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08 April 2013, 17:22

The first Qt 5.1 alpha arrives with Android and iOS support

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Just over three months after the release of Qt 5.0, Digia, developer of the open source application development framework, has now released the first development version of its successor. This first alpha release for Qt 5.1 includes the first vestiges of Android and iOS support with all of Qt's base infrastructure already implemented. Cross-platform controls for Qt Quick have also been introduced which allow developers to deploy ready-to-use application layouts for desktop applications.

Support for iOS was announced by the Qt developers at the beginning of March and the port already has working support for widgets, graphics view and OpenGL as well as touch and orientation events. Qt Quick 1 is also available, although limitations currently prohibit the use of Qt Quick 2. Qt Quick 2 uses the V8 JavaScript engine which cannot be included on iOS because of Apple's guideline prohibiting the use of just-in-time compilers. The Android support is based on the Necessitas port of Qt 4 and supports Qt widgets, QML and Qt Quick applications. Some sensors and QML media player functionality has also been implemented.

The cross-platform Qt Quick controls are currently only available for desktop operating systems. The developers say that support for these on mobile platforms will be added for Qt 5.2 if all goes according to plan. The Qt Quick controls offer developers ready-to-use controls and layouts to be used in their applications, including buttons, menus, toolbars and other controls. These take the look and feel of native widgets on each platform the application is deployed on.

Qt 5.1 also includes a new model for controlling serial ports and an addon that includes platform-specific components and APIs for X11. The Qt Sensors module that gives access to sensor hardware on Android, BlackBerry devices, iOS and Mer as well as SailfishOS has also been reintroduced. A detailed list of all new features in Qt 5.1 is provided on the Qt wiki.

The GPLv3 and LGPLv2-licensed Qt 5.1 source code for Linux (32- and 64-bit), Mac, and Windows is available to download from the project's web site. Commercial versions of Qt can be obtained from Digia.



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