While i was searching new movies released on 2020 to watch online, one of my friend sitting nearby suddenly asked me how browsers can work on Mobile phones ? i was shocked, because the question seems to be little bit strange. Realizing that, he re-framed the question and asked me Can you tell me how browser works on mobile phones? because all this days, i'm using browsers but i don't know how it works, so today i want to learn about that!. As, i was in a mood to watch movies, i asked him to google/bing so that he can learn something. He googled to find the information, but he was unable to understand those contents as they are too technical. So he asked me again to explain in simple terms, which made me write this post.
This post is an beginner friendly and a short one. So, if you are the one, who wants to know about how browser works on mobile phones and PC/ Laptops then i hope it might help you too.
Ok, let's dig in..
How Browser works :
Everything in this computer world works on two components. CPU central processing Unit and Graphic processing Unit. Understanding both this terms is important to understand how it works.
CPU is nothing but the heart of our computer/Mobile phones. Hmmm, let's say this way. You might have seen new smartphone's getting released everyday. So, if you asked specification for that device, then they might say, Snapdragon 855 or 635 with Octa core processor, quad core processor right? they are the ones that help our mobile phones process the information(8 Cores means, 8 processors are built in single chip, quadcore means 4)). For example : If you enter 6 + 8 = ? on calculator application then it will display the result by calculating the values that are already programmed inside itself. Your Phone will calculate those things with the help of this processor, which will work closely with memory. Likewise Gpu will process all graphical elements like images/photos. Those things are hardware's that will be inside your mobile and PC.
So, when reading that, had you thought, how that hardware just a stationary object understand what information you typed ? Simple they do that with the help of Operating system which are nothing but we call OS. Android, Windows 10, Kali Linux, Mac, iOS are the popular OS's. So, this how OS works ? its actually a pretty big concept. I will explain in very short. They are the programming codes that will have instructions on how system should work (like if user asks what is 6 + 8 then it will have instructions like interact with processor and display the results.) that are written and saved in your harddrive/ SSD when an OS is installed, If you are using Windows 10, then you can see operating system files on System 32 and Windows folder. If you are using Android then you can find those information on Android folder inside internal storage.
Next, we will see process and thread. Process is nothing but the executing part of the application. And thread will make the processes alive. I.e; When you open calculator app or any app like chrome app, then a kind of instruction will be sent to the OS that the app is running and will allow the application to do the work as intended. This process is called process. OS will allocate separate process id for different processes. And this OS will manage all the applications( processes)
Application interacts with OS -> OS interacts with hardware -> Hardware does the Job -> Sends the information back to OS -> OS sends the information back to Application.
All this things are happening in very very minute seconds. If you are reading this post, and the moment you clicked on downward arrow mark on keyboard or scrolled your mouse down then the instruction will be like the hardware will sending instructions to OS that user has pressed the down arrow mark, OS will interact with processor and will find what needs to be in our case will scroll down the post. Likewise, every action will be done by our system.
If you understand the above, then you had understood basics concepts on how systems work and the good part of it is, its common for all mobile and PC's, laptop, tablet devices.
Now, let's see how browser works on mobile phones. As most of us, are using android phones i will explain with the help of android itself. Don't complicate things. Think Browser as just an application like calculator app, that will just have some additional features. That's it. You know how application works right? the same calculator example we had seen above.
In android, When you start an application then the screen that is displayed is called Activity, and everything on android is based on activity. For Example : If you are starting chrome app or WhatsApp then the moment you click on the app icon and it will load the chat screen right ? that is called activity. (Ofcourse, the above Operating system concept we had seen will be done on background). An application like browsers will have many activities, and all those activities are collectively formed to be an application.
The following is also called browser architecture, as they are the ones that help for browser application to work. So, as soon as you start the chrome application, which will load activity screen the following processes will be executed in the background.
1) Browser Process -> Controls everything like the address bar, bookmarks, buttons and other network activity except website displaying area.
2) Rendering process -> Controls how website should be displayed
3) Plugin process -> Controls plugins used by the Website.
4) Gpu Process -> Handles Gpu works
So, the moment when you typed some website name like logeshwaran.org on the address bar controlled by browser process then here what will happen, it will interact with your network first. For example : If you had connected to the WiFi network then, your browser will interact with WiFi drivers of the OS -> Will send information to Router -> Router will send the information to Internet Service provider -> Which will send the DNS request -> Will find the Website server -> Web server will send the information to ISP -> ISP to your Router -> Router will send the information to your device OS -> OS will send the information to your application -> Application displays the information to you . Hmm all this information happens within seconds, that's how technology has now advanced :)
So, once the above information (webpage like .html file or .php file) sent by web server was received, then rendering process will render based on the code. Example : If its a .html file then it will render the codes written inside by the site owner/web developer and will display the site. You can see take our site as an example for this too, your browser has rendered the codes written on css and html languages to display the results.
And you guessed it right ! Rendering process will interact with GPU process and Plugin process if the site has those content like images/ plugins and will display the result in our case webpage.
All this actions like Application interacting with OS -> OS installed on hardware interacting with network -> Network finding information sending back to OS -> OS sending back information to application happens every time whenever an site is loaded/viewed in less than seconds
This is how an browse works on mobile phone and PC devices, pretty simple ugh?