your web app is bloated
Using firefox's memory snapshot tool, I measured the heap usage of a variety of web apps. Here is how everything did.
|App||Memory (MiB = 10242 B)|
|google inbox||215 (!!!)|
|google sheets (spreadsheet)||96.98|
|google docs (document)||46.57|
|soundcloud (track open)||45.80|
|bandcamp (album page)||8.76|
|duckduckgo images (result)||7.31|
|openstreetmap (on new york, transportation layer)||6.72|
Table of Contents
- github - 7.41 MB
- google - 11.30 MB
- google results - 14.77 MB
- duckduckgo - 5.63 MB
- duckduckgo results - 4.81 MB
- google images (result) - 26.41 MB
- duckduckgo images (result) - 7.31 MB
- wikipedia - 1.73 MB
- wikipedia (article) - 5.93 MB
- stackoverflow - 2.55 MB
- google docs - 24.7 MB
- google docs (document) - 46.57 MB
- google sheets (spreadsheet) - 96.98 MB
- hackmd (document) - 44.9 MB
- sandstorm (spreadsheet) - 27.63 MB
- toggl - 49.77 MB
- Social / Comms
- twitter - 25.09 MB
- tweetdeck - 40.38 MB
- twitter (mobile) - 30.84
- reddit - 43.77 MB
- facebook - 23.49 MB
- facebook newsfeed - 56.12 MB
- facebook messenger - 57.78 MB
- gmail (basic) - 0.81 MB
- gmail (mobile) - 7.93 MB
- gmail (standard) - 158 MB
- google inbox - 215 MB (!!!)
- slack - 76.53 MB
- rocketchat - 32.12 MB
- riot - 55.31 MB
- meatspace chat - 4.48 MB
- news / content
- video chat
I opened each site in firefox, and used the memory shapshot tool.
I screen shotted the output using
scrot. I was running
and that probably made some sites smaller.
github - 7.41 MB
github homepage (my news feed)
google - 11.30 MB
empty google page. A surprising amount of memory used since it shows nothing but a single field.
google results - 14.77 MB
prehaps still a lot of memory considering very little images or real time interactions here.
duckduckgo - 5.63 MB
much less memory than google! I guess it's the tracking features in google that uses the extra memory!
duckduckgo results - 4.81 MB
google images (result) - 26.41 MB
fairly efficient, compared to reddit, youtube etc
duckduckgo images (result) - 7.31 MB
1/3 the memory google images uses
wikipedia - 1.73 MB
wikipedia (article) - 5.93 MB
static page with some images
stackoverflow - 2.55 MB
google docs - 24.7 MB
google docs (document) - 46.57 MB
this seems like more than should be necessary. mainly js objects.
google sheets (spreadsheet) - 96.98 MB
a lot of memory, especially considering spreadsheets were the killer app back in the apple 2 days, where lots of people brought computers for the first time to run visicalc on 64k of memory?
hackmd (document) - 44.9 MB
about the same as a google doc
sandstorm (spreadsheet) - 27.63 MB
almost 1/4 that of google spreadsheets.
toggl - 49.77 MB
time tracking software, quite bloated.
Social / Comms
twitter - 25.09 MB
loaded twitter homepage and didn't scroll or touch anything
tweetdeck - 40.38 MB
twitter power user interface, with mentions and messages, one user's feed, and a search feed added.
twitter (mobile) - 30.84
not better than regular web twitter
reddit - 43.77 MB
facebook - 23.49 MB
facebook newsfeed - 56.12 MB
a lot of objects are in memory, presumably this is from using react.
facebook messenger - 57.78 MB
same memory use as fb news feed. react, of course.
gmail (basic) - 0.81 MB
nearly nothing! I use this daily. Really, it's an amazing level of functionality and user-friendlyness, packed into a very simple interface. Also, because it doesn't have any kind of dynamic updates, it's less distracting than the other email interfaces. You have to intentionally check for emails, there is no notifications or changing favicons. so ugly it's beautiful.
gmail (mobile) - 7.93 MB
Google's mobile apps are respectable. again, pretending to be a nexus 5.
gmail (standard) - 158 MB
google inbox - 215 MB (!!!)
makes standard gmail look tame. did they take gmail standard and just add more stuff?
slack - 76.53 MB
rocketchat - 32.12 MB
riot - 55.31 MB
meatspace chat - 4.48 MB
youtube (mobile) - 5.49 MB
just the landing page. acceptable.
youtube (mobile, playing video) - 15.94 MB
youtube - 30.00 MB
pretty light weight considering it's youtube
youtube (video) - 59.04 MB
At first I thought this was reasonable (since you are playing video) but then I discovered that actually you can play video with a lot less!
vimeo (video) - 31.15
google-maps - 65.61 MB
Pretty heavy compared to the other options. I've been informed that this uses webgl, but the mobile version only uses tiles.
openstreetmap - 6.72 MB
only 10% the memory of google maps and does essentially the same thing!
on new york, with transportation layer enabled
google-maps (mobile) - 12.06
pretending to be a nexus 5. Much better!
you can also force this version by adding
?force=pwa to google-maps url
news / content
nytimes - 56.08 MB
the guardian - 7.36 MB
the onion - 38.30 MB
quite bloated, nearly as much as reddit, but is created entirely by their in-house writers.
medium - 18.53 MB
could be better, but not as bad as others.
medium (article) - 17.99 MB
soundcloud - 22 MB
better than youtube
soundcloud (track open) - 45.80 MB
better than youtube
bandcamp - 14.86 MB
front page has listings, memory use similar to google search results. the best content site.
bandcamp (album page) - 8.76 MB
talky - 9.40 MB
started a call with no one else in it. pretty tight!
google hangouts - 10.76 MB
on a call by my self. also surprisingly unbloated!
jitsi - 40.21 MB
4x google hangouts.
pinterest - 26.80 MB
about the same as google images
airbnb - 40.8 MB
Searched for "san francisco". A lot of memory used to just display a list, especially considering there is no map displayed. Smells like react.
open collective - 31.22 MB
react site, but it's not data that changes very often. pretty bloated.
patchless - 12.43 MB
dat-shopping-list - 8.28 MB
simple shopping list app on dat
patchbay (patchlite) - 59.93
slightly old version of patchbay because it could be bundled and run inside firefox.
patchfoo - 0.7 MB
I started exploring this because I was trying to figure out how to optimize my own apps. Memory use isn't the most important thing, but it is an easy to measure proxy. If you have less memory usage, you probably have a simpler app, which is probably more performant. Less memory also means lees garbage collection activity.
google's apps are particularly interesting because they provide both the worst offenders (gmail, inbox, docs), but their mobile apps are really solid!
I think this just shows there is considerable room for improvement in terms of application efficiency.