jQuery Mobile 1.0 Emerges: An HTML5-Based JavaScript Framework For The Mobile Web

jQuery Mobile, the mobile version of the open-source jQuery Javascript framework widely used by web developers, hit the 1.0 release stage and went out to developers today.

The goal of the project was to produce an HTML5-based Javascript framework that works on popular mobile platforms covering smartphones, tablets and e-readers. The project started a little over a year ago last summer.

It supports iOS from version 3.2 to 5, and it was tested with the Eclair, Gingerbread and Honeycomb versions of Android. It also supports Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 and Blackberry 6.0. In the blog post announcing the release, jQuery’s mobile lead Todd Parker stresses that jQuery Mobile 1.0 requires and only works with jQuery core 1.6.4. This is important to note because jQuery core 1.7 was released earlier this month.

jQuery Mobile simplifies web development by making it easy to create design themes, touch-optimized layouts, toggles, sliders, tabs and other graphical-text interfaces that work on a wide variety of mobile browsers. You can see examples of sites developed using this framework in the jQuery Mobile Gallery. Mobile sites for OpenTable, Box.net, Hunch, Sears, Stanford University and dozens of other sites developed using jQuery Mobile are featured there.

Early reviews from the Hacker News community are tepid, however, with many developers complaining about the loading modal, or loading icon that appears in the center of the browser when new pages are coming. However, in a few short tests we had with an Instagram-based application and a Box.net mobile website, we found them to be more responsive and faster than other HTML5-based mobile web apps we’ve used.