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When Apps Attack

App Misbehavior Costs Batteries, Networks, Data Plans
5/1/2014 03:50 PM EDT
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TanjB
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
TanjB   5/5/2014 12:03:14 PM
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Not clear that the chattiness is always bad.  What if G map consumes less MB because it is chatty, for example maybe A buffers larger margins (so you can scroll) which wastes MB, while G might have a more responsive infrastructure so they can use narrower margins but have to send more requests?

There are two sides to this.  One is the impact on the phone, one is on the network.  It does not seem clear that the story on the phone is constant - couldn't the chips and OS be optimized to do the brief messages efficiently?  How do the operators decide that it is the wrong strategy for battery life?  It likely depends a lot on the software.

Then the other side is how well the operators are organized for chattiness.  Long data flows are relatively easy in their backhaul.  Short messages are a nuisance because they have no steady pace.  They also may have some issues in how they configure the wireless signalling.  A decade ago the operators in NA had huge headaches with SMS because they did not anticipate the demand and set up their cells with a correct traffic allocation.  Are they doing the same again?  I assume there are aspects of the 3G and 4G protocols which require that transient messages (chats) compete on signaling and scheduling with predictable long data flows, and that is what really bugs them here?

It would be interesting to have guidance for network impact of different signalling patterns, for example how the networks assume the balance of short, medium, and bulk messages will be in the traffic when they set up the network, and what the cost in latency or overall capacity is if these fractions change.

krisi
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
krisi   5/3/2014 10:02:04 AM
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Good point Junko

junko.yoshida
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
junko.yoshida   5/3/2014 7:38:13 AM
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@kris, they do it on tablets, though, all the time.

krisi
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Re: Apps don't run on magic
krisi   5/2/2014 6:54:05 PM
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and I would rather trust the movement than words...as Alfred Adler said

"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."

krisi
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Re: Apps don't run on magic
krisi   5/2/2014 6:46:46 PM
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I see your point Junko...not sure whether I agree...the networks operators might claim they don't want to build more infrastructure to handle bandwidth...but their pricing plans seem to indicate otherwise...here in Vancouver I can get 1Gb data for $30, 2 Gb for $35 and 10 Gb for $40, and 100 Gb for $50...this does not scale! it is more logarithmis function...they actively encourage me to consume more bandwidth...(no luck with me as I am having difficulty filling in 1 Gb a month, I am a sissy, I know)...Kris

krisi
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
krisi   5/2/2014 6:46:11 PM
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do people watch netflix movies on their phones??? I could use ocasional YouTube clip but the whole movie?

junko.yoshida
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
junko.yoshida   5/2/2014 6:19:57 PM
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@Bert, thank you for your kind words.

I think the list on the page 6 shows how well each app is written (since the list isolates the human factor -- how often and how many people use it).

Yes, obsessive and compulsive is the key. I was pretty obsessed when I was going through this report!

Bert22306
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
Bert22306   5/2/2014 6:08:05 PM
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I always pay attention to your articles, Junko! :)

It would be interesting to get a normalized listing of these different apps, so you get a better idea of how well they are written. Obviously, a very popular app will create a greater overall load, but an elegantly written app has its own appeal.

We need obsessively compulsive designers, who don't mind going back to work the next day and fix what they did yesterday, which has kept them on edge all night. And managers who understand why this is important. In the rush to get things out, there's a lot of half-*ssed work going un-optimized, I'm afraid.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Netflix less than YouTube
junko.yoshida   5/2/2014 5:56:10 PM
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Hi, Bert! I am glad you are paying attention to details here. Yes, Youtube is worse than Netflix -- in terms of the impact on the networks. 

Looking at the list from both volume and signaling perspectives, there are a few more suprises in this report.(i.e. Apple map is worse than Google map. etc.)

Bert22306
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Netflix less than YouTube
Bert22306   5/2/2014 5:41:33 PM
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So in spite of Comcast's much-advertized worries, Netflix creates a little less data volume than YouTube, and is much better than most of the listed apps for signaling efficiency. Not bad, I'd say, for a service that streams HD movies.

A feather in the cap for Silverlight.

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