Flash runs faster and more efficiently than HTML5 on mobile

By on September 20, 2010, 1:06 PM
Flash is faster and much more efficient than HTML5 on mobile phones, according to a post by Web developer Christopher Black. His conclusion is as follows: "HTML5 will sit side by side with Flash. Gradient fonts, drop shadows, basic video and simple transitions are probably better suited for HTML5. When it comes to rendering display objects, animation and digital rights management for video, it would be silly not to use Flash."

His statements are based on running benchmark tests on iOS and Android devices. Black played the same animation on an iPod touch, an iPhone 4, and a Nexus One using HTML5, and then again using Flash 10.1 on the Nexus One. The results, in Frames Per Second (FPS), are pretty self-explanatory: 22FPS for the iPhone 4G, 24FPS for the iPod Touch 4, 40FPS for the Nexus One running HTML5, and 57 FPS for the Nexus One running Flash.

Not only is it interesting that Flash runs faster than HTML, or that the older Nexus One outperforms the newer iPhone, but Black also notes that the battery usage is significantly better when using Flash. "The code was engineered to be as equal as possible between the two demos," Black writes. "Full source has been provided to show this." If you want to see the results in action, see the video above, and if you want to run the test on your own device(s) navigate to these pages: HTML5 versus Flash.

User Comments: 10

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Regenweald said:

HTML5 is a brand new standard, flash has been around for years. Let's give HTML5 some time.

Guest said:

Time to do what? Becoming more efficient with out overhauling it?

anguis said:

thats like saying give windows ME enough time and it will be a better OS than XP.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Exept HTML5 is not finnished yet

Flash has been out on the market for many many years in final version

HTML5 is still under development

Chazz said:

HTML 5 has been under development for more than 5 years and it can't do a lot of the things flash does. By the time it catches up, flash will be way ahead of what it is today(flash isn't a static product).

Content providers will need to force you to instal their own plugin to protect their content. All the major stations, hulu, youtube, netflix, and a lot others. HTML5 has a lot of work to do, I see another 3- 5 years in development.

With all that said, I get 2 more FPS on the HTML 5 video than the Flash video on my desktop.

LightHeart said:

This sounds like more a debate for developers. End users don't really care as long as their device supports whatever protocols and looks cool.

windmill007 said:

HAHA poor Apple.. That will teach you to scorn Adobe.

Guest said:

"HTML5 is a brand new standard, flash has been around for years. Let's give HTML5 some time." Tell that to everyone who bloging HTML5 will rule the day.

Flannelwarrior said:

Just ran the test on my Droid 1, and got 25 FPS with HTML 5 and 50 with Flash. Wow!

Whatever the case may be with HTML 5 being a newer product, Flash is still obviously the superior protocol for mobile devices at the moment. Also, like Chazz said, while HTML 5 is playing catch-up, Flash will become more powerful as well.

I read an Apple biased article claiming that Flash was slow, glitchy, and had overall poor performance on sites not optimized for mobile devices. It seems clear to me that over the next 5 years, we will see more and more sites becoming mobile friendly, and mobile hardware becoming more and more powerful. Hell, it's safe to say Droid 2 has TWICE the computing power as Droid 1, and all this development in less than 12 months.

As long as Flash stays ahead of HTML 5, Flash WILL be the most recognized and supported standard. Apple can choose to alienate Flash and further paint themselves into a corner, but the market has already turned in the favor of Android and I believe this trend will continue if Apple continues to behave in the manner that they have been.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

This kind of tests are misleading, here they are only testing an animation on a canvas element vs the same animation on Flash. The canvas animation used on this is test is poorly written and a simple optimization made the frame rate double on an iPhone:


If thery really want to test the performance of Flash vs. HTML5 on mobiles they should not only test canvas animations they should also test video, including HD, and other HTML5 specifications.

I bet I can write in Flash the same animation to run at low frame rates on a desktop PC.

People stop believing everything you read!

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