The benchmarking world is a highly fluid one, with comparisons changing by the month and cutting-edge innovations rendering once-reliable tests as archaic. The third-party world
usually doesn't have much trouble keeping pace, but today, an interesting announcement shows that OEMs themselves are watching the numbers... perhaps even more than we'd envisioned. Broadcom, Huawei, OPPO, Samsung Electronics and Spreadtrum today announced the formation of MobileBench, a new industry consortium formed to provide more effective hardware and system-level performance assessment of mobile devices. The consortium will "initially focus on addressing the need of developers to better understand every element within the mobile platform and deliver optimal system-level performance to enhance the user experience."
According to the group, "MobileBench will provide mobile platform designers with more useful solutions based on speedy time-to-market analysis, and consumers with more reliable indices for better assessing the user experience." It sounds as if they're looking to help devs build apps that are better suited to the platforms they're shipping. Apple has a unique top-down, vertically integrated approach, which has historically led to apps that are built for maximum compatibility. Other platforms, namely Android, have fragmentation and form factor issues that usually degrade overall efficiency.
The initial cadre is seeking new members already, and it plans to soon introduce two professional engineering tracks: the MobileBench for hardware evaluation and the MobileBench-UX for testing system-level applications that address factors affecting the user experience. In the future, the consortium also intends to introduce a test system for consumers to evaluate personal mobile devices on their own.
Here's a bit more straight from the horse's mouth: "MobileBench evaluates hardware components. It consists of a mobile device, including core elements such as application processors, popular memory solutions, embedded storage (eMMC) and graphics memory chips. Besides analyzing these basic test areas, engineers can set up detailed parameters such as repetition and intervals, with each test result being monitored in real-time, allowing usage pattern and system status analyses. MobileBench-UX is designed for evaluating user centric applications such as switching among different apps, video shooting and viewing, and phone camera operations."
All in all, it's tough to view this as anything but exceptional news. Better compatibility and awareness can only be good news for devs and users alike, and we're hoping that more companies wake up and realize that they truly are in this thing together, and that working towards better programming will benefit the whole.