iOS6 Safari currently beats out Windows Phone 8 for HTML5 features

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Internet Explorer 10 is good but is it the best?

Although Windows Phone 8 is still a few months away from release, it doesn’t mean we can’t start to gather information about it or one of its main new features: Internet Explorer 10.

The new browser was revealed back at the Summit in June and it will match the desktop component found in Windows 8 Desktop, due in late October. Featuring a new JavaScript engine, better performance, twice the HTLM5 compatibility, advanced privacy features and optional data-compression, the browser should really be a step up for consumers.

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Microsoft even showed off the SunSpider results compared to iOS6-beta and current Android phones (but not JellyBean). SunSpider is a direct, real-world measurement of JavaScript performance and in this case, IE10 looks to be significantly faster than its competition.

One area though that IE10 seems to be behind ever so slightly is HTML5 compatibility and specifications. This is a tough area to measure because HTML5 is not set in stone yet for specific features—it’s in flux, there is debate and there are proposals.

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IE10 takes the top spot in SunSpider

One of those measurements is found at HTML5test.com and luckily for us it looks like someone recently sampled a Windows Phone 8 device running IE10. Due to the grey areas of what HTML5 actually means, they have divided the test up into three areas: Official, Related and Experimental.

'Official' are just what they sound like—HTML5 specifications that are approved. 'Related' are ones that were at one time included but have been dropped or replaced and 'Experimental' are proposed specifications that have a chance of becoming accepted.

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HTML5Test has iOS 6 beating Windows Phone 8

In this regard, IE10 on Windows Phone 8 performs admirably well scoring 300 plus 6 Bonus points (awarded for audio-video support not specified). That is out of a possible 500 points plus 15 Bonus points. Android 4.0 (JellyBean Ice Cream Sandwich) gets a score of 280 + 3 Bonus points while Apple’s iOS 6 browser gets an impressive 360 + 9 Bonus points. Interestingly, IE10 for desktop received 319 + 6 Bonus showing that at their current stages, the two versions of IE10 are still slightly different.

The areas where IE10 was lacking in comparison to iOS 6 are the following:

Official HTML5 specifications

  • MPEG-4 Support
  • PCM audio support
  • Embedding custom non-visible data
  • Hidden attribute
  • Input types: date time, date, month, week, time, date-time-local, keygen

Related HTML5 specifications

  • Server-sent Events

Experimental HTML5 specifications

  • Web Audio API

It’s hard to put that into real-world experience but going by pure specifications of officially supported HTML5 features, it looks like iOS 6 beats out IE10 in Windows Phone 8. Does that mean everyday users will actually notice? We’re not too sure as some of these specifications may be niche. But having said that, it’s still better to have more official specifications than less.

Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that BlackBerry 10, which is far from being complete, had the top score of 447 + 10 Bonus points, crushing everyone else. Perhaps we shouldn't count RIM out just yet.

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Wait...is that a BlackBerry we see?

At least Windows Phone 8 has a few things going for it: it still beats the other browsers in JavaScript speed tests, it has more HTML5 compatibility than Android 4.0, it has better safe-browsing support and optional data-compression for faster browser with less data consumption. We should also mention that when we tested our IE9 we got a piddly 138 out of 500. When compared to IE10's 300 score that is certainly an impressive improvement.

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Although IE10 may be behind iOS6, it trounces the current IE9 for HTML5 on Windows Phone 7.5

Of course all of these numbers can change as official browsers come out so we’ll have to revisit these numbers again in the fall. To our browser and standards mavens out there—do you think these results matter much? Sound off in comments.

Source: HTML5test; Thanks, Paulo O., for the tip


Reader comments

iOS6 Safari currently beats out Windows Phone 8 for HTML5 features


No problem. Flash is basically dead as even Adobe even going to HTML5. There is HTML5 video (which YouTube supports) and that is probably the future.

Apps are definitely better but unfortunately there is still a ton of content people want and need that are in flash only. There are a few successful IOS apps that do nothing but attempt to convert Flash content to work on the Iphone.
You have ads on this very page that are made in Flash and pay your salary.

Flash is becoming a dead platform (at least from a streaming video perspective). There is no point in adding support for it this late in its life.

So what? Until every website converts to html5, we should have every option available at our finger tips. Stop being a sheep, learn to expect more!

iOS6 lacks the security infrastructure built into IE10, so it runs faster.

It's true because I said it ;-)

It still won't stop me from getting/supporting WP8.

Compared to IE9 it is more than twice as good. This is one thing I reply miss now. Can't wait to get a better browser.

Sunspider is hardly "real world" and this - Input types: date time, date, month, week, time, date-time-local, keygen is REALLY important on mobile. They allow you to input date and time with specific controls for the device instead of textbox (or a custom JS calendar). I'd trade all other improvements over IE9 for these. On the other hand I am not sure what exactly is not supported here because I haven't looked at the actual test results let alone the actual browsers.

I'd rather see MS focus on features and usability than specs for specs sake. Does it have the following features:

+ Find on page
+ Save articles for off-line reading
+ Text reflow
+ One press tabbed browsing

There is no Find on Page functionality in 7.5.... it's kind of a big deal, especially with very long web pages that are being reflowed into a single column for smartphones.

Instead of satisfying the geeks or whatever features above that potential IE10 lacks, Microsoft should focus on ease of use, such as orientation lock, favourites sync with desktop IE, easy access common functions, etc. No wonder IE keeps decreasing in marketshare. Experience is what make people stay.
I really hate speed comparison when IT IS SO MARGINAL in real world use difference. Mili second difference ? Give me a break.

HTML5 features is part of the user experience. If the page you navigate to is not rendered right or the feature is not supported, it affects your expereince. 

Don't be so quick to dismiss these.

As a web developer it would be great if I knew the majority of my audience could use every shiny HTML5/CSS3 spec and feature. But that is unrealistic.
Any developer worth there salt knows that is not the current reality and while we can start to implement some HTML5/CSS3 specific features today it would be irresponsible not to have fall backs for users who dont' have access. You see experimental stuff on porfolio site, not in production.
So basically the chance of you going to a "major" site and not being able to use it with IE10 are very small. The pages will be usuable if they were developed using standards. You just might not get the extra "cherry" on top so to speak.

why is everone thinking they focus on ONE thing at a time? They have a whole team for it. They should do everything. Support all the specs and improve usability. Its not "either this or this" - its "gimme EVERYTHING!"

Hahaha Yup. Its gimme everything.
I know Microsoft has billions of revenue and much of it poured into R&D. What I wonder is despite all "many teams", do the teams think the features ? And despite the many teams, why features in beta were taken out and has never come back until now, Tango ?
In conclusion, Microsoft focus on things that are important, but also forget on more important things such as, user experience in ease of use.

I would say that it takes more than just scores to make a good browser. HTML5 is just a small piece of the puzzle. I've never seen my browser crash on my lumia 800 on 7.5, at least not on the websites i visit. When i use the galaxy s3, the first site i went to crashed went i was trying to input text while the page was just loading. While this may well be an isolated event, it still left a bad impression on me.
If just comparing html5 scores on stock browsers, BB10 has a score of 447. While that is awesome, but does it mean much to the average consumer? no. A reliable, and speedy browser with great compatibility with most websites is more important. Yes, html5 may play a part in that, but so does a lot of other things.

HTML5 can streaming live video? Because if not then how Adobe Flash could die? Even Netflix uses Silverlight instead of HTML5. Otherwise I cannot wait for WP8, I do not know which one to get Nokia or HTC. If HTC shows more support for WP8 like Nokia I go back to HTC. Yes! I Nokia has an advantage over others Manufacturers however HTC could make exclusive apps as well

Very interesting article, I love hearing stuff like this.

On a side note, isn't Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jellybean?

Android 4.0 is ICS. Android 4.1 is JB. I just ran that test on my Nexus 7 with Chrome (Stock browser on JB) and got a score of 369 and 11 bonus points.

Nice imformative article. If there is one thing I got from this, it's that these results will hardly make a difference when people go about purchasing their next phone. Take BB10 for example, it got a great score (better than iOS6 and 4.1 jellybean on Android), yet, I doubt this will change RIM's fortunes and all of a sudden make people flock to BB devices. This will merely be one aspect that will be weighed in against each respective OS. WP8 as a whole is looking mighty good.

True but anyone that uses canvas extensively knows that the competition lags behind IE in a major way. I can make up for CSS and HTML5 very easily but there is nothign I can do about the horrible performance on other browsers when it comes to canvas performance.

I see you left out which version of IE your refering too. Because if you talking about IE9 or IE10 then I KNOW without a doubt you are talking out of you ass.
Know there are a lot of devs out there that are still butt-hurt about IE6 but if your actually keep up with the industry you know that IE9 is very standards compliant and fast. And lets not talk about experimental features because those don't belong in a production environment anyway.
Anybody who develops web aspps knows that HTML5/CSS is a moving target and that if the specifications were "finalized" we would have less of a disparity in support between the major browser makers.

This score il related to html5 compatibility, but html5 standard is not yet complete.
Js and rendering speed is important, other tests are "rumors" (and ie10 is not complete too) ;)

This ony partially too about compatibility versus standards. I detailed extensively how this test breaks that down in the article.

Server-sent events is a big one for me, although from my understanding this is coming very soon. Hopefully at launch!

?I just want to know what phones your using, an unreleased win 8 device, and a new iphone 5 maybe? There a reason why win 7 device wont get win 8

shows you why people are newbie's to web dont even know the difference between flash & html5. Hahaha

iOS6 Safari currently beats out Windows Phone 8 for HTML5 features? This actually is a minimal and insignificant measure considering HTML5. Yet IE10 beats Safari in speed test!!! This is the most significant improvement now. Kind of silly article.

"This actually is a minimal and insignificant measure considering HTML5."

Well, that's your opinion. But standards exist for a reason and measuring them is not exactly a bad thing. In fact, had WP8 been the top browser, I bet you wouldn't think this article was so silly. In fact, I don't see why it is silly looking at which browser is the most standard-compliant. It's relative to a lot of users.

"Yet IE10 beats Safari in speed test!!!"

Slow down there. No one has done a speed test in terms of straight rendering in everyday use. SunSpider is test of JavaScript but there is also DOM and HTML5, neither of which SunSpider measures.

Sure, it's good news but it's but one measure and on beta browsers. So let's not get too enthusiastic.

Maybe the fact that WP lost at something speed-related will make headlines and the media will realize that WP has been and will be superior from here on out. Even if we're not quite fastest on everything, right?

Real life I don't think it matters, people are still using IE6, which doesn't even support HTML 5, so IE9 on WP 7.X should be enough for the next couple years. That said, I still hope IE10 makes it to 7.8, but because of that same logic I doubt it.

I hope Microsoft will improve more HTML5 features... Mp4 and PCM audio support are very interesting... IE10 mobile il still in developing... I really hope MS make a better work.

And let me guess: IE10 won't be available for current Lumia devices, because it, like, needs dual cores, HD screens and an NFC chip in order to run well.
Or something.

Is it now possible with IE10 (WP 8) to download files (e.g. mp3) ?
In WM7.5 this is not possible (open/play is the only option).