As a side project I have been working on an HTML5 app designed to permit real-time playing of board and card games on multiple devices (PC, iPhone, Android, etc.). This led to some interesting research about touch events and getting click events to work quickly on mobile devices. So I was really excited to get an Archos 80 G9 to do some testing.
The Archos is speedy and responsive, so I was looking forward to lightening-fast piece manipulation, especially since my wife’s iPad 1 worked rather well. I was shocked, however, to find that the brower’s animations and touch response was painfully sluggish. As it turns out, the iPad’s touchmove polling (46 moves/sec in the test) is significantly faster than the Android default browser’s polling (14 moves/sec). My app and sites like Google Maps just seemed intollerable. The Dolphin browser suffered similar issues.
I was furious! Why would some software architect out there choose to cause a whole class of applications to languish in sluggish stuppor due to an inane choice of polling frequency? Fortunately I found this comparison of Android browsers that portrayed Firefox as a clear winner in performance. At least on the Archos, Firefox polls touchmove events much more frequently, resulting in a nice touch-based HTML5 app experience.
Since I had actually started researching how to return the device, I can say without exhageration that Firefox 4 saved my Android.