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How to use jQuery Mobile framework for building native iOS and Android Apps

By Editorial Team on 2017-11-20

Do you know that you can use jQuery Mobile platform to design and deploy native Android and iOS Apps. It uses HTML 5 and some JS libraries along with Adobe PhoneGap or Apache Cordova to build cross-platform mobile Apps. This article discusses jQuery Mobile, its differences with jQuery framework and how to use it to build native mobile Apps.

Despite the growing popularity of mobile applications, many developers want to find a solution to many of the problems mobile applications can have. For one, they have steep learning curves no matter which way they are attempted. iOS applications are written in Swift, a C based language, and Xcode which allows developers to create views. Additionally Android applications use Java, an object oriented language, with Android Studio and an XML style scripting language to create views. If native applications aren’t the route of development, libraries like React Native or Ionic still have steep learning curves for developers who know the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

JQuery is a JavaScript library that enables an easier development experience for developers while working with web views. Its selection interface makes it a lot easier to connect to DOM elements and alter their properties. This in turn allows developers to create more performant applications on the web. These include the ability to animate elements on their websites and even enable easy form checking within the browser. Additionally making REST API calls in JQuery is considerably easier than in JavaScript, enabling much of the asynchronicity expected in a real time web application.

JQuery Mobile allows developers to create websites with mobile design in mind. JQuery Mobile is not a platform like React Native or Ionic that allows developers to create versions of their applications in JavaScript. Instead it allows developers to alter HTML code just a little bit to support mobile operations. Many mobile devices come with touch screens and with jQuery Mobile allow developers to access a lot of the peripheral features of these screens in their web applications.

Using jQuery Mobile can be useful for many developers, especially those who don’t have much experience with developing native mobile applications. Mobile browsers have become more sophisticated and allow a lot more functionality than they used to, making development in jQuery Mobile quite useful. Additionally with the release of WebAssembly, developers can integrate native web style code into their websites and allow jQuery Mobile to run that code on a phone.

JQuery Mobile enabled faster development times for prototyping products. For instance if someone is trying to create a marketplace website, deploying a full native application can be difficult to do especially with limited resources at their disposal. Many times these companies will already have a website with HTML code and a majority of the work they have to get done is simply enabling features that allow it to be mobile reactive. This saves a lot of time, and with the increasing power of our mobile devices, can deliver an almost equal experience to running an application natively.


Programming Languages and Resources for App Developers
Here are a brief summary of coding languages and resources for developing web Apps or native Apps without using Swift or Java. In general, you need to know common web programming languages such as  HTML, CSS (or HTML5 & CSS3) JavaScript (or JS frameworks like jQuery, Angular, React Web, Node, React Native, Ionic, jQuery Mobile or Express) and  a database  like MongoDB. Knowlege of a back-end coding in language such as PHP, MySQL, Apache or Ruby on Rails is useful but not required. For those interested in learning more about web design and development, here are a list of step-by-step training guide articles: i- Become CMS specialist, ii- Become front-end specialist, iii- Become expert SQL developer, iv- Become expert PHP developer. Lastly, you can use Java programming  or Ionic Android to design Java Android Apps while using Swift or Ionic iOS to design iOS Apps.

jQuery Mobile coding is well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in mobile App design and development; however, other options are, system admin, web design and development and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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