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<Introduction to iScroll ⁄ >

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In this tutorial I will teach you how to use iScroll 4 to create a simple mobile web site. The site we create will have a fixed header and a fixed footer with content that can be easily scrolled in-between. As we'll see, achieving this effect on both Android and iOS isn't as easy as you might think!

Web based apps are a great place for front end developers to begin their journey into the world of building mobile applications. Using your existing knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you can build apps that look-and-feel very close to those made with a native platform SDK. Even better, your applications will be cross-platform compatible and will work on any mobile device with a modern browser.

Of course, there are some caveats to developing for mobile browsers. Some may be obvious, such as inability to tap into the device camera (at least for now). Others might not be as obvious, like the sheer number of mobile browsers that are already in use (the variety is mind boggling).

While there are plenty of frameworks (e.g. jQuery Mobile, SenchaTouch, etc.) that can help get you started with mobile web apps, for now I'm not going to use any of them. Instead, I'm going to focus on pure JavaScript with one handy library: iScroll 4.

iScroll solves a problem in the mobile WebKit based browsers found on both Android and iOS. Both of these browsers offer no support for absolutely positioned header and footer content with scrolling content placed in-between by default. The entire HTML document is scrolled regardless of any CSS you might have in place to achieve otherwise. Because many native mobile applications are designed with a fixed navigation bar at the top of the screen and a fixed toolbar or tab bar at the bottom of the screen, this lack of fixed content support in the WebKit browsers is really quite a problem. Not to worry: in this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to achieve this layout with iScroll.

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