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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Stefano

Publishing, Journalism and Author support are the reasons for founding thePrintLabs.com and writing stories about publishing

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