JQ.Mobi, an HTML5-optimised rewriting of the JQuery JavaScript library, is available in a beta version as of this week for Android and Apple iOS software developers, with proponents citing dramatic speed improvements and size reduction.

Offered by HTML5 development platform provider appMobi, jQ.Mobi is 2.5 times faster than desktop JQuery and requires just 3KB of memory, the company said. It is an open source mobile development framework that outperforms JQuery on Android and iOS, the company said.

"This is a big step for developers in JavaScript and HTML5 toward getting the same types of UI advantages that they have in native platforms," said Sam Abadir, appMobi CTO and founder.

JQ.Mobi features a query selector engine, UI library and plugins. Unlike existing JavaScript UI frameworks such as JQuery Mobile and Sencha Touch, jQ.Mobi is not hampered by any legacy roots in desktop web browsers or HTML4, the company claimed. The technology works with platforms that leverage the WebKit browser, which in addition to Android and iOS, also includes RIM BlackBerry 6 and higher-numbered versions of RIM's software.

HTML5-centred capabilities in jQ.Mobi include backing for Cascading Style Sheets 3 and WebKit, Abadir said. AppMobi, which provides such cloud services as collection of analytics data, hopes to blaze new trails with jQ.Mobi. "The intent of this project is to put it out there and hopefully have it influence other projects as well," Abadir said.

IOS application developer WatchDox, which has not used jQ.Mobi, nonetheless sees potential for it as a mechanism for building web-based applications. "Our enterprise customers are mainly looking for apps rather than web-based solutions. This has to do with performance, ease-of-use and of course security," said Adi Ruppin, CTO at WatchDox, which provides document security capabilities.

"It's good to have companies like [appMobi] making progress on both performance and interface side, which can enable companies like us to optimise our web experience and also incorporate more flexible, cross-platform HTML5 components in our apps."

The framework is available at the jQ.Mobi website under an MIT X11 licence. AppMobi is seeking feedback on the technology and hopes to offer a general release in several months. For Apple iOS applications, which leverage the Objective-C language, developers can use jQ.Mobi for building a better UI while the application itself has an Objective-C wrapper, Abadir explained.