Is jQuery Mobile Dead?

jQuery Mobile is a comprehensive web framework that works well with app frameworks such as PhoneGap/Cordova. It’s last stable release however was in 2014 which made as well be decades ago the tech world. So is jQuery Mobile dead? For modern complex apps, it’s true that it’s no longer a great fit. The jQuery Mobile team has done a really bad job of keeping it’s users abreast of ongoing development. Potential new users are unfortunately pretty much in the dark about the future of this project. This doesn’t mean however that jQuery Mobile can’t still be deployed for simple apps or for quick proof-of-concept ideas. Today we look at a few compelling reasons people can still make use of this mature framework.

Incredibly fast learning curve

jQuery Mobile has an pretty low barrier for entry. Even for those not coming from a jQuery background, it’s easy to get up and running fast. While there are fantastic new modern mobile frameworks such as Ionic and React, the learning curve for each is considerably higher for persons especially those coming from a jQuery background.

For simple, basic apps, jQuery Mobile can still be a go-to tool for rapid results.

Mobile HTML engines are much improved

The Android webview, used for displaying HTML based apps has historically been a pain to deal with. Over the years however it has vastly improved although it cannot match the speed of native performance. The experience however is now vastly different for people building hybrid apps. Many animations and transitions that were jittery in the past are smooth today, and with stellar support for new CSS capabilities. If you’re targeting the Android ecosystem, you can even make use of the slick nativeDroid theme to update your apps look and feel to something more modern.

Able to Leverage pre-existing jQuery knowledge

If you’ve been working in the web field for a long time, you may be more familiar with jQuery instead of newer libraries. jQuery Mobile allows you to quickly transition this knowledge to build apps using tools such as PhoneGap or Cordova. jQuery has a very large and advanced ecosystem of components to work with, and has a very mature and stable codebase with lots of support via forums and programming sites such as StackOverflow.

jQuery Mobile uses HTML5/CSS3

If you can write HTML then you will probably feel right at home using this framework. jQuery Mobile focuses on creating a uniform experience between mobile platforms to minimize compatibility issues. You can roll custom themes and swap out css to refine the app look and feel to your own preferences. While there are custom attributes used, they don’t detract from its ease of use and low learning curve.


jQuery Mobile is still a powerful framework for mobile app development but it isn’t as flexible or performant as more modern alternatives. While it isn’t recommended to build large complex apps using this framework, it still can have a space in your toolkit for kicking around simple ideas or basic apps. It provides a great way for designers or web developers with jQuery experience to test the waters of app development by building on former knowledge. If you would prefer to use something a bit more performant and modern, there are no shortages of alternative frameworks to check out so feel free to experiment!

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