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New iPad bloat could push average web page size to 5 MB

New Apple iPadDid you look at your website on the new iPad yet? We have browsed quite a few sites already on that gorgeous 2048 by 1536 pixel display, and we can categorically state that the future has arrived.

But whether that future is all bright remains to be seen.

Early signs seem to indicate that we’ll have to endure more bloat, with the possibility that the average size of a web page balloons to almost 5 MB from the 1.1 MB average today.

It will “wreak havoc on the web”

Brad Frost claimed that the new iPad will “wreak havoc on the web” in a recent blog post. It will do so because graphics have to be updated in order to really shine on the new display.

To take full advantage of all those pixels – four times as many as on the previous iPads – app developers as well as web designers will have to pack more pixels into the graphics used in apps and web pages.

But we’re not really talking about apps, for which Apple has already raised the over-the-air download limit to 50 MB; we’re talking about web pages.

Apparently Apple has already started to dish out graphics with twice the resolution to anyone browsing in to Apple.com using the new iPad. Jason Grigsby did some testing and found that the total size of the Apple.com page increases from 502 kB to 2.13 MB when the retina version of images are loaded.

That’s an increase of a whopping 324%!

With the bloat we are already suffering from, we wonder if this is precious bandwidth resources well spent.

Looking at the 1,000 most recent tests with the Pingdom Full Page Test Tool, the average page size is 1.1 MB, which is actually a pretty good size for a web page.

With the same percentage growth as for Apple.com per Jason Grigsby’s test, the average size of a web page would then be 4.7 MB.

Yikes – the average web page could be almost 5 MB!

Not a big problem… yet

This is a bit like looking for Smart TVs in the access logs: there may not be much there yet, but we bet it’s coming.

On Facebook, some Pingdom fans suggested that they’d start converting graphics only when 2-3% of visitors to their sites use the new iPad.

Ad network Chitika has stated that the new iPad on March 30 already accounted for 5.52% of all iPad traffic. What Chitika forgets or ignores to mention is, what slice of the overall traffic is iPad. We noted in November last year that iPad accounted for 88% of all worldwide tablet web traffic.

Now, will you run out and get yourself a new iPad (if you haven’t already)?



18 comments
itisJames
itisJames

Like it or not, retina is the future. It won't be long till the first retina desktop and laptop displays are available and in a few years it will be the norm. Might as well get prepared!

itisJames
itisJames

Like it or not, retina is the future. It won't be long till the first retina desktop and laptop displays are available and in a few years it will be the norm. Might as well get prepared!

gnomehole
gnomehole

I bet they said this when moving away from Atari graphics...  how about lets embrace technology and move forward vs. fearing for the future.   I for one applaud a bit more graphics..  technology will quickly catch up.

gnomehole
gnomehole

I bet they said this when moving away from Atari graphics...  how about lets embrace technology and move forward vs. fearing for the future.   I for one applaud a bit more graphics..  technology will quickly catch up.

Durant Imboden
Durant Imboden

I wonder if the real goal of the retina display isn't to drive more iPad users toward iPad editions of magazines and other apps. To put it another way, why wouldn't Apple prefer that its tablet users get content from Apple than from the open Web?

Durant Imboden
Durant Imboden

I wonder if the real goal of the retina display isn't to drive more iPad users toward iPad editions of magazines and other apps. To put it another way, why wouldn't Apple prefer that its tablet users get content from Apple than from the open Web?

Fredrik Näs
Fredrik Näs

Or conditional comments, to load right content to right device, and simply limit "the problem" to ipad

Richard Benson
Richard Benson

So the Apple site loads slower if you're using their latest product? Sounds like a cracking idea.

Richard Benson
Richard Benson

So the Apple site loads slower if you're using their latest product? Sounds like a cracking idea.

Fredrik Näs
Fredrik Näs

Or conditional comments, to load right content to right device, and simply limit "the problem" to ipad

David Paulsson
David Paulsson

This is the future though. Id like to see a media query, not checking the users device screen with, but the connection speed and d/l images suitable after that. The total weight is nothing to care about, it's the load time.

David Paulsson
David Paulsson

This is the future though. Id like to see a media query, not checking the users device screen with, but the connection speed and d/l images suitable after that. The total weight is nothing to care about, it's the load time.

Torbjörn Ingvarsson
Torbjörn Ingvarsson

Yeah well this is stupid on a whole new level, the future is heavier sites loading slower just to look amaaaaaaazing? No thanks...

Torbjörn Ingvarsson
Torbjörn Ingvarsson

Yeah well this is stupid on a whole new level, the future is heavier sites loading slower just to look amaaaaaaazing? No thanks...

Emil Tullstedt
Emil Tullstedt

...I doubt the intelligence in "retinaproofing" websites.. Load-times > slight image improvement for a few users..

Emil Tullstedt
Emil Tullstedt

...I doubt the intelligence in "retinaproofing" websites.. Load-times > slight image improvement for a few users..