By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 04, 2013 02:21 PM EDT
The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone apparently has a nasty little browser bug that drains more data than it should and increases loading times.
Samsung may have launched its new flagship, the Galaxy S4, but the Galaxy S3 is still a popular option among Android fans, especially those who didn't think it was worth to upgrade.
While the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a very good smartphone with a slew of neat specs and features, a browser bug apparently wreaks havoc, marring the experience.
According to some researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a browser bug in the Samsung Galaxy S3 could spike users' data bills by draining more data than it should. This particular bug reportedly lies in the smartphone's stock Internet browser. It's definitely good news that researchers discovered this bug, but one issue inevitably lingers: the Galaxy S3 is not exactly a new smartphone, which means that pesky bug swallowed up valuable data for a good while before anyone noticed it. How is that possible?
The researchers responsible for this finding are Emmanuel Cecchet, Robert Sims, Xin He and Prashant Shenoy. The four were testing a Quality of Experience (QoE) benchmark application when they made their discovery, and will present their findings this week at the IEEE Symposium in Montreal.
The problem reportedly stems from a srcset HTML attribute which enables mobile devices to download the proper-size image. The stock browser on the Samsung Galaxy S3, however, apparently downloads all images, which in turn results in longer load times, data spikes and errors. In other words, instead of downloading only the images it needs, the Galaxy S3 browser grabs everything.
"When comparing our results on the different devices and networks for our Wikipedia trace, we noticed significantly higher latencies for our Samsung S3 smartphone on both WiFi and 3G," reads the report (PDF).
The researchers mention loading a Wikipedia page as a test. The page in question was 600KB when browsed via Internet Explorer, but exploded to a massive 2.1MB on the Galaxy S3.
"This bug significantly affects the Wikipedia performance on 3G where these massive number of requests for image downloads overwhelmed the network and ended up timing out rendering an incomplete page," the researchers explained.
The bug apparently affected both the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) and the AT&T version (SGH-I747). Both models reportedly rock the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
However, before getting too alarmed, keep in mind that this issue is only for the stock browser of the Samsung Galaxy S3. This means that until a proper fix is released, switching to another browser such as Chrome or Firefox should be enough to avoid this data-draining bug.
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