Study: Top websites have an iPad preference

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The top 500 websites are catering more to the iPad than they are to Android tablets, according to tests by website optimization company Blaze Software.

Part of the problem for Android tablets is that a lot of these top sites as listed by Alexa send the same pages that they would send to an Android phone, which results in less rich, text-heavy pages that don’t take advantage of the 10-inch tablet screens, Blaze says.

Of those sites that have pages designed for Android tablets, only 16 percent send pages customized for Android tablets, and the rest send pages designed for Android phones, the study says. By contrast, 92 percent of the sites that have an iPhone customized page also have an iPad-customized page or an iOS desktop-customized page, the study says.

Android tablets are newer than iPads and sites haven’t gotten around to setting up separate pages for Android tablets. The sites can detect that an Android device is connecting, and respond with the only Android-friendly pages they have—those designed for smartphones, Blaze says.

It’s also harder to support Android devices because there are so many versions of tablets and phones built around the operating system, which makes it more difficult for websites to support all the possible combination of hardware and software versions, Blaze says.

With iOS, there are a handful of iPhone models and two versions of the iPad.

For its study, Blaze used Nexus S and Motorola Xoom to represent Android phones and tablets.

Blaze also found that newer Android hardware downloaded sites faster than older Android hardware, and so did newer and older versions of Apple hardware.

One exception was that iPhones loaded pages 12 percent faster than iPad 2s. That’s because pages delivered to iPad 2s were 67 percent larger than those dealt to iPhones. The pages were richer, but took longer to get there, Blaze says.

This story, "Study: Top websites have an iPad preference" was originally published by Network World.

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