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As the name suggests, jQuery Mobile is an optimized touch framework developed on the basis of the jQuery library. It allows programmers to build mobile web apps for major mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Developers can also use the framework to build 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 build mobile web applications without writing long lines of code. However, every programmer should always evaluate the pros and cons of jQuery Mobile, as well as know their alternatives.

Advantages

JQuery Mobile supports many platforms and mobile devices. As stated earlier, it supports several popular mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Likewise, it also supports multiple mobile devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. Thus, the framework makes it easier for programmers to build a cross-platform mobile application without writing code for specific devices and operating systems. They are also not required to make any code changes based on screen size and resolution of individual devices.

When building a native mobile app, programmers should use a specific programming language. For example, they need to use Swift or Objective-C to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. JQuery allows developers to build mobile web applications using open and commonly used standards such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and AJAX. Widely used web technologies make it easier for developers to build a wide variety of applications without spending more time and effort.

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

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

When planning for mobile apps, businesses should consider the process of getting approval from various app stores. Many businesses find it difficult to include their apps in the Apple App Store. But jQuery includes the virtues of individual environments. As the framework contains the virtues of Apple’s App Store, developers can easily get approval from Apple. Thus, jQuery Mobile makes it easier for companies to launch and promote their applications. At the same time, it allows developers to focus on the functionality and performance of the app without worrying about the approval process.

The inconvenients

The performance of mobile web applications developed using jQuery differs across web browsers and devices. Many programmers have pointed out that apps run slower on Android and Chrome operating system. But the same apps run faster on iOS devices. Additionally, jQuery apps cannot outperform native mobile apps in the speed category.

Many users find that applications developed using jQuery look almost identical. Some users even feel that the design of jQuery apps is not optimized for tablets and other devices with a larger screen. So many companies need to deploy seasoned UI designers to make mobile web apps different and attractive.

Despite supporting multiple platforms and mobile devices, jQuery is basically a JavaScript library. It therefore cannot access all the functionalities of the mobile device like other cross-platform mobile application development tools. The inability to access native features of a device makes native apps outperform jQuery apps.

Nowadays, HTML5 is widely used to develop both mobile web applications and games. Developers are therefore looking for frameworks with specialized features to accelerate the development of mobile games. JQuery Mobile does not provide any specific functionality for game application development. So it can only be used to build simple data-driven mobile web apps.

Alternatives

Cross-browser compatibility and too many features make JQuery Mobile cumbersome. Many developers prefer to develop mobile web apps using lightweight frameworks like Snack.js, Zepto.js, xui.js, 140medley, $ dom, PhoneJS, Junior, Jo, and Davinci SDK. However, a specific framework can complement the specific needs of each project. Programmers must therefore keep in mind the nature and needs of the mobile application development project by comparing jQuery and its alternatives.

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