Development studio appMobi released its first public version of its “jqMobi” framework designed to speed up efficiency and performance of HTML5 Web and hybrid iOS and Android apps. jqMobi 1.0 promises bug fixes, speed improvement and tablet enhancements that have been contributed by the open source community.
When appMobi released the framework in January there was a considerable amount of backlash against the utility. Developers in the comments of ReadWriteMobile and Hacker News railed against the name, the presumption of replacing jQuery Mobile, the fact that the beta was buggy and how the information was presented. This is understandable given what appMobi was introducing in juxtaposition to the ecosystem.
The beta version of jqMobi had 30 APIs functions and event support. Version 1.0 has 60 APIs, expanded event support and query selection compatibility. While larger than the beta version, it is still relatively light at 5KB minified.
There are three libraries in the jqMobi framework: jqMobi (query selection library), jqUI (touch-based library interface for WebKit browsers) and jqPlugins for WebKit browsers.
The beta version of jqMobi had 10,000 downloads and 80 forks from its Github. For a nascent framework, those are decent numbers but noting mind blowing; jqMobi is not setting the world on fire (just message boards) but definitely is showing traction among curious developers. Whether or not they can maintain that level of engagement remains to be seen.
There are a variety or reasons for that. Foremost, jqMobi 1.0 has to live up to developer expectations. The beta version was as much a curiosity as it was a useful utility. The fact that jqMobi is open source and available for anybody to build upon should help push adoption of the framework. The bigger story though is that there are a variety of competitors making improvements in this space that appMobi’s fledgling product may have time keeping up.
Foremost, Sencha Touch 2 was released to the public last week and also promises a lot of performance upgrades and functionalities. Both appMobi and Sencha have identified Android as the primary area of improvement with HTML5 and focused their frameworks on enhancing Android performance. appMobi’s goal for Android is to make user experience the same as iOS apps. Other contenders such as jQuery Mobile and Zepto.JS also have solid developer bases and libraries. It will take more than just appMobi showing up on the scene to change developer behavior.
Did you try the jqMobi beta? What do you think of version 1.0? Let us know in the comments.