Things have been increasingly moving away from Flash toward HTML5. (“Things” here includes stuff like funny cat videos, games, apps and other interactive or motion-based content. Basically, the sexy, splashy stuff.) For companies, the cross-platform development of HTML5 is a no-brainer. For end users, it would give them a smoother experience without so many crashes, slowdowns or hangups.
If this is true, then it’s safe to say that the future belongs to the devices that can dish up HTML5 quickly and blip-free. The whole thing needs to work effortlessly, because if it doesn’t, then fickle users will simply move on to something that will.
That’s a sobering thought for Android users, given a new study from Spaceport.io. The mobile game development tool maker performed tests on a variety of devices and platforms (at different versions of software), and came to the conclusion that the Google OS doesn’t run HTML5 games as quickly as iOS. The margin wasn’t too narrow either — in these assessments, the Apple platform apparently smoked the competition, performing as much as three times better.
The tests were measured in something called “PerfMarks,” an open-source benchmark that involves gauging how quickly the devices could “animate image movement,” a crucial factor for gaming. The study noted how many moving images they could handle at 30 FPS (or frames per second) via mobile browsers, to offer some inkling of how they’d perform with gaming and other apps.
Ultimately, the iPhone 4S (iOS 5.0.1) earned 252 PerfMarks, with the iPad 2 (iOS 5.0.1) and iPhone 3GS (iOS 4.3.3) scoring 327 and 53. What’s kind of surprising is the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As the only Android phone that can even deal with 30 FPS, it scored just 147 PerfMarks, and that’s running Android 4.0.2. And for all their specs, Android tablets fared even worse — the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Android 3.0.2) hit 65 PerfMarks, and the Kindle Fire (v6.2.2) only reached 25. That last one’s less than half of the iPhone 3GS’ score.
Other devices tested include the Droid Charge, Droid 2, Xperia PLAY, Eee Pad Transformer TF101, the Playbook and the XOOM. But in all cases, the iPad 2 beat out everybody.
So what hope is there for Android users? Well, Ice Cream Sandwich is already a much better environment for HTML5 development than previous software versions, says Spaceport. As for how much better it can get throughout its iterations, as well as what Jelly Bean or even “Key Lime Pie” might bring to the table… well, that will definitely be something to keep our eyes on.
They say, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” Only time will tell if the fat lady will be bringing some tasty desserts with her.
For a look at the full PerfMarks report, hit up the source link. If you’re interested in these benchmarks, you’ll also want to stay tuned for the second annual HTML5 Game Developer Conference on May 21. That’s when the next report will be available.
Could you see HTML5 performance playing any role in your next choice of smartphone or tablet?