Remember Amazon’s all-new Silk Browser available exclusively on the Kindle Fire that promised to deliver a faster web browsing experience? Our friends at Anandtech put the “split browser” architecture through a series of test and discovered that Silk does consume less bandwidth as advertised, but the performance is actually slower.
A series of popular sites were tested and it was found that accelerated page loading actually added 1-3 seconds of loading time. Anand went on to say, “Silk’s ‘cloud based’ caching is not only meaningless, but it’s a detriment to the overall user experience.”
The good news is that you can dive into your browser settings and just turn “accelerate page loading” off, but it’s still pretty surprising that the setting which produces slower load times is on by default. I tested this on my Kindle Fire and I noticed a small performance boost after accelerated browsing was off.
Anand speculates that Amazon left the accelerated page loading feature on by default so they could mine the data of millions of users and learn from their usage patterns to further optimize the browsing experience over time.
The Kindle Fire has only been available for a week so hopefully Amazon will issue an update that improves loading times, but in the mean time I’ll leave “accelerated browsing” off and enjoy the boost in performance.