Early on in the project we decided to go for “mobile first” approach. We firmly believe that the easiest and right way to do it is through a Web App.
Recently (~1 year) many mobile web dev platforms have emerged. jQueryMobile, Lungojs, Sencha Touch, jqTouch, iUI are the most prominent ones. We tried them all when we first started and all of them are “ok”. But we cannot settle for that We eliminated some of them due to visual and technology concerns and ended up selecting the fastest (back then) and most supported with a large community (even in the alpha/beta stages): jQueryMobile
The structure of it simply fantastic. You can create UI elements and pages really fast. We decided to build a complete UI with it and let JS with API calls handle all the data transactions with our back-end (built on Django/Python — will follow up with a different post on that).
After 2 months of part-time development we finally had something on test more widely on different platforms. Basic pages with basic functionality in jQueryMobile communicating with basic API calls with the back-end. All the testing while developing in early stages happened on Android 3.1 (Galaxy Tab), and we have to admit that it felt kinda slow (both in Firefox Mobile and in Native Browser). Transitions are jumpy and control elements not as snappy as you would expect on a native app. Then one day we got an iPad 2 in our hands and tested it also there. Huge difference. It is like jQueryMobile is made for this thing! Smooth transitions, responsive controls nice loadings This is kinda weird as on jqm website about platform support, both platforms are rated A+. We are going to follow up on this with jQueryMobile team to figure out what is happening. In the meantime, disabling transitions and effects seems like a viable solution to get something close-to-smooth in Android.
We would love to hear any feedback about Mobile Web Frameworks (jQueryMobile in specific) and speed on those platforms. It is understood that we are living on edge here (always on nightly builds on all frameworks), but hey it would not be fun if it wasn’t for bleeding edge!
/we back to testing
Giorgos & Pierros
cc-by-sa photo by Brian Lai