If HTML5 is the hot, fresh technology grab bag for Web applications, it pays for operating system makers to optimize their platforms to not only run HTML5-based apps, but run them with speed and efficiency.
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS has grabbed that crown from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, performing three times faster than Android devices in various speed and image movement tests. That's the key finding from Spaceport.io, a social games technology concern incubated by YouWeb.
The iPad 2, soon to be replaced by the iPad 3, bested all devices in the testing, followed by the newest iPhone 4S.
Google has long touted HTLM5 as the next big programming language. The company shelved its Gears offline enabling technology in favor of an HTML5-based approach.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously eschewed Flash in favor of open standards such as HTML5 to "win" on the Web. Facebook, carriers and handset manufacturers are also supporting HTML5 for the mobile Web.
To that end, Spaceport.io tested a device's ability to support HTML5 games by assessing the capability to animate image movement, which is a key metric for judging game performance.
Apple's iPhone and iPad, working in conjunction with Apple's Safari browser, "perform far better than Android devices at registering image movement on-screen," said Spaceport.io after conducting repeated tests, using several animation techniques on different games and apps.
The iPad 2 processed some 326 moving objects, compared with 250 objects for the iPhone 4S. Only the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which runs the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build, was able to maintain more than one moving object on the screen, scoring a mark of 147.
In fact, only that ICS-based device performed well for Android. Motorola Mobility's Droid 2, for example, could barely handle a single image at 30 frames per second (FPS), while even the now ancient-seeming iPhones 3GS handled 53 moving objects at 30 FPS.
As for Android tablets, they couldn't compete with the iPad 2, with all older Android 3.0 Honeycomb devices unable to perform adequately under these tests.
For example, Spaceport.io said Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (score of 65) and Asus Eee Pad Transformer (score of 48) tablets performed only "moderately well" with certain specific animation techniques.
Amazon's Kindle Fire rated a 25 score. Research In Motion's BlackBerry Playbook actually pulled a score of 85, besting all Android slates.
As good as iOS performed relative to its top rival, Spaceport.io said both iOS and Android have a long way to go toward facilitating HTML5 for Web apps in the future. As consumer demand rises to new levels, developers will want to build more powerful apps to accommodate their customers and users.
The onus is on the platform purveyors to rise to the occasion.