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Nokia carves out Qt future

So long Symbian

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Nokia has been mapping out how Qt will take over the application layer on Symbian devices, among others, reducing Symbian development to under-the-hood core programming at best.

In a presentation at the Over the Air developers meet, Nokia admitted things were not going well, with developers reporting that "developing for Nokia platforms sucks". So Qt is being presented as the solution, as it enables cross-platform development as well as integrating with web widgets and avoids Symbian's somewhat esoteric implementation of C++.

The presentation is available on-line - but beware of automatically-playing (and pointless) video at the start.

Symbian development isn't going to disappear overnight, however. Even with version ^4, All About Symbian reckons that 20 per cent of developers will have to dip into native APIs to get the functionality they want. The rest will be able to create pure-Qt applications that will compile for Symbian, Maemo and desktops too.

Qt will happily integrate with web components, thanks to a WebKit based engine for rendering online content that Nokia reckons represents the best combination of native and web-based development.

For those just interested in mobility, Ovi will be launching a push API soon, presumably to compete with Apple's offering - though the iPhone's inability to poll in the background made that more significant.

Creating applications once, both for varieties of mobile and desktops, is a nice idea, but we can't help but recall Nokia's last attempt to provide the same content across platforms: the game Reset Generation, which was supposed to herald a new generation of titles that would be available on the N-Gage as well as desktop computers.

Nokia certainly needs to make life easier for developers, and moving away from Symbian can only help, but it will be a while before developers agree that the Nokia platform no longer sucks. ®

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