jQuery Mobile

Handwritten by TVD


And in this corner…

jQuery Mobile is an ambitious project which aims to provide developers with a JavaScript framework for some seriously cross-platform & cross-device development. Developers will have access to a jQuery core as well as a user interface suite of components via jQuery UI.

It looks like this framework will be able to handle everything from the Apple iPad to the Palm Pre. From the website:

A unified user interface system across all popular mobile device platforms, built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. -jquerymobile.com

A Step in the Right Direction

Fundamentally, I think this is a step in the right direction. Thanks to the Apple iPhone, mobile development is definitely more enticing these days. But, for years it was marred by inconsistency and dis-unification.

Couple the inconsistency with the fly-by-night quality of the majority of mobile devices and a second-thought distribution network and you had a development environment that didn’t encourage innovation.

Why develop for a platform that is the hottest item this Summer to find out its been replaced by a new shiny thingamajig just in time for Christmas?

For now, I think I’ll still advise clients to set their sights on building native apps for the Apple line of mobile devices: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The staying power (consistency), sex appeal and distribution network make the Apple platform ideal for developers.

Write less. Do more.

Yet, I still think jQuery Mobile framework must be nurtured as its promise is far too compelling. Think about it:

- Your next app could be consumed without direct approval by the mobile provider

- Write once, Run everywhere

- No $100/yr or fees per sale structures

- Software-as-a-Service business model for Mobile devices

I predict native apps will continue to dominate the market for the time being. However, the business case for jQuery Mobile is truly compelling. With a release date of late 2010, you can bet I’m definitely looking forward to its beta release.

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