Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile – Book Review and Giveaway

Posted: September 26, 2011 Comments(23)

Book cover

I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile by Matt Doyle for Elated. Admittedly, this has been my first in-depth experience with jQuery Mobile and I’m beyond inspired to start work on a mobile Web application in one form or another just as soon as humanly possible.

jQuery Mobile is an optimized JavaScript framework that sits on top of jQuery and enhances the environment in the mobile context. It builds upon the foundation provided by jQuery by providing a set of encompassing functions that make creating a mobile Web app nearly trivial.

With Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile being my first experience with jQuery Mobile, I need to take a minute to explain how truly impressed I am with the work done so far by the jQuery Mobile team. From start to finish I was increasingly impressed with the breadth and depth of planning that must have gone into the features of jQuery Mobile. With just a few additions to your HTML5, you can have a fully functioning mobile optimized version of your app in a very short amount of time.

Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile is an ambitious project, with jQuery Mobile being at Beta 3 at the time of this writing, and at Beta 2 at the time of it’s publishing. The great thing here is that the book is an eBook, so updates will be made available as circumstances change over time. The book covers the major conventions of jQuery Mobile, and I would consider the information to be extremely reliable and unlikely to change in any sort of debilitating degree between now and jQuery Mobile Final.

Book content

This book is a great technical resource, reference piece, and walkthrough of jQuery Mobile. Code samples and documentation are littered throughout, and the author goes into just enough context when it comes to extraneous details about implementation.

The book is broken up into three main sections followed by an elaborate set of appendices. Part I is a couple of chapters on the introduction and explanation of jQuery Mobile and some very basic usage of the framework. Part II gets into a lot more detail through seven chapters of jQuery Mobile Essentials. In these chapters a number of big picture ideas are explained including the concept of ‘pages’ in jQuery Mobile, button creation and usage, toolbars, dialogs, forms, list views, and content formatting. The third part of the book focuses on theming in jQuery Mobile, it’s API, and covers the complete Web app example “Task Tango”, a well rounded mobile task manager.

I couldn’t have asked for the book to be organized in a better way. I can usually guess what’s going to be covered next throughout a book, but in this case I was so surprised by the coverage of jQuery Mobile itself I was consistently thinking about the impressiveness of the framework itself. I recall consistently thinking ‘whoa, they even included that?’ as I read through a number of sections in the book.

In true jQuery fashion, jQuery Mobile has thought of so many things when it comes to customization. A ton of really smart defaults have been set, but customization has been left completely open, and you can override pretty much every aspect of the standard implementation. I can only hope we begin to see more and more Web applications follow the conventions set by jQuery Mobile though, there is a lot of really great stuff within.

Overall reaction

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to read Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile by Matt Doyle for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a really elaborate manual for jQuery Mobile. I’ll be using it repeatedly as a reference in tandem with the jQuery Mobile Docs.

The book is full of code examples, including a fully documented to-do application built on PHP, MySQL and jQuery Mobile. That alone provides an extremely valuable first-hand look at the implementation and usage of jQuery Mobile in a targeted fashion. I try to learn by example as much as possible, so capping off the end of the book with a fully functional Web app was a genius move in my opinion.

I highly recommend Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile by Matt Doyle if you’re looking for an in-depth look at the ins and outs of jQuery Mobile, even if you’ve worked with it before.

Giveaway details

Matt Doyle has been super generous in providing two copies of Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile to raffle off here on Monday By Noon. Since it’s an eBook, there are no geographical limitations in place, so anyone can enter! The rules for entry are pretty simple: retweet the announcement for the giveaway and link to it in a comment below explaining your experience with jQuery Mobile so far and what you’d like to do with it after reading the book should you win.

You’re limited to one retweet/comment combination and entries will be closed October 3rd, 2011 at 11:59am ET. Good luck!

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  1. I built two “live”-sites (next to some demo’s and tests) to see the app-like experience that jQuery Mobile can bring to a web-app. I was surprised it’s “that” easy to build. Of course, if you want heavier customization, you need to dig deeper. Since I’m a great fan of web-apps (native apps are sometimes better, but more often they’re not imho), I’d like to enter the raffle.

    btw, my site (built on WordPress of course) redirects to a jQuery mobile theme that I put together, pretty basic and straightforward, built on one Sunday afternoon I believe..

  2. I dug into jQuery mobile for the first time last week with a view to using it on our church mobile site.

    Like you say, makes developing for mobile quite rapid. Given I only gave it an afternoon, I decided it wasn’t for our project with default themes.

    The navbars didn’t look the way I wanted either, truncating larger menu names.

    Like I say, that was an afternoon. I’m sure there’s more to be gleaned by spending more time with it.

  3. I remember taking a a look at jQuery Mobile some months back when I was working on a project where I needed to build a prototype UI for a mobile-enabled CMS. I couldn’t wrap my head around it completely, but I did keep some of the lessons in my back pocket to try and use. I think that is book, whether I win it here or purchase it (hopefully, purchased as an HTML5-wiki-like, constantly updated ebook), would be great for me. At least, as soon as I can figure out how to take twitter’s means of retweeting and actually grab theURL on my mobile properly.

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