Speed Stories February 16, 2015

Google Fiber has been instigating the growth of fiber Internet in the United States for a few years, and now AT&T is feeling the heat more than ever. Announced at midnight last night, AT&T said it’s finally ready to start selling fiber Internet services in Kansas City and its surrounding areas (via The Kansas City Star). The company finished the rollout of 1Gbps “GigaPower” service in Austin late last year, and now it seems it’s finally time for AT&T to live up to its promise to bring the service to other cities around the country…

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Speed Stories December 9, 2014

Google search in Chrome for Android gets 100-150 milliseconds faster thanks to reactive prefetch

Google has today announced that a new feature called reactive prefetch has been rolled out to mobile search, making searches somewhere in the realm of 100 to 150 milliseconds faster—a notable improvement if you’re on a fast enough internet connection. Sadly, the feature is limited to those using the Chrome app for Android at the current time because, according to Ilya Grigorik, “it is the only browser that supports (a) dynamically inserted prefetch hints, and (b) reliably allows prefetch requests to persist across navigations.”

This is a powerful pattern and one that you can use to accelerate your site as well. The key insight is that we are not speculatively prefetching resources and do not incur unnecessary downloads. Instead, we wait for the user to click the link and tell us exactly where they are headed, and once we know that, we tell the browser which other resources it should fetch in parallel – aka, reactive prefetch!

How does the feature work? Unlike other prefetch methods, reactive prefetch will wait for the user to click a link so that Google knows exactly where they intend to go, at which point the search engine will tell the browser to fetch certain parts of the page in parallel—namely, resources that Google has determined are likely to slow page load times. This is possible due to Google search crawlers getting an idea, for every page on the web, what parts should be “hinted” at to prefetch reactively.

You may or may not notice the improvement, but it’s rolling out to mobile search for Chrome on Android today.

Speed Stories June 27, 2013

Vine for Android adds support for front-facing camera, new upload manager, & speed improvements

Twitter’s Vine has pushed out an update for its Android app today that brings the video app to parity with its iOS counterpart. The update adds front-facing camera support as well as a new upload manager for all compatible devices.

In addition to these two new features, Vine for Android has also gotten some all-around speed improvements and support for more Android devices, although Twitter wouldn’t explicitly specify which ones.

The full Vine 1.2.0 for Android changelog is as follows:

  • Front-facing camera.
  • New upload manager for unsubmitted posts.
  • Improvements to settings.
  • Improvements to camera loading time and support for more devices.
  • Speed improvements overall.
  • Bug fixes and UI improvements.

You can download the new version now directly from Google Play.

Speed Stories June 18, 2012

Verizon announces ultra-high speed FiOS ‘Quantum’ service, up to 300 Mbps for $210 a month

Verizon announced tiers for its new high-speed Internet FiOS “Quantum” service today. It ranges from $65 to $210 a month, and it is available in double or triple-play bundles and stand-alone plans. Verizon will continue offering its entry-level $65 15/5 Mbps service, but it will introduce new plans including: 50/25 Mbps, 75/35 Mbps, 150/65 Mbps, and 300/65 Mbps. The company noted they are “by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds.”

Three of those speeds ¬¬ 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 — are twice as fast as those previously offered.1 In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps… The two highest downstream speed offers – 150 and 300 Mbps – and the new 65 Mbps upstream speed are by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds available. By contrast, the fastest Internet speeds offered by cable-company challengers top out at 105 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream. (This FiOS Internet speed grid shows specific examples of the benefits of faster downstream and upstream speeds.)

Verizon noted existing customers can upgrade free, but they will on-average pay $10 to $15 more per month. The company also outlined the different pricing options for new customers:

For new customers, prices of triple-play bundles of 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet, FiOS TV and FiOS Digital Voice unlimited calling will range from $99.99 to $144.99 per month, depending upon which FiOS TV package is ordered. The packages are: Prime, with more than 200 channels and more than 50 HD channels; Extreme, with more than 290 channels and more than 70 HD channels; and Ultimate, with more than 380 channels plus premium movie channels, and more than 110 HD channels).

Double-play bundles of the 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet and FiOS TV range from $84.99 to $129.99 per month. Stand-alone 15/5 Mbps service costs $69.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $64.99 per month with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of the 50/25 Mbps speed range from $109.99 to $149.99 per month for new customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $94.99 to $134.99 per month. The stand-alone version costs $79.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $74.99 with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of the new 75/35 Mbps speed range from $114.99 to $154.99 per month for new subscribers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $99.99 to $139.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $89.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $84.99 with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of 150/65 Mbps speed range from $169.99 to $174.99 per month for new FiOS customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $154.99 to $159.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $99.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $94.99 with a two-year contract.

The new 300/65 Mbps tier, offered as a stand-alone only, costs $209.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $204.99 with a two-year contract.3

Speed Stories December 19, 2011

AT&T started rolling out LTE in California’s San Francisco market earlier this month, and now the company is moving south to Los Angeles. The Samsung Skyrocket with LTE capabilities that I am testing (great phone, by the way) started detecting LTE connection around the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) area. The speeds in this instance are not as fast as they are (yet) in other markets, but they are in line with the LTE speeds seen in San Francisco last week. In addition, they certainly beat HSPA+.

The speeds I am seeing in L.A. are around what is shown in the image above: 18mb/s up, 5mb/s down.

An AT&T spokesperson told 9to5Mac:

We’re continuing to expand our 4G LTE coverage nationwide. As part of our rollout, we’re regularly testing and turning up parts of our network, including in additional markets, so some customers with LTE devices may already see faster speeds.

Therefore, LTE in L.A. has not officially been announced, but now we know it is definitely in testing around the areas of L.A. This testing likely means an official rollout soon. As testing progresses, we should see LTE in more areas of L.A.

Let us know if you spot any LTE connection in unannounced regions.

Update: CNET also has reported seeing LTE in LA

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