Apple's iOS runs HTML5 games three times faster than Android

By Lee Kaelin on March 6, 2012, 9:30 AM

A new study has found that iOS offers better HTML 5 performance than Android, according tests conducted by cloud-based games platform Spaceport. The Perfmarks benchmark suite compares the performance of a mobile gaming engine supporting vector graphics, which details the performance of HTML 5 apps on different mobile hardware and software platforms, to objectively compare which offers the best experience.

As part of the report, each device and its operating combination were tested to demonstrate their ability to animate image movement. Essentially Spaceport measured the number of moving images that can be displayed at any one time whilst maintaining a minimum frame rate of 30 frames per second, which is considered a minimum baseline for smooth animation rendering.

Apple’s iPhone 4S scored well, handling over 200 moving objects whilst maintaining a frame rate of 30 FPS. Even the oldest iPhone tested, the iPhone 3GS managed 53 anminated objects at the baseline frame rate of 30FPS. The iPad 2 scored best, with over 300 objects at 30 FPS.

At the other end of the scale, the worst Android-based smartphone, the Motorola Droid was unable to even display one anminated object at 30FPS. The best performing Android device was Google’s new Galaxy Nexus S running Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, with around half the frame rates of the iPhone 4S.

The report concluded that iOS offers around three times better HTML 5 performance than Android. The top performing device was the iPad 2, with the highest level of performance for HTML 5-based games. It also found that the default Android browser was outperformed by iOS devices in nearly every scenario.

Spacepoint also pointed out that support is still a long way off being perfect on mobile devices: "Although the Safari Mobile Browser on iOS has faster performance than the Android Browser on Android, neither currently support speeds that are anything near that of native code. This was one of the major motivations behind Spaceport. It will probably take years for HTML5 to reach native-quality performance."

Currently, the Perfmarks report (PDF) only compares the iOS and Android platforms, but it is hoped future tests will include a wider range of devices for better comparison.

User Comments: 7

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

...and that came out of nowhere, 1 day prior to announcement of iPad 3. Strange coincidence? - i think not!

Arris Arris said:

Given that Google are moving from the webkit based browser in Android 2.3 to Chrome browser in Android 4.0 there have been no updates to the 2.3 browser for HTML5 support since its release. I'd like to see Opera Mobile and Firefox mobile browsers tested too since that is one of the advantages of Android not being a closed environment like iOS. I know for a fact that both Opera Mobile and Firefox on Android support a larger number of HTML5's features than the Android webkit based browser (probably as they are still being updated/developed). I would hazard a guess that they'd perform better than the Android browser at these graphic tasks too. It is an opportune moment for this comparison to be performed just as Android is making a transition to a hugely reworked operating system with a new browser and as VitalyT pointed out, just before iPad3 announcement. I wonder how previous iOS versions would have faired in these tests?

Android 2.3 surfaced around the end of 2010 from what I can work out, iOS5 was released October 12, 2011. Given the time difference between these two phone OS's I would have been shocked if the almost year younger OS's browser didn't perform better in these HTML5 tests than Android. Given that the final specification of HTML5 is still not completed I'd say this comparison is somewhat premature.

Even with all that said, no one can really take anything away from iOS as this clearly shows that currently for HTML5 graphics/games Apple does have a substantial performance lead.

Arris Arris said:

VitalyT said:

...and that came out of nowhere, 1 day prior to announcement of iPad 3. Strange coincidence? - i think not!

Yes, that's a very good point.

Guest said:

Where is WP7?

Guest said:

The 3 people who got a WP7 did not submit their results.

EEatGDL said:

Why the news like "Google and Motorola will submit their plans to Apple" [have no link in english, sorry] about product names, specs, launch and changes to Android aren't published widely? I'm really getting sick of such dirty non-competition practices of Apple [I'm collecting in my documents starting today all the news about legal fights that involve Apple]; for being short, today I'm declaring myself anti-Apple after reading the news [today] I just quoted -after many others read in the past months. I've never bought or said anything in favor or against Apple -living with 2 Apple fans in the family [uncles] since I can remember; but today I'm taking determination about the topic: if I get the chance I won't own, accept or buy any Apple product and if asked I would say "don't buy" as I do when talking about NIKE for example with the only condition that Apple in the same relative popular and economic position redeems itself (not after they have a sort of Bill Gate's judgement to stop those dirty practices).

peperonikiller peperonikiller said:

Guest said:

The 3 people who got a WP7 did not submit their results.


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