Mobile SDKs (software developments kits); love them or hate them, they're here to stay. They provide our apps with all sorts of functionality that would be incredibly time consuming to build, and they give us another means to monetize our apps. While it would be difficult to argue that SDKs aren’t useful, it’s also hard for developers to get a good idea of the amount of resources used by each SDK once the app is in production ...
The Qt Company introduced Qt 5.9, the latest version of its cross-platform software development framework that enables organizations to create cutting-edge user experiences.
Fully leveraging the power of the C++11 programming language, Qt 5.9 offers higher performance and stability than ever before, in addition to long-term support (LTS). Qt’s technology is currently in use by a million developers across the world and eight of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies.
With Gartner, Inc. recently forecasting that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017 (up 31 percent from 2016) and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is now firmly entrenched as one of the leading areas of market opportunity across the global technology landscape. As such, organizations and independent developers alike are eager to capitalize on this opportunity by quickly and easily building the applications and devices for today’s and tomorrow’s connected device/IoT industry. With Qt 5.9, these organizations and independent developers can leverage a cross-platform development framework that enables them to build powerful and flexible software for any operating system and any device – regardless of size.
“In today’s hyper-connected, mobile-first world, customer expectations have skyrocketed to levels that organizations couldn’t have envisioned even a few short years ago,” said Lars Knoll, CTO, The Qt Company. “Consequently, the apps and devices that developers are creating need to meet and exceed those elevated customer expectations for a world-class user experience – and the framework developers use to build those products has to be as advanced and versatile as they are. With Qt 5.9, we’re providing developers with the performance and stability they demand from their development tools to help position them for success in today’s highly competitive, app-driven economy.”
As is the case with all of Qt’s application development and device creation tools, the new features and capabilities in Qt 5.9 have been designed to enable the effortless, streamlined development of software and devices for a wide range of industries, including the healthcare, automotive, avionics, industrial manufacturing, and home appliance and entertainment sectors.
Following are details on the primary feature sets of Qt 5.9:
- Long-Term Support (LTS): Qt 5.9 is long-term supported, which will result in a highly stable development timeline that will deliver a high degree of continuous user support. As such, Qt will use a phased approach to content in patch level releases for Qt 5.9, and you can learn more about the patch schedule here. This is notable as not only will Qt 5.9 be equipped with a range of new features, but its LTS designation underscores the value of users upgrading from Qt’s most recent LTS release, Qt 5.6 – as users’ existing applications will be faster, more secure and more stable on Qt 5.9. Due to Qt 5.9 being the release in which all new Qt projects will be delivered, we highly recommend that all users of Qt 5.6 upgrade to Qt 5.9 at their earliest convenience.
- High Performance: Qt 5.9 offers a wide range of performance enhancements compared to Qt 5.6, including Qt Quick Controls 2 (which is a new collection of UI controls for embedded and mobile); added support for ahead-of-time generation of QML-type caches; and the caching of code and data structures generated from .qml/.js files to disk. These features will greatly improve the startup time of the devices built with Qt.
- 3D Features: Qt 5.9 is equipped with Qt 3D, which adds support for animations, and Qt 3D is now easily combined with Qt Quick. Qt 5.9 also features plugin support for multiple 3D geometry formats, such as Wavefront OBJ, PLY and FBX formats, and Qt3DExtras is enhanced with Physics Based Rendering (PBR) material support.
- Safety Critical Systems: Qt 5.9 officially supports the INTEGRITY RTOS, which is notable as the number of RTOS applications that require an advanced GUI framework to meet user expectations is growing rapidly. Other embedded operating systems, such as embedded Linux, are not sufficient when it comes to real-time capability, reliability, security and certified operations for certain industries such as automotive, medical and industry automation.
- Newly Supported Operating Systems & Hardware: Qt 5.9 fully supports both traditional Win32 applications and universal apps, and Windows 10 is fully supported in all configurations (Window 10, Windows 10 IoT Core, Windows Mobile). In addition, Qt 5.9 offers support for QNX 7 and iMX.7.
Additional Features of Qt 5.9:
- Fully leverages the power of the C++11 programming language and fully supports C++11
- Support for Wayland multi-process
- A new graphics architecture, which paves the way for support for new graphics rendering backends based on other graphics APIs, such as Vulkan or Direct3D
- Availability of Qt Lite, the lightweight and streamlined version of Qt that makes it faster, higher performing, more lightweight, and easier to work with than ever before
- Connectivity capabilities in the form of the Qt Serial Bus module for device bus communication (CAN & ModBus implementation). Qt 5.9 also features support for authentication of applications and devices to connect to the cloud and use third party web services with Qt Network Authentication Module Support for Bluetooth 4 and BTLE, and Bluetooth 4 and BTLE support is available for all of Qt’s supported platforms
- Improved Qt Quick Designer, which features integrated Qt Quick Controls for enhanced rapid UI prototyping