Browser bug in Samsung Galaxy S III eats excess data, causes increased loading times

Browser bug in Samsung Galaxy S III eats excess data, causes increased loading times
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst have uncovered a bug in the hugely successful Samsung Galaxy S III’s stock internet browser. The issue results in the browser downloading more images than is necessary and that also increases page load times.

The bug was discovered while Emmanuel Cecchet, Robert Sims, Xin He, and Prashant Shenoy were testing a Quality of Experience (QoE) benchmark application and will present at the IEEE Symposium in Montreal, this week.

“When comparing our results on the different devices and networks for our Wikipedia trace, we noticed significantly higher latencies for our Samsung S3 smartphone on both Wifi and 3G,” according to the report. The cause of the problem is a srcset HTML attribute which allows mobile devices to download the right-sized image. For the SGSIII however, the browser downloads all the images which can then result in longer load times or outright errors not to mention increased data usage.

The good news is that the srcset standard is still being drafted it is not used widely. If such an issue concerns you, using a browser like Firefox or Chrome will help as those products do not look for the srcset tag. You can view the whole report in the source link below (PDF file).

source: UMass (PDF) via Tech2

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17 Comments

1. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Does anybody even use the stock browser? I switched to chrome/firefox long ago.

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I do and so do the many non-tech literate people all over the world.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 30907; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said Smurf. Regardless to who uses it, it still should work rite.

5. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

Ive always thought that stock browsers were faster than Chrome. Idk about Firefox, but I usually have the fastest loading times and smoother scrolling in the stock browser.

6. imkyle

Posts: 1112; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

The browser on Ice Cream Sandwich is still my favorite.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

My favorites is the Firefox for android beta. It give me desktop like browsing experience and reliability. Chrome is third after stock.

10. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

your just a troll..... Anyone with an Android Device with the oppurtunity of using stock browser would know that it is faster than Chrome/Firefox. Chrome and Firefox just have more features that make them worthwhile

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

My favorite is Firefox after using opera, boat, dolphin, chrome and stock. In fact Firefox is the only that support PA thumb up down feature well. The rest of the world could use whatever pleases them.

11. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

I don't, even dolphin browser is much better. ®

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Android stock, Chrome, Dolphin using WebKit web engine. Firefox uses gecko engine. Both WebKit and gecko are FOSS. So by having stock and Firefox I have the best of both world. Firefox has stronger backward compatibility. Might work better with sites that requires MS IE trinity web engine.

15. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I used to when my GS2 was on ICS, but once I updated to JB I couldn't get my Google Bookmarks on the stock browser any more and went to Chrome. Now I strictly use Chrome.

17. Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

I'm still using the stock browser though. I use my laptop more often, so nah. Not gonna waste some space for chrome or fox or dolphin or opera or any other weird 3rd party browsers.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Huh. I switch between this and Chrome depending on websites I visit and never seem to have encountered this. In fact, stock browser loads pages faster than Chrome.

4. alltechinside

Posts: 248; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

It might be because you might be visiting sites that don't use images as much. But I agree with you. I never encountered this problem, but then again, I use chrome the most.

9. ckoch125

Posts: 193; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Good thing I always used chrome anyway.

14. DigitalMD

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 17, 2010

srcset HTML did not even appear in a draft until May 2012 and still is not part of the HTML5 standard, so you will encounter it very seldom. Doubt if any user would ever notice this and not sure how you can call it a bug when its not even a HTML standard function yet. Betting these so-called researchers are big Apple fanboys.

16. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Find this odd.. I personally found the stock browser on the s3 actually faster certainly faster than chrome and Firefox though it was similar in speed to dolphin.. Still regardless of speed, if it's using up precious data more than it should be than its still a no no regardless how fast ir loads...

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