jQ.Mobi 1.0 vs. jQuery Mobile

A common complaint about jQuery Mobile is the size and speed. By giving up support of legacy browsers, frameworks like jQ.Mobi (aka jqmobi) and Zepto claim smaller footprints and superior performance.  According to most benchmarks I’ve seen like this one, jQ.Mobi delivers while Zepto falls short of it’s performance claims.  Also, jQ.Mobi claims support for IE9 and IE10.  For these reasons, I decided to give jQ.Mobi a shot.

To create a fair comparison, I recreated last post‘s jQuery Mobile demo using the jQ.Mobi+jQ.Ui framework.  Getting started with jQ.Ui is harder than it should be, especially since being acquired by Intel.  On the bright side though, it’s still open source and the developer is very friendly on GitHub.  The best way to start with jQ.Ui is to pull down the jQ.Mobi git repo and point your browser to the jQ.Ui kitchen sink.  From there, you can explore most of the features jQ.Ui has to offer.  I started this demo with the example project.

My overall impression with jQ.Ui is good and bad.  I confirmed every claim of performance and size.  My demo is footprint is tiny, very noticeably faster on both newer and older devices, and compatibility with mobile phones is superb.  I’d go so far to say that compatibility on phones is even better than jQuery Mobile.  On the other hand, jQuery Mobile is a lot easier to develop on because 1) The documentation is awesome, 2) the library of built in gadgets is much bigger, 3) customizing and theming is much more intuitive, 4) RIB will get you up and running wicked fast.

So for the time being, I’ll prototype with jQuery Mobile and move to jQ.Mobi if the extra work is warranted later.  Check out my jQ.Mobi demo here!

Initial thoughts with the jQuery Mobile Framework

I’ve been meaning to try the jQuery Mobile Framework for a while now, and after discussing with District Karaoke’s Jesse Rauch I felt inspired.

So far, I’m optimistic. The baked in look and feel make for a what appears to be a nice experience. However, JQM animations are a little ahead of the mobile support. The animations will not be smooth on most phones, and will sometimes not come from the correct direction. It seems entirely a performance and browser issue, and I think JQM will look much better in future phones.

So for now, JQM may not be the best choice for lower end phones. Stay tuned, because soon I’m going to report on how JQM compares to alternatives.  In the mean time, check out my demo and offer me your thoughts!

Quick tip: I found the easiest way to get up and running with jQuery Mobile is to use the awesome RIB tool.