The Usability Post
Thoughts on design and user experience by Dmitry Fadeyev

optimizeLegibility on Mobile Devices

In a comment on my post about optimizeLegibility, Marco Arment points out that there are significant, and even fatal, performance problems with this text-rendering mode on mobile devices. Marco Arment writes:

I did some testing with Instapaper to determine approximate optimizeLegibility performance limits. A 5,000-word article in Instapaper for iOS, for instance, will only use optimizeLegibility on devices with an A5-class or greater CPU. To avoid problems on older iOS devices, I wouldn’t recommend using optimizeLegibility blindly and unconditionally on any pages longer than about 1,000 words. And I wouldn’t recommend enabling it on Android at all.

So for now it seems like it’s a good idea to be conservative with the use of this property, using it sparingly and avoiding it altogether for older mobile devices. If in doubt, use it for headings only.

“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

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Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

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