Qt was a big focus at Nokia Connection 2011 and apart from the N9 supporting Qt, we also heard Qt was headed to the next billion and that Symbian would have 10 devices in the next 12 months. We also heard that work was ongoing for Qt 5, and that the Ovi/Nokia store now has 6 million downloads/day. So for Qt developers there was much to look forward too.
You can see all the announcements again at the Nokia Connections 2011 website
So for developers wanting to develop on the N9 the key thing is the Qt support which means your existing Qt applications should work, though you might want to fix them up to look good at 480 x 854 pixels.
There is an experimental update to QtCreator which brings the Harmattan toolchain for you to use. This can be downloaded from the SDK Maintenance tool. If you haven’t got the Qt SDK yet, you can download it from the Qt Download or Nokia Developer websites. Note that the offline installer has dropped some components to stop it becoming even bigger than it already is. This means the N900/Maemo setup and Visual Studio 2005 components have to be downloaded separately through the Maintenance tool after installation. You can see the announcements in the following two Qt blog posts:
- Nokia N9. Great Qt-powered Linux phone to target using the Qt SDK
- Introducing MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan to the Qt SDK
Nokia have added a new section on the Nokia Developer website for the N9/MeeGo (Develop for the Nokia N9) and have also added a micro-site for the MeeGo user interface guidelines which is really informative. This is a must read before beginning your N9 application, and contains feature demo’s showing how the device works, icon templates and guidelines, what apps already ship with the N9, and how build and integrate your app. It’s the Building Blocks and Integrate Your App which provide most most of the content UI developers and designers will want to get stuck into, but it’s worth flicking through the first 3 sections too (unless perhaps you have a device in your hands already) so you can see more about how it all works. You can see all this at Nokia N9 UX Guidlines.
The N9 supports Qt including Qt Quick, Qt Mobility, Qt Games API and others but for full information on the API’s available to Harmattan developers you should look at the new section (in beta) in the Developer Library.
Aside from Qt apps, you can also develop apps directly against the Harmattan SDK, or port versions of apps that run on other Linux based platforms to Harmattan. To see more about that these links should give you what you need:
One of the other things Nokia has to aid developers is the Nokia N9 devkit…
The Nokia N950
The Nokia N950 is the other name for the devkit. This is another MeeGo device and supports a full QWERTY keyboard using a similar fold out mechanism to the Nokia E7. This phone will not be available to purchase but will be made available to members of some of Nokia’s developer programs such as Nokia Developer LaunchPad. There are some differences between the N9 and N950 that you should bear in mind when developing apps and you can see a full list of differences at MobileFanatics.
It is exciting times for Series 40 – 3 new devices, Nokia Maps and the prospect of Qt support were all announced at Nokia Connection. The 3 devices are all touch and type sliders which are basically the same. Specs for the can be seen on Phone Arena for the Nokia C2-02, C2-03 and C2-06 and the standout device is the C2-03 which is a dual SIM device, with one SIM installed under the back cover, and a hot-swappable SIM slot on the side of the device. They also come with Nokia Maps installed. My Nokia Blog has a video of the device.
The bigger announcement really was that Qt support is going to be taken to the next next billion – i.e Series 40 devices. This makes S40 pretty close to what many would consider a smartphone platform. As with other announcements commented on in this article, there were 2 blogposts on this too:
- Qt’s future for Nokia: Bringing apps to the next billion
- The future of Qt: Bringing apps to the next billion
While developing for Series 40 might not have the excitement of developing apps for the N9, or Symbian touch screen devices, it is by far the biggest potential audience available to a Qt developer (even taking into account Android devices which Qt apps can unofficially work on). In addition, Series 40 is popular in many parts of the world with carrier billing, making it easier for users to pay for apps, meaning more money for successful developers, and a good reason to stick with Qt through Nokia’s transitions.