Two weeks ago we initiated the Qt 5.1 cycle by merging our development code base into the stable branch. Since then, the release team has been working on stabilizing the branch and we now have the first set of Qt 5.1 packages available. They are available from the new download.qt-project.org area for the open source version and in your customer portal for commercial users). The packages are source only and mainly for people already used to developing with Qt. Unless you feel comfortable compiling Qt on your own, you might want to wait for the beta which will come out within the next few weeks.
A lot has happened since the Qt 5.0 release in December, and I am truly impressed by the amount of new things that we managed to get done for this alpha release. Let’s have a short look at the most important new features.
Android & iOS
To start with, we have added preliminary support for Android and iOS to Qt 5.1. This release is fully usable on both platforms and you can begin to develop for both OSs immediately. All of qtbase (Qt Core, Gui, Network etc.) is implemented. Qt Quick works very nicely on Android and most sensors are supported. There are, however, certain limitations. Some parts of Multimedia are not fully implemented and Qt Quick is not yet working on iOS. Tooling is also still a work in progress, and not everything can be done from within Qt Creator yet, but many things are already working nicely and smoothly. As announced last year, full Android and iOS support will come with Qt 5.2, but Qt 5.1 provides a solid base for developers to create full applications for these two platforms.
Introduction of Qt Quick Controls
Then, we finally have cross-platform controls for Qt Quick. The modules ((QtQuick Controls (formerly known as Desktop Components)and Qt Quick Layouts) offer ready- available controls and layouts you can use to build your user interface, starting from buttons, layouts, over menu and toolbars to dialogs and high-level navigational controls. Of course, they have the look and feel of native widgets of the underlying platforms. They are currently implemented for the desktop operating systems, support for touch-based platforms will get added for Qt 5.2.
A couple of new modules got added as well. First of all, we brought back Qt Sensors as an add-on. The module is currently supported on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Mer (Sailfish). A module for controlling serial ports (Qt SerialPort) has also been added, and we have an X11 specific add-on (Qt X11Extras).
Finally, we have added many other smaller features to the existing modules. For more details, please have a look at the Qt 5.1 feature list.
From now, we will start work on Qt 5.1 beta, which I expect to be released a few weeks from now. Following that, Qt 5.1 final can be expected to come before the beginning of summer. Let us know what you think of our Qt 5.1 alpha. Enjoy!