Progressive Enhancement on the Mobile Web

Location: F150 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)

Progressive Enhancement is a technique that was born out of a desire to provide the best possible experience at all levels of browser capability. Now, as the mobile web becomes a prime target for new applications many developers experienced with Progressive Enhancement are happily hanging up their PE hats, grateful that Webkit has formed the foundation for so many mobile browsers. Sadly, it might be too early to declare victory. From rendering issues, to wildly different event timing, to extremely popular browsers like Opera that aren’t Webkit at all, the PE approach has never been more important.

jQuery Mobile has been built, from the start, with the goal of providing a serviceable foundation for the oldest and least capable browsers and then building up to a beautiful user experience on those that are newer and more powerful. Here we’ll discuss some of the more difficult issues facing mobile web developers today and exactly how jQuery Mobile can save you valuable cycles with its approach.

Photo of John Bender

John Bender

Adobe Systems

John Bender is the co-creator of Vagrant, a jQuery Mobile contributor, and a recovering polygot. During the day he works full-time on jQuery Mobile at Adobe and otherwise spends his time hacking on open source. John shares his thoughts at and as @johnbender on Twitter.


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