SPDY on Mobile- Yay or Nay?

Over the last three years, we have heard a lot about SPDY and how it will change the Internet by replacing the current HTTP protocol. SPDY is fast indeed, and it ships enabled on both Google Chrome and Firefox beta, now. That makes over 50% of the world using SPDY, if they are on the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.

Google has given a new meaning to the mobile space with its aggressive strategy with Android. Within a few years, Android has emerged as a potential competitor in the mobile space, and has bumped the mobile hardware world too. With mobile playing a crucial role in our everyday life, can the new HTTP 2.0 protocol specification be formulated without caring for mobile?

SPDY is bound to influence the new HTTP protocol in many ways, and its performance on mobile devices has to match the significant improvements it boasts of, on the desktop. So does SPDY do justice to mobile browsing? Google Developers Blog investigated into SPDY mobile performance and found that it really does make a difference.

The net result is that using SPDY produced a mean page-load time improvement of 23% across these sites, compared to HTTP. This is equivalent to a speedup of 1.3x for SPDY over HTTP. Much more work can be done to improve SPDY performance on 3G and 4G cellular networks, but this is a promising start.


According to the tests, SPDY gives an average speed improvement of 23% with a maximum of 50% over HTTP. This is an excellent start, and while Chrome on Android is already capable of using SPDY, Twist has managed to develop an open-source SPDY implementation for the iOS. Clearly, the mobile space is already showing signs of acceptance for the next-generation of HTTP protocol.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.