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Nokia (officially) ports Qt to Maemo 5

Dangles carrot for devs over Nokia N900

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Nokia has created an official port for the Qt graphical toolkit to Maemo 5, hoping to entice more developers into making apps for its upcoming N900 tablet-that-is-actually-a-smartphone.

N900 will run on the Maemo 5 OS, which uses the GTK+ framework for app development. But Nokia plans the Maemo's next incarnation to use Qt, due to the appeal of apps that compile easier across Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Windows Mobile. Nokia said it's also working on a Symbian port for Qt as well.

"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. 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," said Sebastian Nyström, Nokia's veep of application services and frameworks, in a statement.

According to Nokia, the Maemo development community has already been toiling away on an unofficial port of Qt to Maemo 5 – and the company is scooping up that existing code to use on its official version. It explains a Nokia-based port is necessary to ensure that apps developed for Qt will be compatible with future versions of the graphical toolkit, as well as for later releases of Maemo, Symbian, and other platforms Qt supports.

"Qt's support for Maemo 5, Maemo 6, Symbian, and Windows Mobile makes Qt the most sensible choice for developers looking to target multiple devices and achieve the broadest reach with their innovations," Nyström said.

The Qt port to Maemo 5 is based on Qt's upcoming version 4.6. It's expected to land in Q1 2010, but is available now as a "technology preview" here. ®

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