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Speeding Up the iPhone Siddur

Published August 24, 2009

I already blogged about the issue with Hebrew rendering incredibly slowly in the new version (version 3.x) of the iPhone operating system. But I keep getting questions about this, so I thought I give you guys some tips on how to improve the speed of the iPhone Siddur, if you find it a bit ti slow.

In version 4.1, which has yet to be approved yet by Apple, we added some speed improvements that happen both automatically or by choice. They include:

(1) Calling the internet in the background so you don't have to wait to use the Siddur. Generally, the Siddur does not require an internet connection, but there are certain features that do, such as global mishaberachs that pull from the web, amongst others. These calls to the Internet slowed down the load of the iPhone Siddur. So we finally put those calls in the background. In version 4.1, you might notice a little rotating circle that is in the center of the screen. That means, the internet is being used, but you can still use the Siddur. Here is a screen capture:

Speeding Up iPhone Siddur

This helps the Siddur pages load much faster and stops that annoying delay when your Internet connection is spotty.

(2) Ability to change the font from the standard iPhone font to an Arial Hebrew font. Arial Hebrew is ugly, but it is made for Hebrew and loads faster. You have the option to change this in the Settings section, as illustrated in the picture below.

(3) Ability to turn off Nikud, which is why the bulk of Hebrew is slow to load. If you turn off the Nikud, the page renders immediately. I believe this is some sort of Apple bug in rendering these characters and I hope it is fixed in an upcoming OS update, but I have no control over this. To turn off Nikud, go to Settings, as illustrated below

Speeding Up iPhone Siddur

I am not sure why iPhone version 2.x was much faster to load Hebrew, but it was and here is a video showing the time difference:

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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