Those familiar with iPhone/iTouch optimized websites might have heard of or seen a jQTouch site. Created by David Kaneda, it was the first and only jquery-based mobile web toolkit to make mobile sites have the same look and feel as native iPhone apps.

A new trend in native apps was to create a mobile web app and use Phonegap to be the native wrapper and submit it to the AppStore. Several apps such as Keypoint , Harmonious , and Beer in Japan are based on jQTouch.

Recently David Kaneda has joined the Ext JS company, and they have renamed the company Sencha and have Sencha Touch, the first HTML5 Mobile App Framework for iOS and Android.

They have three full featured demos, GeoCongress, Solitaire and Kiva, which look outstanding and function very well on my iPhone 3GS and scale perfectly for the iPad.

The assumption is that these apps will still be able to be wrapped up by PhoneGap to produce native apps to submit on the AppStore and Android Marketplace.  While the framework is still in beta, there is no commerical license yet.  There is an open source license, so all web apps and web apps wrapped in a native wrapper must be compatible with the GNU GPL license v3.

As the battle between smartphones continue we will see some fail (ahem, Palm webOS) and some team together to corner the market (currently iPhones and Android – 90% of market). However, no one wants to create multiple versions of their site or application. The universal app across different mobile operating systems is the ultimate goal and one step closer thanks to Sencha.

Key features:

  • Flexible Themes
  • Resolution Independent
  • Animations (Slide, Fade, Cube, etc.)
  • Touch Events – swipe, double tap, tap, etc.
  • Standards Based (HTML5, CSS3, Javascript)
  • Data Integration (JSON, AJAX, YQL)

Below are some screenshots of some examples if you download Sencha.

My prediction is you will see a lot of webapps and even native apps starting to use this framework as it speeds up development time and breaks Apple’s developer strangle-hold!