8 Pros and Cons of jQuery and HTML5 for Mobile App Development

What are the advantages and Disadvantages of Using jQuery / HTML5 for App Development?

When it comes to building mobile applications that can work on a majority of platforms, a seamless collaboration of jQuery Mobile and HTML5 comes to our mind.

Having developed a majority of apps using jQuery and HTML5, I too have been thoroughly impressed by the appealing feasibilities available with this Mobile application development approach.

Features such as single codebase and ability to iterate quickly in Javascript and HTML make the app development project a complete success.

Mobile app development using jQuery and HTML5

As someone who’s on his/her journey of exploring mobile app development using jQuery Mobile and HTML5, this is a post you definitely can’t afford missing.

Here, I’ve jotted down a list of few must-know pros and cons of building mobile apps using jQuery Mobile and HTML5.

Hope by the end of this post you’ll be able to decide as to whether or not you should opt for the same for your next app development assignment.

How’s it like developing mobile apps using jQuery Mobile and HTML5?

You are expected to write a bit of Javascript for being able to develop a mobile app using Javascript and HTML5.

Using Framework:

It is recommended to take advantage of some existing mobile HTML5/Javascript framework which will save you a lot of headaches associated with writing the code from scratch.

Using appropriate framework reduces app development time.

You can choose from a wide range of options such as JQTouch, Sencha Touch, HTML5 Boilerplate, Montage HTML5 Framework and many more.

Good Things about jQuery and HTML5:

Ever since I started my career as a web developer, I’ve always been hearing good things about jQuery Mobile.

jQuery is used for developing responsive websites.

Quite impressed by the touch-friendly UI widgets and Ajax-powered navigation system available with jQuery Mobile.

I could build my very first jQuery mobile application conveniently and in accordance with the specific requirements of my client.

jQuery Mobile 1.2 version:

The best thing about jQuery Mobile 1.2 version is that it is compatible with all versions of jQuery core, right from 1.7.0 to 1.8.2.

Specially designed for building apps that need to be catered to screens with varying orientations, sizes, and pixel densities; jQuery Mobile is a framework tailored to suit the requirements of app owners. You can perform multiple tweaks on a frequent basis.

Pros (Advantages) of jQuery and HTML5

Now, we would be looking at the multiple pros of Mobile app development using jQuery and HTML5

1. jQuery Mobile comes with a narrow learning curve

If you look at the jQuery Mobile docs, you’ll find that the framework is quite simple to learn.

The best part is that you can easily come up with an absolutely stunning application. You don’t need any prior working experience in HTML5 or jQuery Mobile.

Additionally, when it comes to building the application’s UI(User Interface) and logic, nothing works better than jQuery Mobile and HTML5.

jQuery Mobile allows you to leverage all your existing HTML/CSS and JavaScript knowledge without the need for getting into the complexities of learning about adapters, delegated etc. Just writing a jQuery code will do the job.

2. jQuery Mobile works as the best option for developing cross-platform and cross-device mobile applications

One of the biggest advantages of using jQuery Mobile is that you don’t need to worry about writing code for each screen resolution or device that you need to cater your app to.

jQuery Mobile will use HTML5 along with JavaScript for ease in developing mobile applications.

3. Custom theme development is possible with the jQuery Mobile framework

When it comes to developing the theme for your mobile application, jQuery Mobile has a lot in store for you.

What is the best framework for Customer theme development?

This framework comes with a built-in tool called ThemeRoller which allows you to create stunning app themes without the need for writing even a single line of code.

Plus, there are remarkable layout grids which make it convenient for you to create the client’s product/service page, result page and a range of other custom pages.

You can easily add collapsible menus to the applications developed using jQuery Mobile and HTML5.

4. A viable means of avoiding worries related to app store approval

A tremendously painful thing associated with mobile app development is dealing with the App Store approval process.

By choosing jQuery Mobile and HTML5 for developing apps, you can easily avoid the stress of getting your app(s) approved by the app stores.

The reason for this being that the jQuery mobile apps come with all the qualities of a wonderful app that is well accepted by the multiple app stores.

Cons (Disadvantages) of jQuery and HTML5

Now, let’s get to know about some cons associated with Mobile app development using jQuery and HTML5

5. Multiple issues crop up simply because jQuery Mobile uses Ajax for navigating through pages

Issues related to anchors tend to crop up each time you use the jQuery Mobile framework for developing a mobile application.

As a Javascript developer, I chose to reset the Ajax navigation for solving all anchor-related issues, for which the code snippet is shown below:

$('a').attr('data-ajax', 'false');

Yet another biggest issue faced while working with jQuery Mobile is its interaction with .NET, especially in case of update panels.

In other words, each time the content was received from the server after a Postback, it didn’t return the desired HTML Class that had to be used for loading the style.

I solved this issue by registering the script functions in the code located behind the one shown below:

private void RunScript()
     /* Run script */
       ScriptManager.RegisterStartupScript(this.Page, this.GetType(), "CreateSearchResult", "CreateSearchResult();", true);

6. jQuery mobile apps are slower as compared to native mobile apps

One of the biggest disadvantages of jQuery Mobile applications is that even on the latest iOS and Android hardware, they are noticeably slower as compared to the native mobile applications.

Although I still haven’t tested my jQuery mobile app on an older Android device, I feel the app would turn unusable there.

Especially, if you’re targeting the iOS mobile platform, then there is a dire need to look into a reasonable performance of the browser for the app to function in the desired way.

Even this is an issue found in case of developing a mobile app using Python programming.

7. Limited capabilities as compared to native mobile applications

Since JavaScript running in a browser doesn’t have complete access to multiple features of the device. Users wouldn’t find your jQuery mobile application impressive.

For instance, there are many jQuery applications that don’t have any access to the device’s camera, refraining the users from leveraging the app features to the fullest.

This isn’t the case with native mobile apps which work in sync with the varied features of the device.

In such a case, you can build an Android app using the Android studio.

8. Page Transitions and Animations don’t carry a ‘native’ look and feel

Yet another noticeable drawback of jQuery mobile applications is that they don’t come with the look and feel of a native mobile app.

That means, jQuery mobile applications are sluggish, poor in their visual appearance and might not function in the same way as the native apps.

Wrapping it all up

Like everything on this planet, even jQuery Mobile and HTML5 platform have its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

It isn’t suitable for all kinds of applications. It can turn out to be a great option for apps that need to be updated on a frequent basis.

1 Comment
  1. Ananth M says

    Its very useful for me to know about new things about moobile app development… Thank you!

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