Thursday, January 2, 2014

Exploring Jquery Mobile 1.4.0

    The Jquery Mobile team released a new stable version 1.4.0 on December 23, 2013, an early Christmas gift for all the Jquery Mobile fans including myself. The main thing that people noticed in this version was the change in the default theme and design. Jquery Mobile has gone flat with version 1.4.0, some believe that this change has been inspired by the flat metro design style Apple adopted for iOS 7. However, there have not been just cosmetic changes, but many more changes and we will take a look at these today.

Default theme (Swatch A)

    Version 1.4.0 is focused on performance improvements and reviewing widgets. A new default theme has been introduced with SVG icons. A few new widgets have been introduced with this version which include a flipswitch widget, a generic filter widget named "filterable", popups with arrows, tooltips for sliders and 2 new Jquery UI widgets have been intergrated - the Tabs widget and the Date Picker widget. The filterable widget can be used with listviews, collapsibles, tables, controlgroups, select and even a simple paragraph of plain text.

Jquery UI Tabs Widget Integrated

Jquery UI Date Picker Widget Integrated


    As compared to the earlier versions, in the current version of Jquery Mobile, DOM manipulations have been reduced to improve performance. Generation of inner markup for elements styled as buttons has been completely removed and in many cases, the frameworks just adds classes to the native element during enhancement and even the number of classes have been reduced.

    A new default theme with a flat, more modern design has been introduced in this version. Also the number of swatches has been reduced from 5 to 2; a light "A" swatch and a dark "B" swatch. The new theme also includes a completely new icon set which has vector-based SVG icons. A fallback to external PNG icons on browsers that don't support inline SVG and also been included.

Sample of the new SVG icons

    In this version of Jquery Mobile, the slider and the range slider widgets have been deprecated. These widgets will be worked on and supported again in the future versions. Data-role="fieldcontain" has also been deprecated and has been replaced by class ui-field-contain. Several other classes like ui-icon-shadow have also been deprecated in this version.

    2 new events - "Swipe to Delete" and "Swipe to navigate" have been introduced with this version. Many developers, I am sure must have been very happy to see these 2 features included in this release. These are very popular events that are a common requirement of most mobile web applications.

Swipe to navigate

Swipe to delete

    With all these new changes introduced in this version and many more new interesting features proposed for the future releases, Jquery Mobile is becoming one of the most prominent mobile web framework looking at the current market trends. Jquery Mobile is enhancing its existing framework by making it lighter and at the same time loading it with several features.

    Drop a line to share your experiences with the new version of this exciting mobile web framework. Feel free to suggest any new features that I missed to cover in this post. Till next time, have fun exploring the new Jquery Mobile.

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