Nokia has introduced a new software development kit (SDK) for its Qt user interface framework, which helps Qt application developers more easily target mobile devices such as Nokia's new N8 smartphone.
Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework for developing once, and deploying across Windows, Mac, Linux/X11, embedded Linux, Windows CE, Symbian and Maemo without rewriting the source code. The new Qt SDK, released in beta on April 27, enables developers to develop, test and deploy native applications for Nokia smartphones and mobile computers. Nokia officials said they expect the release of the new SDK to help spur the creation of additional apps.
Like most any SDK, the new Nokia Qt SDK consists of a suite of tools, APIs and components to facilitate developer productivity. Indeed, the two main themes of this release are developer productivity and distribution. The Nokia Qt SDK runs on Windows and Linux platforms, with Mac support expected in to arrive in the near future, Nokia officials said.
The modular Qt class library includes GUI controls, WebKit integration, networking, database framework and more. C++ programmers can use Qt Creator, a cross-platform IDE, which includes a GUI layout and forms designer, project and build management tools, debugging functions and code navigation tools.
The SDK enables developers to build an application once, and recompile it for either a Symbian- or MeeGo-based device. The supported platforms include future versions of Symbian and MeeGo, as well as the installed base of Symbian S60 (versions 3.1 to 5.0) and Maemo 5 devices.
In an April 27 blog post, Aron Kozak, the head of Web and Community for Qt software at Nokia, said, "This SDK provides Nokia mobile developers with the tools they need to develop for both Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo devices, further fulfilling the Qt cross-platform promise."
Sebastian Nystrom, vice president of Nokia Application and Service Frameworks, said:
""With the Nokia Qt SDK we are putting the power to create beautiful and high-performance applications in the hands of the developer. This beta SDK is a significant step in evolving our developer offering into a unified one that lets developers target millions of devices from the same code base. In the first phase of the beta, we are focusing on testing the cross platform capabilities of the SDK with support for a broad, but initial set of API's. Over the coming months we will add many more APIs. The beta program is in place for developers to share their experiences with us as we evolve this SDK to meet and exceed their productivity and application creation needs. We are now ready to share our excitement with the developer community.""
Meanwhile, in addition to the Qt SDK, Nokia also released a new mobility package for Qt, the Qt Mobility Package 1.0.0, which delivers Qt APIs for mobile device functionality. This release comes out of the Qt Mobility Project. The 1.0.0 version of the package consists of 10 APIs: Service Framework, Bearer Management, Messaging, Contacts, Versit, Publish and Subscribe, Location, System Information, Sensors, and Multimedia.
According to Nokia officials, before the release of the Qt Mobility package, developers looking to take advantage of mobile device functionality would usually have to use APIs outside of Qt. However, these new APIs make Qt an even more comprehensive application and UI framework. Developers will be able to write cross-platform Qt applications that take advantage of mobile device functionality. This, for example, will make it possible to create a rich application targeting S60, Windows CE and Maemo.
In addition, Nokia said these APIs will help bring Nokia platform developers to non-Nokia platforms and will make it easier to create applications targeting many platforms, among other benefits.