Why I started with jQuery Mobile Alpha
With the evolution of mobile application development, the learning curve for the current generation of phones have been ever growing. From Objective-C to Android Java SDK, ASP.NET to MIDlet applications, mobile application development trend has always been moving forward with latest technologies.
With the evolution of mobile application development, the learning curve for the current generation of phones have been ever growing. From Objective-C to Android Java SDK, ASP.NET to MIDlet applications, mobile application development trend has always been moving forward with latest technologies. In this day and age, the learning curve for mobile application development has been ever diverse, thus it’s hard to become adept in just “mobile application development.”
As developers, we’re often stuck in the middle deciding, which application to make, and often, what platform. Sometimes developers in the industry sometimes doesn’t have a choice, but to make the same application for different platforms. Often, companies hire different breed of programmers, such as iPhone developers, Android developers, Blackberry developers, etc.. but can we ask ourselves, is there a better way?
As a web developer, I could not help but to be intrigued by jQuery mobile.
“A unified user interface system across all popular mobile device platforms, built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. Its lightweight code is built with progressive enhancement, and has a flexible, easily themeable design.”
1. Cross Platform for A-Grade phones
jQuery Mobile is still in alpha phase. Currently, only a handful of the A-Grade phones support it. However, the development has been steady, and they have handful more features coming out with the next release, as well as more support for others.
The question now becomes, should we support older phones? Unlike old computers, people carry phones around all the time. Phones wear and tear over time, such as battery life and etc. With mobile providers offering free phones upon activation and re-activation, we know for certain that people will continue to get better phones over time. Why support it, when we know they will be gone in few years?
2. Customizable interface via HTML and CSS
The advantages of designing interface through html/css has many advantages. It’s not just html, we’re talking html5. with proper rounded corners and box shadows, your app will look amazing in phones with html5 support.
The customizable interface made by the jQuery mobile team is also amazing. From list views to buttons, they are easily customizable, themable, and user friendly.
3. jQuery mobile makes almost everything possible
If you are a jQuery programmer, you should know that almost everything is possible to do with just jQuery and a web browser. Inside jQuery mobile, there are events which makes development a lot easier. jQuery mobile also supports static header/footer navigations not found in Blackberry Widgets or Blackberry Java development, which makes it more appealing to Blackberry developers. Did I mention, everything is 100% customizable?
4. PhoneGap support
PhoneGap makes things possible so that apps developed in jQuery Mobile can be used as offline apps, and they are now being accepted in iPhone App store.
PhoneGap itself is pretty new, and it’s steadily evolving. Pretty soon, they will support better functionality for each individual OS, and with jQuery Mobile, it will be feasible to develop cross platform applications in the near future.
Though there are many positives to jQuery mobile, there are still few negatives. It’s still premature, not ready for production yet. They are to release version 1 sometime in January of 2011, and we’re hoping to see where this goes.
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