Finally, after almost two years of silence, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. jQuery Mobile blog offered a long overdue update on 1.5 status. The most important information; jQuery Mobile is alive, and soon we will be able to play with the new 1.5 version.
There’s one thing I find the most intriguing. Last few years, jQuery Mobile blog updates were usually related to release updates, almost never about anything else. This time, it was a status update, discussing the almost imminent release of jQuery Mobile 1.5.
They’re so close, it will be available as soon as they finish last three widgets: panel, table and selectmenu.
What was the real reason for this status update? Did they notice a sudden drop in the overall number of jQuery Mobile users or have we finally forced them to produce a statement? Last week, I wrote an article: Why jQuery Mobile is not relevant anymore pronouncing that jQuery Mobile is not important anymore and how everyone should move on.
I must confess; this was a bold statement, one made in utter concern. While I am not using jQuery Mobile anymore, it’s still close to my heart, and I don’t want it do die. Unfortunately, I was convinced that this was exactly the case.
Let’s discuss what’s new with jQuery Mobile 1.5.
First of all, in some way, jQuery Mobile is merging with jQuery UI, so I guess I was half right. Both frameworks will share jQuery UI core, which means any widget written for jQuery UI will work with jQuery Mobile and vice versa.
Both frameworks will share these components:
  • Core (now broken up into individual micromodules)
  • Button
  • Checkboxradio
  • Control group
  • Accordion
  • Tabs
  • Widget factory
      While jQuery Mobile already has a decent theming support, these new changes will bring it to the next level. By including classes option, you will have a much better control over the look and feel of your widgets. I should also mention that this new version will not include all jQuery UI widgets; you can expect them in the next release.
      Both frameworks will share the same theme roller, thus separating CSS part from JavaScript side. This information sounds great, but I will stay reserved. At least, until I can see this implementation with my own eyes. I didn’t like previous jQuery UI / jQuery Mobile theme roller iterations, but I hope this one could change that.
      Why would this new theme roller change the playfield? Well, unlike OnsenUI, other currently available mobile frameworks don’t have anything close to a good theming support. And jQuery Mobile developers just announced they’re not going to support a large number of older browsers, including everything below IE 11.
      Older browsers will still be able to work with 1.5 because bugfixes and workarounds are still there, but you will no longer be capable of reporting bug reports against other browsers. Support will be completely removed in 1.6.
      Supported browsers:
      • IE 11+
      • Chrome Current -1
      • Firefox Current -1
      • Safari 8+
      • iOS 8+
      • Android 4+
      • Windows Phone 8.1+
      This is everything I can share with you for now. I’m glad the waiting is over, but I don’t know what will come out of it. We’ll see soon.
  • wmac

    Thank you for the review. Let’s see whether the performance has improved or not. Because the most important concern about Jquery Mobile (+UI) has been the performance.

    • We can only speculate on that, but 1.6 should bring the speed up, at least, when they lose backward compatibility workarounds and bugfixes.

    • Nux

      Actually, the performance problems were resolved back in JQM 1.4. Also phones change A LOT (including upgraded WebView on Android) so you might want to re-test JQM if you’ve last tested it a year or two ago. If you want to support old phones (which use non-GPU animations), I would still recommend disabling page transition animations (`$(document).bind(“mobileinit”, function(){ $.mobile.defaultPageTransition = ‘none’})`).

  • adalberto Joco

    Superb news, I still earn money with and app done with JQM.

  • Great article, I thought jQM had died, since a couple of months I saw the repository and all was desolate. But these are good news, that is a good project that still could be alive.

  • Alan Harris

    Well its now the end of April. Any idea or further news as to when 1.5 will be released?

  • Zoran Knezevic

    Nah they are dead and you were completely right

    • Unfortunately, you’re correct. Even if they release 1.5 version, it will be too far behind.