iOS leaves Android in the dust for HTML 5 performance

A new study from spaceport.io finds that iOS delivers three times better performance than Android when it comes to HTML 5 apps.

The future of Web-based apps seems to be HTML5. As ubiquitous as it is on PCs, Adobe Flash has failed to catch on in the mobile world, and alternate solutions like Silverlight are too proprietary. A new report finds that iOS blows Android out of the water when it comes to HTML 5 performance.

Spaceport.io tested a variety of iOS and Android devices for its PerfMarks report. The goal was to compare the performance of HTML 5 apps on different hardware and software combinations to see which mobile platform delivers a better HTML 5 experience. The study found that iOS has about three times better HTML 5 performance than Android.

The PerfMarks methodology tested each device and operating system combination to assess the ability to animate image movement. Basically, spaceport.io measured the number of moving images that can be displayed at one time while maintaining a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) -- a gaming baseline for smooth animation rendering.

Of the devices tested, the iPad 2 delivers the best HTML 5 experience. In fact, the iPad 2 beat out Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Asus Eee Pad Transformer despite the superior hardware specs for the Android tablets. The results are a poignant example that winning the specs war on paper, and delivering better performance in real life are two very different things.

The iPhone 4S also scored highly -- handling over 200 moving objects while maintaining a frame rate of 30 FPS. In stark contrast, almost all Android smartphones were only capable of handling only one object at 30 FPS. Spaceport.io reports that even the oldest iPhone tested -- the iPhone 3GS -- is capable of 53 animated objects at 30 FPS.

Predictably, the best of the Android smartphones was the current flagship device. The Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' which has massive improvements in terms of HTML 5 performance. However, even the Galaxy Nexus only managed about half the animated objects as an iPhone 4S while maintaining the 30 FPS frame rate.

A number of major players--such as Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft--have backed HTML 5 as the standard for Web apps. With the trend toward HTML 5 there are emerging efforts to establish objective benchmarks and metrics for measuring and comparing performance. Results from studies like this one provide valuable information for vendors, developers, and consumers to gauge the available options.

Many of the apps that are out there -- both for Adobe Flash and for the emerging HTML 5 trend -- are games. On one level, that makes Flash and HTML 5 sort of frivolous or trivial. But, HTML 5 can be used for more productive apps as well, and HTML 5 games are a valid test for performance because they tend to be more demanding in terms of the processing power, memory, and graphics resources they consume.

It is worth noting that the spaceport.io PerfMarks report only looks at iOS and Android. Microsoft is a supporter of HTML 5, so it seems reasonable to assume that the Windows Phone platform would perform admirably on these tests. Hopefully future reports will include a wider range of platforms for a more comprehensive study of the available devices and operating systems.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?