processor power and so cause problems for mobiles as well.

    If your site needs heavier code because it is doing more advanced work then people are more likely to persist and forgive you if it's a bit slow. But if it can be achieved with basic code then it should.

    (Not that that is unique to mobile sites!)

  13. #13
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    (Not that that is unique to mobile sites!)
    Of course not - but luxuries like large photographs that can be cut down will limit download sizes.

    There's no way to load images for specific devices - media queries for pictures, in a sense, is there? Is there a workaround? Preferably no JS?

    I know that I saw that somewhere previously (a suggestion for the spec)

    ~TehYoyo

  14. #14
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    What would you guys recommend as an optimal size/HTTP request size for a mobile website?
    The W3C recommends 20kb for a page. You can run your pages through their Mobile OK checker.

  15. #15
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Huh. So minimal images, huh? That's really small...

    ~TehYoyo

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    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    There's no way to load images for specific devices - media queries for pictures, in a sense, is there? Is there a workaround? Preferably no JS?
    People have been working on that lately. For example:

    http://adaptive-images.com/
    http://filamentgroup.com/lab/respons..._image_sizing/
    http://adactio.com/journal/4997/
    http://www.alistapart.com/articles/r...-what-we-need/
    http://docs.sencha.com/io/1-0/#!/guide/src
    http://www.sitepoint.com/html5-respo...ge-dimensions/

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    At my house 4g LTE tends to be faster than my cable modem, so the answer isn't necessarily yes.

    Even on 3G with full signal strength showing, my phone can be painfully slow to download anything, although that may be partly because I'm on a cheapo network. It seems to be the http handshakes that cause the problem, rather than the actual data transfer, because pages often take several attempts to load at all, and frequently come up without styles or images.
    Being on a substandard network doesn't help, but depending on 3g implementation you can get different behavior. CDMA -- Verizon and Sprint in the US -- is basically incapable of making multiple simultaneous requests even if it can be faster in a straight line. GSM -- AT&T and Verizon in the us -- is much better in this regard.


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