New Optimized Web Browser Released for the Raspberry Pi

If you’ve ever tried to use a Raspberry Pi to browse the web, you must have noticed how frustrating it can be due to the overall sluggishness of the system. But thanks to work by Collaborra, which optimized Epiphany Web browser for the Raspberry Pi, bringing features such as 720p HTML5 hardware video decoding (no flash support), faster loading and scrolling, etc.., the web browsing experience has much improved, although as you’ll see from the video below, it’s still not quite 100% perfect.

HTML5 Video Playing in Raspberry Pi Optimized Epiphany Web Browser
Embedded HTML5 Video Playing in Raspberry Pi Optimized Epiphany Web Browser

The key modifications brought to Epiphany Web browser are listed below:

  • More responsive UI and scrolling, even while loading a page
  • Progressive tiled rendering for smoother scrolling
  • Startup is three times faster
  • Avoid useless image format conversions
  • Better YouTube support, including on-demand load of embedded YouTube videos to make page load much faster
  • Hardware decoding and scaling of videos (through gst-omx)
  • Reduction of the number of memory copies to play videos
  • Faster fullscreen playback using dispmanx directly (currently a bit buggy)
  • Memory and CPU friendly tab management
  • JavaScript JIT fixes for ARMv6
  • Disk image cache (decoded images are kept in memory mapped files in a cache, saving CPU)
  • Memory pressure handler support

So now time for a little demo…

If you are convinced, and want to try it on your own Raspberry Pi, simply install it from a terminal as follows:

Future version of Raspbian and NOOBS will come with this optimized Epiphany Web browser instead of Midori.

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