What is jQuery Mobile and how is it different from jQuery and jQueryUI?

07 Sep 2022
3 min read  

jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized HTML5 UI development framework that allows you to develop cross platform websites as well as apps which work across all popular smart-phones, tablets and desktops.

The jQuery Mobile framework is built on top of jQuery library which provides a number of facilities, including HTML and XML DOM traversing and manipulation, handling events, performing server communication using Ajax, animation etc. jQuery Mobile framework itself has separate library to develop websites as well as apps.

Why jQuery Mobile?

There are a variety of mobile devices having different OS like Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, Nokia Symbian etc. These devices have own apps and different browsers which present challenges for us in web or apps development. Instead of developing an app for each mobile device, jQuery mobile allows you to create cross-platform website or apps which are easy to develop and maintain, since it only uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which is standard for all mobile devices and mobile web browsers.

Features of jQuery Mobile

The key features of jQuery mobile are given below:

  1. Touch-optimized JavaScript framework for smart-phones & tablets.

  2. Open-source and freely available for all kind of usages.

  3. Cross-platform, cross-device and cross-browser compatible.

  4. Built on jQuery and jQuery UI foundation.

  5. HTML5 based configuration for developing web pages with minimal scripting.

  6. Unified user interface system across all popular mobile platforms.

  7. Minimal image dependencies and light weight in size (12KB) to optimize speed.

  8. Responsive design techniques allow the same underlying UI to automatically scale from smart-phones to tablet and desktop-sized screens.

  9. AJAX-based navigation system to enable animated page transitions while maintaining back button, bookmarking and clean URLs.

  10. Support for touch and mouse events for better user experience.

jQuery VS jQueryUI VS jQuery Mobile

jQuery is purely designed to simplify and standardise scripting across browsers. It focuses on the low-level stuff: creating elements, manipulating the DOM, managing attributes, performing HTTP requests, etc.

jQueryUI is a set of user interface components & features built on top of jQuery (i.e. it needs jQuery to work): buttons, dialog boxes, sliders, tabs, more advanced animations, drag/drop functionality. jQuery and jQueryUI are both designed to be added to your website if you want to add a particular feature, jQuery or jQueryUI might be able to help.

However, jQuery Mobile is a full framework which is built on jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. It makes use of features of both jQuery and jQueryUI to provide both UI components and API features for building mobile-friendly sites. In addition, jQuery Mobile also offers various native features that are especially made for mobile devices.

Moreover, jQuery and jQueryUI act as a layer on top of your HTML and CSS. Using jQuery and jQueryUI, you just leave your markup alone and enhance it with the help of jQuery. However, jQuery Mobile provides ways to define your components using HTML5 data-* attributes.

What do you think?

I hope you have enjoyed the article and would able to have a clear picture about jQuery Mobile. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.

About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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