Fix: CSS Animation slow or choppy in mobile browsers

I’m developing an iPhone app using the PhoneGap library, which lets you write your app as if it were a website. That means any UI transitions or animations have to be written the way you would for any modern website targeting Webkit: CSS3 transitions (mobile javascript is too slow for frame by frame calculations).

Unfortunately, CSS transitions can be a little slow, a little choppy, even on iPhone 4 and the faster Android based phones. The problem is that, by default, webkit doesn’t involve the GPU unless you’re doing 3D transforms. With desktop horsepower, thats fine. On a mobile device, that GPU could really help.

So how do you force webkit to share the processing load with the GPU?

Apply this style to the element you’re animating:

-webkit-transform: translateZ(0);

Simple, but effective.