Mobile Web App Development With JQuery Mobile – Pros, Cons & Alternatives

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As the name indicates, jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized framework developed based on jQuery library. It enables programmers to create mobile web applications for major mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. The developers can further use the framework to create mobile apps using commonly used standards like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and AJAX. At the same time, jQuery Mobile is designed with features to help developers to create mobile web apps without writing longer lines of code. However, each programmer still needs to evaluate the pros and cons of jQuery Mobile, along with knowing its alternatives.

Pros

JQuery Mobile supports many mobile platforms and devices. At noted earlier, it supports some popular mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Likewise, it also supports several mobile devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions. So the framework makes it easier for programmers to create cross-platform mobile app without writing code for specific devices and operating systems. They are also not required to make changes to code according to the screen size and resolution of individual devices.

While creating native mobile app, programmers have to use a specific programming language. For instance, they have to use Swift or Objective-C for developing apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. JQuery enables developers to create mobile web applications using open and commonly-used standards like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and AJAX. The widely used web technologies make it easier for developers to create a wide variety of apps without putting extra time and effort.

Nowadays developers have to create custom themes to make the mobile app look different and attractive. JQuery Mobile makes it easier for developers to create custom themes using the ThemeRoller. In addition to allowing user to download custom themes, ThemeRoller further allows them to change their look simply by dragging and dropping colors. They can further deliver polished visuals by availing the box-shadow and text-shadow properties of CSS3.

JQuery Mobile further helps programmers to customize form controls, page layouts, page panels, headers and footers. So they can manipulate various elements of a page according to the requirements of the client. Likewise, they can also apply the CSS-based transition effects included in the framework to customize form submission and page links through AJAX.

While planning mobile apps, enterprises have to consider the process of getting approval from various app stores. Many businesses find it challenging to get their apps included in Apple App Store. But jQuery includes the virtues of individual environments. As the framework contains the value of Apple App Store, the developers can easily obtain approval from Apple. Thus, jQuery Mobile makes it easier for businesses to launch and promote their apps. At the same time, it enables developers to focus on the application's functionality and performance without worrying about the approval process.

Cons

The performance of mobile web applications developed using jQuery differs across web browsers and devices. Many programmers have highlighted the apps perform slower on Android operating system and Chrome. But the same apps run faster on iOS devices. Also, the jQuery applications can not outperform native mobile applications in the category of speed.

Many users feel that the applications developed using jQuery look almost identical. Some users even feel that the design of the jQuery applications is not optimized for tablets and other devices with larger screen. So many businesses have to deploy season UI designers to make the mobile web applications different and appealing.

Despite supporting multiple mobile platforms and devices, jQuery is basically a JavaScript library . So it can not access all features of the mobile device like other cross-platform mobile app development tools. The accessibility to access a device's native features makes native apps perform better than jQuery applications.

Nowadays HTML5 is used broadly for developing both mobile web apps and games. So developers look for frameworks that come with specialized features to speed up mobile game development. JQuery Mobile does not provide any particular features for developing game apps. So it can be used only for creating simple data-driven mobile web apps.

Alternatives

The cross-browser compatibility and too many features make JQuery Mobile bulky. So many developers prefer developing mobile web applications using lightweight frameworks like Snack.js, Zepto.js, xui.js, 140medley, $ dom, PhoneJS, Junior, Jo and Davinci SDK. However, a specific framework may complement the specific needs of each project. So the programmers need to keep in mind the nature and needs of the mobile app development project while comparing jQuery and its alternatives.

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