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Facebook App and Performance Observations
So I’ve been tinkering and toying with the Xoom since the 3.1 patch, and overall I’m pleased – but one thing has me scratching my head vehemently; what happened to the Facebook app and why does it slow down my performance so much. Mind you, I get the overarching fact that with the Xoom’s web browser – you don’t actually need the app (which is poorly laid out for a tablet anyway) – but there was such a gulf in overall performance. The scenario played out like this:
My wife and I both updated our Xoom’s on the same day. There are some software differences between the two (mostly in what I run vs. what she runs) – but there on the same OS version. Not thinking much about the software differences – I expected to fire up her Xoom and see similar performance to my own….that was not the case. Even when holding the Xoom in the intended orientation (both profile and landscape) – her Xoom was noticeably “Jutterier” – I don’t want to get into the whole lag vs. jutter…but here are my very basic definitions.
Lag = when the system lags based on your input. So if you type something and the input is delayed but still registering…I’d quantify that as “Lag”
Stutter = When you click a button, launch an application (or the like) and there are “hiccups and pauses” when either opening or using that application independent of everything else going on. This is usually influenced by the number of applications and their web dependency (latency, download bulk, etc) – but is relegated to application performance
Jutter – The lag you see when transitioning from home screen to home screen and also in the transition to the app drawer from the home screen or in the instance of switching from landscape to portrait. This is not reflected in application performance – purely from a navigation standpoint. Seems to be OS driven rather than a resource limitation
So anyway – I sift through everything she has open and running and notice that her FB app is taking up tons of memory. I force close it and stop it and immediately all of the “jutter” ceases. It’s FB so it updates and I (sitting at the corner of luck and opportunity) notice that the FB starts back up and almost immediately racks up the application memory again – jutter returns. So now I’m at an impasse, I can’t figure out why something taking up application memory is causing navigation performance issues – but decide to uninstall the FB app and low and behold…everything begins working fine. No performance issues, screen to screen transitions are very fast – and even the landscape/portrait toggle appears to handle quicker than before.
I don’t know what it is about the FB app, and the research above is hardly scientific – but it appears that a lack of a customized HC app for FB and the result from using the existing (read: crappy) app is going to cause performance issues. I showed my wife how to about:debug and get the full FB page through her browser – so she’s golden. In fact, she now goes on and on about how bad the app was now that she’s using the full-FB page experience through the browser. This isn’t meant to sway anyone’s opinion of the FB app or the Xoom, for that matter, just wanted to share my experience.