February 2, 2011
Flash vs. H.264: Flash Playback Decreases Battery Life by 26 Percent
With MacBook Air launch in October 2010, Apple stopped adding Flash as default to Mac OS X. User can still download, install and run Flash, but they have to get it from Adobe’s website. When questioned about this omission Apple simply said they want users to have the latest Flash update and it’s easier to get it directly from Adobe. However, Ars Technica found out in their MacBook Air review that Apple might have more reasons to keep Flash out.
This gave us an idea why not compare power usage for running Flash and HTML5 on a MacBook Air. As displaying Flash or HTML5 ads continuously for testing can be a problem we decided to run the test using video. We used the same Apple MacBook Air October event video, which is available in Flash on YouTube and in HTML5 (H.264 streaming) on Apple’s website to run the battery life tests.