Developers: Tired of iOS-style web apps? Microsoft releases Metro-theme for jQuery Mobile

Many mobile-optimized websites have iOS-like designs – and there’s a good reason for that: Most mobile UI frameworks were initially targeted at the iPhone, and its visual style does work pretty well, for the most part. But Windows Phone looks very differently and, arguably, cleaner and fresher, so such web apps usually don’t quite fit in with the Metro look. To remedy this situation, Microsoft has recently released a Metro-style theme for jQuery Mobile, which makes Metro easily available for web developers.

We checked out the demo page (also pictured above), which shows off some of the features of the theme. For the most part, it looks and works pretty well, although there are a few issues: animations (predictably) aren’t quite as slick and smooth as you’d expect from native apps, and the supposedly fixed header doesn’t keep its position at the top while scrolling, but does jump back after the scrolling is finished (though this appears to be a general issue with jQuery Mobile). An app bar is also implemented, which actually animates nicely, but doesn’t make much sense since the browser itself also displays an app bar.

Still, the Metro-theme is a welcome addition for Windows Phone users, and since the code is open source, there’s nothing stopping other developers from forking and improving it (interestingly, the theme appears to be sponsored by Microsoft Open Technologies, a subsidiary focusing on open source work that was only founded two weeks ago).

For developers interested in implementing the theme in their own web app, check out the post on MSDN for more details and download it on GitHub.

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