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HTML5 is the new lingua franca of the internet, but games that are written in the format tend to run too slow.
The platforms that run HTML5 faster are likely to have an advantage in running a whole new wave of applications and games. So Spaceport.io, the cross-platform mobile game development tool maker, ran a study to find out whether iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) is faster than Android at running HTML5 games. Hands-down, iOS won.
If HTML5 games run sufficiently fast, then a lot of benefits accrue. For instance, a game could be written in HTML5 for one platform and then work perfectly fine in another.
iOS performed three times better at running HTML5 games than Android, according to the new study. Spaceport.io created a benchmark dubbed PerfMarks to test performance at running HTML5 code.
The benchmark tested a device’s ability to animate image movement — a key measure of game performance. The report measures the number of moving images on a screen at 30 frames per second (FPS), a frame rate which provides a near-native user experience.
Repeated tests show that iOS performed far better at running animations than Android. The newest iPhone 4S scored 252 PerfMarks and the iPad 2 score 327. That compares to just 53 for the iPhone 3GS from 2009. By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone scored 147 and the Kindle Fire scored only 25.
The iPad 2 beat every single Android device tested. The newly released Android Galaxy Nexus was the only Android smartphone that could handle images at 30 frames per second.
Some Android tablets performed poorly despite their powerful hardware. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 scored 65.
Both iOS 5.0 and Android 4.0 (the latest iterations) have registered massive improvements – about 100 percent – in running HTML5 games. Android has become a much more viable environment for HTML5 development with Ice Cream Sandwich. But all Android 3.0 devices and under were unable to perform adequately under these tests.
“HTML5 is getting faster over time, as seen in the latest OS updates across Android and iOS. Although this is a welcome trend, there is still a long way to go,” said Spaceport.io founder Ben Savage. “We hope the spaceport.io PerfMarks report will act as a bellwether for mobile browser and operating system creators who hope to better serve the HTML5 game development community.”
The next PerfMarks report will be available at the second annual HTML5 Game Developer Conference to be held on May 21 in San Francisco.