With iOS5 the faster Nitro Javascript Engine comes to the UIWebView used in HTML5 magazines

Written by Stefano on Oct 16 2011 - Last modified on Aug 02 2012

With the release of iOS 4.3 Apple added to the mobile Safari App the Nitro Javascript engine to sig­nif­i­cantly boost per­for­mance. The Nitro Javascript engine is a Just in Time com­piler for javascript code that can dra­mat­i­cally raise the per­for­mance of com­plex web pages loading.

After the ini­tial release of iOS 4.3 Apple deliv­ered the tech­nol­ogy to all the Safari flavours, desk­top Macs, Win­dows and iOS devices. But native iOS Apps using the UI Web­View ele­ment to ren­der HTML and PDF files from within an appli­ca­tion did not ben­e­fit from the long waited update for secu­rity rea­sons. Despite the rumours of Apple want­ing to exclude the Nitro engine against Web Apps, the rea­son had to be found on the strong secu­rity require­ments for code signing.

The Nitro Javascript engine uses a JIT com­piler that needs pages to be iden­ti­fied as appli­ca­tions and not doc­u­ments by the sys­tem. That is like allow­ing exter­nal code which is not signed nor cer­ti­fied to be run from within an iOS appli­ca­tion. Today the lim­i­ta­tion has been removed with iOS5, the long waited update that intro­duced many new fea­tures for dig­i­tal mag­a­zines devel­op­ers like us.

With iOS5 the ren­der­ing of HTML5 pages has been dra­mat­i­cally improved and is now pos­si­ble to embed com­plex javascript into mag­a­zine pages.

Our approach to dig­i­tal mag­a­zines is now been rec­og­nized as the long term best strat­egy by Apple itself. News­Stand Kit, intro­duced with iOS5, does sup­port mul­ti­ple issues, noti­fi­ca­tions, back­ground down­loads for issues iden­ti­fied as a “bunch of HTML files” or even a .zip con­tain­ing them.

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