Mobile phones today have become ubiquitous and a very intricate part of our life that to some it can be considered one of the basic necessities an individual would need, this is as a result of array of things our mobile phones are capable of doing.

Everywhere you go, you’re likely going to see someone doing of the not so traditional things a mobile phone was initially meant for. Such as carrying out office activities like reading emails, creating and working on presentations, word processing, excel sheet, even basic graphic designing, the list goes on and on and on. You might then be tempted to ask out of curiosity, if it’s possible to scrape the web with your phone since it can well be used for a variety of activities that are not the traditional uses; calling and texting.

This needs to be addressed as soon as possible, because the answer to this question would also help those who are on budget to know whether to buy a mid-range laptop or a high-end smartphone for work purposes.
Smartphone OEMs have somehow, in a bid to sell their wonderful pieces of technology hype the capabilities of their ‘tiny computers’ out of proportion.

You’ve been made to believe that the newest and latest flagships from your favorite smartphone brand is the best thing to happen to computing after microprocessors. Make no mistake, these smartphones are very powerful and can do a lot of things their ancestors couldn’t, all thanks to their powerful processors but all these powers start and ends within the tiny screen
the smartphone is built with.
Anything out of that, your smartphone won’t make a scratch.

From the above you can obviously see the direction we’re driving to, some of the activities your smartphone can’t handle: Bitcoin mining, web scraping and any CPU/GPU intensive activity. Your smartphone would just freeze!

Mobile crawler

Why are smartphones not able to scrape the web?

Mobile phones or in recent time smartphones are not able to scrape the web and do some other CPU intensive jobs because the CPUs of these phones aren’t built for this, they’re not built for handling such activities.
Web scraping is a very recursive way of extracting, downloading and saving the contents of a web page and most of the time this repetition is done over and over again. Depending on the amount of data you’re scraping and the source, your web scraping tool might be sending billions of requests per hour, that is not what you want your phone doing. You might have been made to know your phone is packing 4GB to 6Gb of RAM, 2.7Ghz Quad core (or more) processor etc.

All these can only be impactful on mobile games, streaming videos and audios using say Netflix, Spotify or any other as these are the major things that gives your smartphone processor a headache any other thing more than these would result in a serious migraine. Basic word processing using any of the mobile office tools can fly on your mobile as well, that is one of the very basic things a desktop/laptop computer is used for, which actually requires very minimal computer power and hardware requirement.

Basically, the inability of your smartphone to scrape the web all boils down to the power of the CPU and its’ efficiency, the CPU of a desktop/laptop computer is very much different from that of a mobile phone both in architecture and many other features such as heat handling, as a result the processor of a smartphone is very much limited even in the activities it can carry out.

We would have gone into the architectural aspect of the two CPUs but we will keep this for a future post.

Crawlbase (formerly ProxyCrawl) is a crawling and scraping tool that allows users from different parts of the world have access to the data present online. If you’d like to check it out click here.