Two of the biggest names in this space are Sencha Touch & jQuery Mobile (which has now been built-in to the latest version of Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS 5.5). Both are freely available and enable developers to enhance the user experience by quickly and easily adding the kind of smooth transitions, animations and interactions that we have all come to associate with using our fancy touchscreen smartphones and their powerful mobile web browsers.
So…which one to use? Well, that very question has come up and garnered some feedback on Quora. So I thought I’d flag it up for you here (I’m nice like that, see).
The general consensus seems to be that Sencha is more robust and performs better than jQuery Mobile, with richer and smoother interactions and animations making for a cleaner – more “native feeling” – UI. However, it also seems to be agreed that Sencha involves a much steeper learning curve and is a bit lacking in the documentation area. One summation was, “If you’re simply looking to enhance a mobile delivered website, go with jQuery. If you’re looking at developing a richer web *app* then Sencha is the way to go, particularly if you’re looking at developing your app using web technologies and then wrapping it up for deployment as a native app using something like PhoneGap.”
So, like I say, I thought I’d flag it up. You can read the discussion on Quora at http://www.quora.com/Were-deciding-between-jQuery-Mobile-currently-in-alpha-and-Sencha-Touch-What-are-the-pros-and-cons-for-each and you’ll find that some of the comments link to other – possibly useful – resources.
But while I’m here I may as well point out a couple of other – related – things. First up is a “Quick Introduction to jQuery Mobile” that I spotted on Twitter.
And, secondly, is a topic of conversation that has started up around the whole business of mobile apps…native apps…web apps…(!!!) which I think is interesting. That revolves around the thinking in some quarters that if you’re building a web app for mobile you actually SHOULDN’T go trying to make it look like a native app at all. I think this is one for the designers and those interested in UX (I don’t think we really have any UX experts working in web teams in UK Edu do we?)…
Oh and my thanks to Mike Jones at MyMobileBristol for the above link :)