back to article Google shamed by Apple in race to HTML5

If ever there were a company made to beat Apple in mobile, it's Google. Apple, with its rigid devotion to a native app experience, is the perfect target for Google, king of the web. After all, the web and its rising standard, HTML5, threaten to cut Apple's estimated operating profit growth by 30 per cent over the next four …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Apple's Safari blows everyone else away, as recent research shows."

    Research that compared Opera 9 on the desktop (from 2006), and didn't even mention Opera Mobile.

    1. Otto von Humpenstumpf

      Opera on Honeycomb

      Installed Opera mobile on my Transformer (running Honeycomb), and it might just be okay for web sites, but as far as the rendering of web-based applications that rely heavily on hiding/showing/creating/deleting DOM elements on the fly is concerned, it's a disaster. Breaks dynamically generated layouts that render on any other browser.

      Granted, the JS engine is fast, but if I can't click on a link to call a JS function because it's somewhere off the page, it's simply not good enough.

    2. Syren Baran

      Not only that

      "Research that compared Opera 9 on the desktop (from 2006), and didn't even mention Opera Mobile."

      The data from from the linked PC-World article also claims Safari is the fastest desktop browser.

      I'll take that with a grain of salt. And comparing iPad to Android? How do you compare software with a device? Did they use a cheap China-Tab? Who knows.

      Data from AndanTech [1], comparing the Xoom with the iPad, sure paints a different picture ...


    3. Shazback

      From the "research" :

      Chrome 9 - 4.410 sec full render - 3.025 sec perceived render

      Chrome 10 - 5.234 sec - 3.680 sec

      Safari 4 - 2.555 sec - 1.948 sec

      Safari 5 - 2.834 sec - 2.135 sec

      Older is better? Also, Safari is... roughly 40% faster than Chrome? Yeeeaaaa. I'd like to know what machine these tests were run on. iPC?

  2. n4blue
    Thumb Up

    IE9 on WP7 Mango?

    I'd be interested to know - will IE9 on WP7 Mango be even better than mobile Safari, as MS are claiming?

    1. QI
      Thumb Up


      Posting from wp7 mango :)

  3. Craigness

    What's bad?

    Can anyone give this Android user an example of an HTML5 app which doesn't work well in Android? I've never seen one.

    1. James Henstridge

      Re: What's bad?

      While those applications may have appeared to be working correctly to the untrained eye, they weren't in fact being hardware accelerated.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you know your web scene

    You should know there is no such thing as a race to 'standards'. There are standards, there are market share and there are practicality.

    Web developers won't build for something cutting edge for a specific browser over another simply because some features is missing from the other. That opinion reminds me of how people thought IE was great back in the days as it got non-standardised features.

    Standards only become standards when they're practical to use in real life. Point is everybody else has to adopt it before your average developer will think about using it. Then again, backward compatibility is also a concern for web developers. So even when the point comes when most major browser vendors can FULLY support HTML5, it'll take another 3 revisions of browser versions (going by your average update cycle at 6 months), before most developers jump ship.

    This ain't no race. We've been waiting for many years and we'll wait for many more before we see mass adoption. Gruber is an idiot observationist and well known fruit fanboy who's got nothing to do with the web, mobile or software industry. Can't believe you even think his views are credible.

    Besides those points, if this article is about mobile and native apps and how Google is (still) lagging behind Apple, it shouldn't have anything to do with HTML5. HTML5 is not a native app experience. Please don't clump software development with web. You seriously think Android development team in Google have the power to stop the Chrome development team from accelerating HTML5 feature implementation?

    Google is practical, not stupid. HTML5 and javascript is slow compared to native apps (I can't believe you don't know that) no matter what platform or brand is behind it. Mobile being needy of optimisation and speed needs native apps.

    The Google story is very clear to me. Native apps is a no brainer for mobile at this stage in time, at the same time Google is working on bringing HTML5 into the mobile space, which is different from what Apple is doing as Apple has specifically said they're against HTML5 apps when native apps are better.

    In any case, Chrome and Safari works on webkit, how much you really think one company has an advantage over another when they're using the same base? LOL.

  5. Ebeneser


    Fair and Unbiased.

    El' Reg. The fox news of mobile phone reporting.

    1. jai

      by which you mean

      this article doesn't agree with my views, therefore it is biased?

    2. O RLY

      You must be new here

      because it is an opinion column and clearly marked as a recurring one (Open ... and Shut).

      Since when do opinion columns have to be fair and unbiased?

  6. Giles Jones Gold badge

    An enemy of standards?

    It seems rather than go along with the web standards, Google would rather invent their own alternatives. Especially if it gives them an advantage over the competition.

    We've seen it recently with Dart, their alternative to Javascript.

    Now it's not a crime to want to move the web forward, but you should propose it as an open standard and not use it to try to kill competition (like Microsoft supposedly do, embrace extend extinguish).

    You've only got to see the article on here about using it to kill Apple to see it's not a straightforward proposal of a new standard:

    "Google plan to kill Javascript with Dart, fight off Apple Leaked email speaks of battle to save the web from iOS"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Again, Dart is trying to move forward from Javascript, if Google is serious about replacing Dart with Javascript. It will become open. Do you think Google don't know that for any of their products to work they need developers on their side?

      Which means. It's not about "killing Apple". You clearly show a lack of understanding of how standards becomes standards and that nobody has an advantage on the web until the vast majority of developers agree.

      If Dart ever picks up, it'll be handed over to W3C or similar. Then it'd be a bureaucratic mess, hence why Dart appeared in the first place.


  7. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Skreeeek skreeeeek skreeeeek

    Hark. I hear the sound of an axe being ground.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh No

      Someone said something I don't agree with THEY MUST HAVE A SINISTER AGENDA!

      Is this tinfoil hat yours?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 10:35

        You may not be keeping up but Matt Asay only really writes articles criticising Google. I reckon Brinn or Page must have stolen Matt's girlfriend at some point, it is the only reason I can think of for this endless tirade of anti-Google bias.

        1. jocaferro
          Paris Hilton

          are you sure...

 can't think in another reason to this tirade anti-Google?

          There must be thousands and thousands of them...

  8. Techs UK

    demo of HW accelerated IE9 on WP7 Mango

    I saw a demo of all the handsets doing a HTML5 only 'task' a few weeks ago. WP7 started last, finished first. I know it was just one test, but i had the impression MS were well advanced in it.

  9. poohbear


    Apple's core business is not hardware, it's marketing.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      true core

      Apple's core business is Legal, marketing comes second.

      1. StChom

        Arf, you guys keep telling yourself that mantra, when the biggest patent troll around, suing its way (out of a massive robbery) by proxies (HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc...), seating on its advertisement/marketing economic model, selling its users to its true customers (industry cronies, from operators to ad agencies), building a monopoly by any means, rerouting standards, swallowing all opposition, is clearly now G$$GLE (M$ v2.0).

        Truth is sometimes too big to be seen.

        1. Will 28

          No idea who GSSGLE is. Perhaps it should be GOOGL€ given they are based in Ireland.

          1. mrmond

            Based in Ireland ? Really ? With their headquarters being in California ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Step away from the soapbox.

    "Part of the reason HTML5 apps perform much better on Apple devices is because Apple long ago invested in hardware acceleration, whereas Google only got around to it in version 3.0 of Android."

    What do you mean to say? Is it necessarily so that people who come first to a field will outperform later arrivals? Would a sprinter of eighty years beat me in a footrace? Jokes and invalid comparisons aside, I find your statement tendentious and counter-intuitive.

    "Google should be the industry's standard bearer for HTML5, given its web DNA and the opportunity to unseat Apple using the disruptive web."

    Er, how's that? Do you mean to say that you'd like Google to take that role? Or is there an absolute reason why Google should do this? Please separate desire from fact.

    Anyway, I do like the idea of HTML5 (show me a consumer who wouldn't) but your article smacks of evangelism.

    Also, check out this 'recent research':

    At the very least, this 'research' raises doubts, and invalidates your presentation of the superiority of Apple device performance in re Web as fact.

    "The better Apple's support for native apps, the more devices it sells. The better its support for HTML5, the more devices Apple sells, too. Either way, Apple wins."

    Apple wins as opposed to whom? You seem to be steering for a dichotomy with this statement. This, naturally, is an assumption on my part, but:

    "Google, meanwhile, has no such clarity in its mobile business. Google wants to play it both ways - native (Android) and HTML5 (Chrome) - but HTML5 is too often the ugly stepchild in a company that should be trumpeting web standards in every single thing it does."

    One might say this conclusion is a good deal more negative than it needs to be. I've observed HTML5 to work just fine, right next to native apps (or integrated in native apps) on Android. Your conclusion and my observation do not match.

    As your conclusion again includes a statement as to what Google 'should' be doing, I'll chalk it up to evangelism.

    Before I get pegged as a fanboi, I do own an iphone4, an ipad2, an SGS and a Transformer. I enjoy using them all, but I find that for various reasons I pick up the Transformer most.

  11. JoeG
    Thumb Up


    Couldn't agree more with this article. Lack of basic web standards such as SVG on Android for so long is an absolute disgrace for Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh please...

      Safari lacks WebGL. Which fails harder? Neither.

      Each browser vendor is vouching for technologies that benefits them, if other venodors also sees the benefit then it becomes standard.

      Who cares. Non-standards are there for the future, standards are the way forward for the masses. Get this straight boys.

  12. Mike G
    Thumb Down

    Anybody that uses opinion from the blog 'Raging Doucheball' by Gruber, the well known Jobsian fawner and sycophant, to back up their argument basically gives the game away that they to are of the same ilk, though shouldn't be surprised considering about the google hate shown since Strobe was formed by an ex apple employee.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stopped reading when found "web DNA" and "disruptive web". Will continue later unless I find a "paradigm shift" or similar BS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Integrating dynamic ecologies.

      But the author makes a good point: Google really does need to leverage its network effect to create a holistic authentic user experience across all its platforms that integrates user-centred synergies and engages standard-complaint web services to create long-tail ecologies both in the cloud and on handsets.

      Otherwise, Google's dominant position in incentivising data-driven folksonomies will be disrupted by Apple, Microsoft or any other company that prioritises harnessing viral platforms through exploitation of free and open HTML5 and other next-generation web technologies.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try using the audio tag in Android

    go on... try it..

    1. Thaumatrope

      Try using offline HTML5 audio or video in iOS

      Can't cache. Won't cache :(

  15. SamCrawford

    The constant anti-Google rhetoric from this author is becoming tiresome. The facts stated in this article and every other may well be true, but subconscious doubts are immediately raised when I read the byline and anti-Google tone.

    Please can we have some more balance!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So stop clicking on the links. It's not difficult bthe constant whine of soporiphic fandroids co stanly whining about how mean pundits are about their beloved chocolate factory is vomit enducingly tiresome. I thought it was Apple that had exclusivity on Kool-aid quaffing cultists? Apparently not.

      In the 1970's and 80's there was a show on TV called "Why Don't You?". The theme tune always ended 'why don't you turn off your television set a do something less boring instead!?'. I suggest that you all replace the 'television set' with 'computer or phone' and heed the rest of the advice. You might find your incessant caterwauling tolerable, the rest of us sure a shit don't.

  16. Jean-Paul

    Us apple users ....

    were let in on this 'secret' ages ago. But the fandroid are famous for hearing and not listening, who cares they dont have the true web experience, they prefer to tinker anyway.

    Oh I love Fridays

  17. Atonnis


    Google shouldn't be the standard-bearer for anything. It's a grotty example of ethics in the computer industry.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Hardware acceleration

    well since Apple only make stuff for their own limited hardware set its no wonder they can get to market early with it.

    But as has been pointed out before in this thread - what’s running so slowly it is a problem - other than the internet connections? Google have a much much larger market in terms of machines and users and don’t need to knob wave when its not required.

    Though I must confess the only thing that seems to slow down my apps is

    'waiting for google analytics' when I forget to block it.

  19. Flossie

    HTML 5 still a draft spec

    Once the HTML 5 spec has been ratified by the W3C (which is still some years away), i'll start to worry about who supports it best.

  20. Greg J Preece

    Mobile Safari might be faster

    I'm not sure that it is, but Safari might be faster. That doesn't mean that it's any good. Every time I load up Safari on the iPhone I feel like I've stepped back in time a bit. The interface just feels a little bit clunky, uses more of the screen than it should, etc. I've gotten used to Firefox on Android, which once it got past it's creaking betas and slow start has become an excellent fullscreen browser that I couldn't be without. Compared to Safari, it may have less HTML5 support, but that will change, and in terms of a usable experience, it's leagues ahead IMO.

  21. Mick Sheppard

    Native Apps?

    Erm ... Apple's original iPhone had no support for native apps. The intention was for users to access apps via the browser rather than carry them around on their device. When this was announced there was much rage and gnashing of teeth. Apple relented and allowed native apps, building an app store to deliver them.

    Does this mean that things are going full circle and that Apple was right all along?

  22. Justin Clements

    Where's Matt?

    Seriously, can we have the halfwit Matt back because he was far more entertaining?

    This Matt seems almost sensible to the previous writings, and quite agreeable. 2 articles in a row that he's written that I agree with!

  23. Jeff 11

    The only salient point of this article is that Apple had hardware acceleration in the 2007 iPhone, while comparably few Android devices have it - especially at the lower end of the market (although this is starting to change). And that's the defining reason browsing on an iOS device is quick.

    The link between hardware acceleration and HTML5 is totally disingenuous; there's nothing in the spec about it; it's an implementation choice in the browser. Also, very few features of HTML5 have made it into web apps - it's all about Javascript and rendering performance, and while Android devices aren't too shabby at the former, it's lack of the latter which leaves most of them in the dust.

  24. David Simpson 1

    More Fail than should ever come from a "professional"

    Total nonsense, why should Google embrace HTML5 when it isn't even ratified yet ? Android doesn't need to embrace HTML5 because it already has Flash, Java and Air, the only reason Apple jumped on HTML5 was so they could dump flash and keep people buying games from the App Store instead of just playing free Flash games.

    No-one uses the stock browser on Android, which is the whole point of the platform, choice.

    Almost the most load of contrived nonsense I've ever read on the Reg and it wasn't even from Orlowski!

  25. Sailfish

    Google should encourage Mozilla.

    Google, like Apple, is not all that keen on Open Source. This won't matter to many Android users who don't really care about that stuff but it will, and does, matter to a very special core of technology enthusiasts. They should recognize the outsized importance of this small cadre of users and offer them an alternative that Apple can not, specifically, Mozilla Mobile Platform:

    There is no reason that these two cannot mutually coexist much like now exists on the desktop. They should be working on a business plan with the Mozilla team that gives them the access needed to make their port to the Android OS successful including, and not limited to, early access to full Android development builds.

  26. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    What a load of self-serving, disingenuous crap.

    Apple embrace HTML5? What, like running a demo on their website that sniffs for the Safari user agent and otherwise says you can't come in? Yeah, that's pretty fucking progressive.

    Hardware acceleration for website? Even MS has trouble making this sound really convincing and has to use synthetic goldfish bowls and Star Wars text to try and make a case. For web browsing it's totally irrelevant. For playing videos - well, duh, Google's YouTube property was one of the first to introduce non-Flash formats and thus make hardware acceleration possible.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could someone please enlighten me.

    This may be me being stupid, or just the websites I tend to visit, but how does hardware acceleration do anything much to improve the web browsing experience?

  28. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Why can't we have two or three large players. Why does someone have to beat all the others and dominate?

    In the gaming arena the XBox and PS3 live alongside each other and it is good to have choice.

  29. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Crazy article

    The author's actually suggesting that Google's schizophrenia regarding HTML5/native apps is something that will actually have a tangible effect, when 99% of consumers couldn't care less and don't even know the difference. In the same breath he says that the same diverse approach is Apple's strength. Love it.

  30. Zmodem

    no point to html 5, stick to php and flash, if phones can runs games like quake 3, then phnoes should be able to have and run websites using a complete browser, with better batteries which is no great loss, most business folk with use the phone as a bluetooth modem or charge using USB and browse on the laptop

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