Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Apps for Mobile Phones with HTML5

HTML5 is just one of the essential features for HTML based phone apps that provide the scaffolding. You will also need CSS3 to dress it up in more delightful ways and of course JavaScript to power the interactivity of the app without which it is dead in the water.

While you could use DOM and vanilla JavaScript, it is lot more easier to use a framework (there is a learning curve), a User Interface Framework which combines JavaScript with CSS to provide a set of programming tools to deliver rich mobile applications. Quite a lot of them use jQuery in one form or another. The frameworks save a lot of development time and effort.

There are different kind of devices (iPhones, Androids and Windows Phones) but also different operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc) and it will be desirable if one could use one tool to cover all these variations.

This area has developed to the extent that you can develop cross-platform, cross-device (response design!) apps but still there iss a great deal of room for improvement.

Here are some popular frameworks:

App Framework
Basically used for mobile devices and supports native OS such as Googl Android, Apple iOS, RIMBlackberry and Microsffot Windows 8. It has no outside dependencies and optimized for speed. It is Javascript library for mobile HTML5 apps.
http://app-framework-software.intel.com/

Bootstrap 3
It is an open source UI library mostly used for web. Although not meant for mobile devices it still works OK. It is heavy on CSS3 and uses jQuery
http://getbootstrap.com/

jQuery Mobile
Uses JQuery and meant for mobile and optimized for touch. Use HTML5 for UI design for rsponsive weeb and apps (smartphone, tablet and desktop).
http://jquerymobile.com/

Topcoat
Pure Open source CSS for clean mobile and web apps. Optimized for performance with no other dependencies. It has its origins in Adobe design.
http://topcoat.io/


Intel XDK provides support for all these different frameworks. We will take a look at these in future posts.
There are many other frameworks such as Dojo Mobile, Sencha, Apple Flex Builder etc.
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