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New APIs Improve Qt's Mobility

The Qt cross-platform development framework appears to be in a state of positive flux right now. With the technology previews of the company's Qt 4.7 and Qt Creator 2.0 products having been with us since March 2010, the full-blown products, especially the new Qt Quick UI creation kit, are keenly awaited.

In the meantime, the Qt Labs blog is populated with lab-level development detail that software programmers can typically only find in a few of the more directly developer-focused operations out there today. The Adobe Labs website and Microsoft's MSDN also stand out in this regard in terms of talking about still-nascent technologies. Although please do not take that as an exhaustive list.

Qt's Labs blog this week talks about the fact that the Qt Mobility team is working at 'full steam' to bring new APIs forward to technology preview before they are released later this year as Qt Mobility 1.1.0. The Qt Mobility project provides APIs that allow access to core mobile device functions like camera, messaging, maps/location, system information and phone events. The APIs are claimed to take away the need for developers to look outside of Qt for certain APIs when building mobile apps, which (the company says) makes Qt mobile development (and therefore development for Nokia’s many millions of devices) easier. This early release is part of Qt's strategy to allow open source code contributors to help shape the new APIs before they solidify.

According to Qt's open statement on this policy, "Releasing a technology preview early on like this has some limitations for those reviewing. Specifically, given the early stage of development we have included only minimal backend support. But it is better to release the API drafts early and give you the opportunity to review and contribute before things become too settled."

Qt is actively looking for developer contributions and it continues to focus on a cross-platform strategy that provides write-once-deploy-everywhere capabilities across Windows, Linux and Mac, through to Maemo/MeeGo and Symbian on the mobile side.

You can read more on this subject and get specific download links here for the QtMobility 1.1.0 APIs.

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