Before we start let me make something clear, this article is made for beginners though I will touch some intermediate topics. If there’s something you would like to know, and you can’t find it here, just leave me a comment down below, even if you only want to say Hi. There’s a good chance I’ll forget something; both frameworks were made several years ago, and they collide in more than one place, so ask, ask, ask.
All in all, I’m amazed how much this topic is still trending. I’m probably subjective regarding this subject, but I would like to blame jQuery Mobile and Bootstrap developers for this state of affairs. When you visit official webpages, you will notice that both frameworks are vaguely described. Let’s take a look at their official descriptions.
- Page 1 – jQuery Mobile
- Page 2 – Bootstrap
[quote align=”center”]jQuery Mobile is a HTML5-based user interface system designed to make responsive web sites and apps that are accessible on all smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.[/quote]
[quote align=”center”]Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.[/quote]
Every developer not familiar with jQuery Mobile and Bootstrap would get the impression that both frameworks serve the same purpose that is not correct, at least partially.
Just like Bootstrap, jQuery Mobile is responsive out of the box. Show it on a smartphone, tablet or desktop device, and it will seamlessly adapt to available screen size. Unfortunately, jQuery Mobile UI widgets are made solely for small screens; they look almost comically large on bigger screens. You can’t resist the feeling how everything looks oversized and out of the place when observed on 13″ or larger screens. This problem can be fixed using grids, but unlike Bootstrap grids, jQuery Mobile grids will not rearrange depending on a screen size, so you are forced to play manually with CSS media queries.
Unlike Bootstrap, jQuery Mobile doesn’t just make your pages look beautiful, it gives a lot of mobile-oriented features like swipe-events, page transitions, allows for single/multipage applications, AJAX page preload, and history manipulation API, and lots of touch-friendly components/widgets.
What I like most about jQuery Mobile is its 3rd party plugin support, including every imaginable jQuery plugin you can think of. Same goes for theme support, though it’s disappointing that jQuery Mobile don’t support native mobile look and feel, at lease not out of the box, you can always acquire it via 3rd party themes and nothing prevents you from creating one of your own(jQuery Mobile has excellent theme builder).
- Easy to develop, if you understand HTML(HTML5) you will have pretty good understanding of jQuery Mobile
- Excellent 3rd party support, what through knowledge what through plugins
- Easy to debug
- Better for mobile web applications
- Official documentation
- Sometimes slow and sluggish on mobile devices, application needs to be designed properly
- Dull look unless you are capable UI designer. All applications look the same, and it looks pretty bad on large screens