Any work arounds? If I want to do anything interesting am I going to have to write a 'proper' app?
Another option, is to use a templating engine.The main DOM manipulations are done through innerHTML injection, which is fast even on mobiles.
We've built a mobile version of our web app, and we use PURE (an open source JS lib we created) to render the HTML from JSON data, and it is very responsive.
We went the HTML5 way(not native) but I think generating the HTML could be done the same way when wrapped in PhoneGap.
These devices are small and have strict power constraints, so the CPU is slow.
Good point about DOM access being the issue though: I don't know how much these benchmarks test DOM operations.
So, when comparing desktop power to mobile processor power, for my purposes, maybe the slowdown would not be so bad? I currently run at very acceptable speeds on Safari on a six-year-old notebook computer with a single processor. So I'm thinking that Safari on iPhone or iPad for me might not be that much worse. Do you think this is reasonable?