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Report: HTML5 Mobile Performance Lags

A recent report released by Spaceport.io shows that HTML5 performance on mobile devices leaves much to be desired when compared laptops, but is it enough to put out the flame that represents HTML5’s popularity?

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By: wubayou
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May 23, 2012

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A recent report released by Spaceport.io shows that HTML5 performance on mobile devices leaves much to be desired when compared laptops, but is it enough to put out the flame that represents HTML5’s popularity?

HTML5 has become a very hot topic in the tech industry, and many development gurus have touted the technology as the wave of the future due to the way in which it enables developers to create applications that can be deployed to a wide variety of devices and browsers.  While the praise for HTML5 certainly has merit, a new study released by Spaceport.io dubbed the PerfMarks II Report reveals that HTML5 gaming performance on mobile devices has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with performance on laptops.

To achieve the results of its PerfMarks II Report, Spaceport.io tested smartphones and laptops to see how well they could animate image movement by calculating the number of moving images on a screen at 30 frames per second.  Such testing is seen as being a vital indicator of HTML5 game performance, and various animation techniques were used.

Once finished, the overall results were a tad surprising, as even the top smartphones paled in comparison to laptops in terms of their ability to render HTML5.  So, while a top performing smartphone may be able to handle a simple HTML5 game such as Scrabble, its ability to do the same with a more complex game is a whole other story.

The Apple iPhone 4S held the title as being the best performing smartphone of the iOS bunch, but it rendered HTML5 at a rate that was six times slower than a Mac laptop.  The Samsung Galaxy S2 was deemed as being the top performer of Android’s offerings, but it handled HTML5 at a rate that was ten times slower than a modern laptop.  Those were just the best of the current smartphone collection.  When testing other smartphones with less desirable performance, the report found that they ran an astounding 889 times slower on average than a laptop. 

Ben Savage, founder of Spaceport.io, commented on the PerfMarks II Report’s findings, which were presented during the 2nd Annual HTML5 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.   He said: “Cross platform mobile application development is currently the holy grail of the industry, seeking to move beyond the walled gardens of app stores. Although HTML5 is getting faster over time, the performance on mobile devices and browsers is still sorely lacking for the development of more complex applications.  This spaceport.io PerfMarks report will help both browser creators and app developers know what to push for in terms of HTML5 technology necessities.”

While the PerfMarks II Report showed that there’s plenty of room for improvement as far as HTML5 mobile performance is concerned, the technology offers so many advantages that should allow it to continue to appeal to developers.  HTML5 comes equipped with many features that help developers design highly attractive web pages that offer an immersive experience to visitors.  With HTML5, the need for a third party application or plugin to embed and play audio and video on pages is a thing of the past. 

HTML5 has virtually taken over Flash as the technology of choice, and with good reason.  Just take a look at some of the problems that plagued Flash development for mobile sites.  Not only was mobile Flash development seen as overly complex for many developers, but it also clashed and created issues with touch-screens found in certain tablets.  Some found Flash to be a strain on the CPU’s of mobile devices, and problems were also detected in terms of overheating and excessive battery usage.

How about a comparison of the advantages offered by HTML5 applications compared to native applications?  HTML5 does a good job of holding its own in that competition as well.  With HTML5, developers can leverage the power of being able to build an app once and deploy it across multiple browsers and devices.  Compare that to native applications that require separate development and coding to properly fit with different platforms.  Users can enjoy an experience that offers user interfaces that have a more customized feel, as opposed to the often dull interfaces that come with native applications.

HTML5 also offers unity in terms of updates.  Users across different platforms can enjoy the latest updates simultaneously, while native app users might have to wait if updates for their platforms are released later than others.  Availability is another issue that falls in HTML5’s favor.  Native apps are distributed across proprietary app markets that correspond to different platforms.  HTML5 apps, on the other hand, can be found through simple distribution via websites, email, and more.

As of right now, HTML5 may not be perfect, but the future looks bright.  One can only hope that the technology becomes more refined as time goes by and improves in terms of mobile performance and much more.

For more on this topic, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/5/prweb9531647.htm

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