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Mobile Web Application Development with JQuery Mobile: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Alternatives

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


JQuery Mobile is compatible with many platforms and mobile devices. As noted above, it is compatible with several popular mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Likewise, it is also compatible with various mobile devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. Thus, the framework makes it easy for programmers to create cross-platform mobile applications without writing code for specific devices and operating systems. They also don’t need to make code changes based on the screen size and resolution of individual devices.

When creating a native mobile app, developers must use a specific programming language. For example, they have to use Swift or Objective-C to develop applications for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. JQuery enables developers to create mobile web applications using open and commonly used standards such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and AJAX. Widely used web technologies make it easy for developers to create a wide variety of applications without spending additional time and effort.

Nowadays, developers have to create custom themes to make the mobile app look different and attractive. JQuery Mobile makes it easy for developers to create custom themes using ThemeRoller. Besides allowing the user to download custom themes, ThemeRoller allows them to change their appearance by simply dragging and dropping colors. They can deliver even more polished images by taking advantage of CSS3’s text shadow and box shadow properties.

JQuery Mobile also helps programmers to customize form controls, page layouts, page panels, headers, and footers. So that they can manipulate several elements of a page according to the client’s requirements. Similarly, they can also apply the CSS-based transition effects included in the framework to customize the submission of forms and page links via AJAX.

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


The performance of mobile web applications developed with jQuery differs between web browsers and devices. Many programmers have noted that applications run slower on the Android and Chrome operating systems. But the same apps run faster on iOS devices. Also, jQuery apps cannot outperform native mobile apps in the speed category.

Many users feel that applications developed with jQuery look almost identical. Some users even feel that the design of jQuery applications is not optimized for tablets and other devices with a larger screen. Many companies have to implement experienced UI designers to make mobile web applications different and attractive.

Despite being cross-platform and mobile friendly, jQuery is basically a JavaScript library. Therefore, you cannot access all the functions of the mobile device like other cross-platform mobile application development tools. The inability to access the native functions of a device makes native applications perform better than jQuery applications.

Today, HTML5 is widely used to develop games and mobile web applications. Therefore, developers are looking for frameworks that include specialized functions to accelerate mobile game development. JQuery Mobile does not provide any specific features for developing game applications. Therefore, it can only be used to build simple data-driven mobile web applications.


Cross-browser compatibility and too many features make JQuery Mobile bulky. Many developers prefer to develop 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 can complement the specific needs of each project. Therefore, programmers must consider the nature and needs of the mobile application development project when comparing jQuery and its alternatives.

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