Aug 17 AT 10:19 AM Clark Wimberly 10 Comments

Popular JS framework jQuery coming to Android

A few days ago the jQuery Mobile site went online with a pretty hefty announcement. The powerhouse javascript library is being reworked specifically for use on mobile devices, like Android (and iPhone, Palm, etc).

For the uninitiated, jQuery is a JS framework that allows users to execute high-complexity javascript functions and effects in an easy manner (and without knowledge of full-blown JS). It’s a great way for designers who aren’t the best programmers (cough*cough) to add all sorts of dazzling effects and features they’d otherwise have no way of producing.

In all fairness, the original flavor of jQuery does indeed run on smart mobile devices. Currently, our Android and Me mobile site menu is heavily powered by jQuery. jQuery Mobile aims to take things a step further, introducing cross-platform, mobile-specific UI elements and animations.

The end goal would (hopefully) be a quick and flexible framework that would allow developers to quickly deploy rich mobile pages and web applications without spending too much time on UI or touch controls. One of my favorite things about the original jQuery is its amazing community churning out literally thousands of plugins (from photo galleries to AJAX data controls to user input) and I hope that a good portion of them make the jump to releasing things for mobile.

The jQuery Mobile site has a ton of information to hold you over until the first release, from UI previews to a complete device support grid. My one gripe is that the built-in UI elements look a little iPhone-ish, but overall things look extremely polished so it’s hard to complain too much.

As a traditional web developer who relies heavily on jQuery and has an ever-increasing focus on the mobile space, this announcement has me crazy excited. Deploying hobby projects and weekend hackathons have always been one of my favorite uses of time and having a new set of tools is always a treat.

So how about you guys? Do I have any other mobile web developers in the house? You guys excited about jQuery Mobile or is it jut another middleman that you can live without?

Source: jQuery Mobile

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • nick

    I do see the convienience factor in cross platform dev tools but if your wanting to provide an experience tailored to fit, dedicated solutions are needed. Ex native looking to iPhone, and a different style for Android. Different strokes for different folks…err…devices.

  • David Shellabarger

    I’m very interested in this. I was planing on embedding the full version of jquery in my new app for some offline charting. This sounds promising.

  • blu

    Great story. I know there are other solutions for this, PhoneGap possibly, but it’s good to see a familiar face stepping up their game.

  • http://Website Daniel

    Mind you, jQuery Mobile is not a replacement for jQuery, but rather for the traditional jQuery UI Widgets. jQM is in fact built on top of jQuery and jQuery UI’s core, so they obviously have to run just fine in mobile browsers.

    • http://Website Clark Wimberly

      Good points, I was mainly trying to keep it simple for those not familiar.

  • http://Website See eye

    Can someone excatly explain what it is I dont understand

  • http://Website Lemon

    No reason people couldn’t create some android flavoured UI defaults…

  • http://Website Sergio

    So, What happend with Jquery Touch?

    • http://Website Clark

      jQTouch was a third party solution (and in my experience a little shoddy on Android.)

  • B00MER

    Another Mobile Toolkit /w JS

    www dot sencha dot com (since this comment area likes to ignore entire posts if theres any kind of url in it… one bad apple to spoil the bunch)

    …and NO I’m not affiliated, just thought I’d share. Haven’t used it either.