Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mobile Bible Apps - Load Times

I am working towards an updated list of recommended mobile Bible apps, but I'll offer some preliminary parts in separate posts. In this one, I want to look at how fast a few apps are, since one of the things I desire is to get quickly to the text to start reading and be able to change versions even more quickly. I did a more extensive test back in 2012, but I wanted to see how things have changed. The main changes are updates to the apps and an update to my phone. These are all relative times as calculated as well as I could on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. (This phone is now almost 1.5 years old.)

So, I conducted an unscientific test to see how long it takes to:

  • Tap the app to launch it and start reading the text. For BibleGateway and YouVersion, the app starts at a home screen, and it takes another touch to get to the Bible text.
  • Exit (but leaving it in memory) and immediately relaunch the app
  • Switch to a new passage
  • Switch to another version (one that's been previously downloaded)
  • Switch back to the previous version.
I tried to make sure that nothing else was going on with the phone, and I ran the tests twice. The averages do basically confirm how it feels in real practice.

Here are my results, but the main number to look at is the combined average in the last column. This gives an idea of the relative time it took to accomplish the 5 tasks listed.
When I ran the test in 2012, MySword was notably faster than most, and it remains the fastest here. Both Logos and YouVersion, however, have considerably sped up their app responsiveness. In actual practice, the difference in speed is not really noticeable with any of the apps, so a decision on the best app should be based on other factors. (Which I will get to in upcoming posts...)

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