Google Earth, Skype, and are a few cross-platform apps that have been built using Qt.

Marin Perez, Contributor

October 9, 2009

2 Min Read

Nokia's Linux-Based N900 Phone

Nokia announced Friday it will be porting the Qt framework to its Maemo 5 operating system, and this could lead to a boon of new enterprise and consumer applications for upcoming devices such as the N900.

Qt is an application and user framework based on C++ that can be used to build apps for desktop computers, mobile phones, and other computing devices. Google Earth, Skype, and are a few examples of apps that have been built using Qt.

One of the advantages of the framework is that it can be used for cross-platform apps. Nokia said it will be soon be compatible with Symbian, Maemo, and even competing Windows Mobile devices.

"With this announcement and our upcoming port of Qt to the Symbian platform, we will quickly see Qt established as a leading framework for mobile application development," said Sebastian Nystrom, Nokia's VP of application services, in a statement. "Developers will be able to use Qt as a framework to create powerful native applications and with Qt's Webkit integration, it also provides them with a platform for creating Web applications and services."

Mobile applications are becoming increasingly important thanks to the success of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which has seen more than 2 billion downloads in about 14 months. But it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive for developers to create and support programs for six strong smartphone platforms, and Nokia is trying to address some of those issues with cross-platform frameworks such as Qt.

The move also makes Maemo 5 a more attractive platform for content creators, and could help boost the popularity of the N900. This is Nokia's first high-end smartphone to not use Symbian, but the world's largest handset maker said Maemo can be a complementary platform.

InformationWeek and Dr. Dobb's have published an in-depth report on how Web application development is moving to online platforms. Download the report here (registration required).

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