updated 08:15 pm EST, Mon March 5, 2012
Apple still uncontested in mobile HTML5 benchmarks
Apple still has an unambiguous lead over Google in HTML5 performance on the mobile web, app development tool maker Spaceport.io found in a head-on benchmark test. iOS devices were typically about three times faster than their Android equivalents. Even Android 4.0's flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, was still about 42 percent slower than the iPhone 4S despite newly optimized HTML5 code and a theoretically faster 1.2GHz clock speed.
Some Android devices were particularly slow, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Amazon Kindle Fire, which were 80 percent and 92 percent lower than the iPad 2. The Galaxy Nexus might have been helped if it had enabled a developer option that forced graphics acceleration, although it's believed that both the stock Android 4.0 browser and Chrome for Android use the graphics core to give a general lift. Spaceport.io hadn't necessarily tried Chrome, although as a beta, aftermarket browser it may have been excluded from the results.
Also left out were more modern tablets using Android 4.0, like the ASUS Transformer Prime, which could wield both the new OS and a quad-core processor.
The findings didn't come with a direct explanation as to why Apple had such an unambiguous lead, although it may come from attitudes towards HTML5 and early development. Apple was one of the earliest advocates of HTML5 and supported it in limited form for video as far back as spring 2009, while Google took another year to add early support. Google's heavy dependence on Flash over HTML5 for web content during 2010 and 2011 may have also set it back, since it wouldn't have focused as heavily on HTML5 while Apple was focused on growing it as a more efficient and secure alternative to Adobe's plugin.