Animated UI with jQTouch

jQTouch is a jQuery plug-in for mobile web development originally developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch.1 jQTouch enables animated transitions, swipe detection, and themes for HTML-based web applications based on features in WebKit. The most exciting and interesting feature of jQTouch is that it allows you to quickly make HTML pages look like a native iPhone application.

jQTouch enables you to quickly develop applications that take advantage of common UI patterns, leveraging the JavaScript skills many developers already have. jQTouch is actively under development. With its simple and clean API, jQTouch is gaining in popularity.

While you can use jQTouch in hosted mobile applications and access it on a device with a web browser, you can also use it in native applications produced by several cross-platform frameworks. To use jQTouch in a native application, you would include it in a browser control, as discussed in Part 1, or leverage a cross-platform framework, such as Rhodes or PhoneGap (Chapters 6 and 8), that enable the use of HTML UI in a native application. The visual themes and styling of jQTouch are suitable for any WebKit-based mobile browser; however, its animated transitions only work on iOS, as of this writing.

In this chapter, we will cover how to use jQTouch in your device's web browser, as well as with the frameworks Rhodes and PhoneGap. The information presented is based on jQTouch 1.0 beta ,2 which is the current version at the time of this writing.

In order to work effectively with jQTouch, you will need to be proficient in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. In particular, you should be comfortable with how AJAX applications work, in making asynchronous requests, and modifying the Document Object Model (DOM) of the HTML page based on the response.

1 jQTouch is an open source project initially developed for mobile web applications by David Kaneda, and is free to use under an MIT license. You can find more information about jQTouch at http://www.jqtouch.com

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