September 18, 2010

Flash runs faster, more efficiently than HTML5 on mobile

Web developer Chris Black benchmarked an HTML5 animation made using the Canvas tag against the same animation running in Flash.  The results may surprise you:

  • HTML5 Canvas on iPhone 4: 22fps
  • HTML5 Canvas on Nexus One: 40fps
  • Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus One: 57fps

Oh, and Flash Player used half as much battery.

Now, does this mean that HTML5 sucks or shouldn’t be used?  Of course not! As Chris points out in the comments, it may be possible to tune this Canvas implementation to run better on mobile.  He also points out ways that Flash could run better on mobile.  All these implementations are new, and I expect they’ll all improve, especially as developers figure out what techniques work best for each.

Competition is great.  For things that HTML5 does best, use it; same goes for Flash.  Focus on your viewers’ needs, and Adobe will step up with great tools no matter which technolog(ies) you choose.

[Update: Per various reader comments, Chris has posted more details on optimizing Canvas/JavaScript-based animation.]

Posted by John Nack at 11:55 AM on September 18, 2010
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