Quick mobile UI review

I don’t like jQuery Mobile for being ugly and slow and I don’t like paid full-featured stuff like Sencha or Kendo. You won’t find them here. I like fast and beauty mobile applications, especially those written in PhoneGap. So you will find performance-first, beauty-second UI frameworks here. With special emhasis on being PhoneGap-oriented. Only quick review without any unnecessary blah-blah.

Ratched

Rewritten Twitter Bootstrap promised to be faster, has a terrible modals (full screen and ugly), nearly as beautiful as TB, doesn’t have sidebar component, but demo shows how to implement it, easy for building many-file-based apps with cool trasitions between pages.

OnsenUI

It is quite huge so can be slow, but it is said to be perfectly tight to PhoneGap, but requires local installation of Cordoba. Onsen UI is based on own tags, not on HTML5 base. It offers 17 page themes ready out-of-the-box, including login and signup pages, and has theme roller (mobile application using it maybe written in base colors set and then changed to destination one at some time). Every example has a direct link to Codepen and it is heavily documented. Onsen UI supports icons from both Font Awesome and Ionicons.

Iconic

Beautiful, but heavy. Offers integration for own push service, which may be an advantage for some. Heavily AngularJS-oriented, which may be a disadvantage for some. Includes a web-based simple IDE or drag-n-drop application creation (Creator). Nice colors, a lot of widgets, integrated fluid grid system. Has own icons system (Ionicons)

Topcoat

Ugly, but promised to be very fast, as it is pure CSS-based framework with JS limited to minimum. You don’t get many widgets, but you do get super fast UI. Supports Zepto. Rather one-page-apps oriented. There are examples of mobile applications built with this framework, ready out-of-the-box as GitHub repositories, which can be an advantage for some and which can possibly speed up development of own mobile app with this framework.

Facebook React

Similar to Topcoat. V in MVC and thus view and UI only oriented. You can use anything you want to power the engine. Notice, that it is hard to (and it is not recommended) to use pure JS in React. This make React not only a UI framework, but whole new programming paradigm.

Leave a Reply