Qt for Symbian and the Nokia Smart Installer (beta)

Published Monday February 15th, 2010
15 Comments on Qt for Symbian and the Nokia Smart Installer (beta)
Posted in Qt, S60, Symbian

Qt 4.6.2 is released, and in addition to all the bug fixes in it, we’ve also snuck in a feature or two, especially for the Symbian platform. One of interest is the ability for Qt to make use of the beta version of the Nokia Smart Installer, which makes it easier to deploy your Qt application to Symbian phones.

Using the Nokia Smart Installer

This is how you make use of it in short:

  1. Download and install Qt for Symbian 4.6.2
  2. Download the Nokia Smart Installer v 0.9 (beta)
  3. Unzip it on top of your installed Qt for Symbian folder
  4. Code your cool mobile application
  5. Run qmake && make release-gcce to create yourapp.exe
  6. Run make sis to create yourapp.sis
  7. Run make installer_sis to create yourapp_installer.sis
  8. You have an application ready for deployment!

When the user now installs yourapp_installer.sis on their phone, the Smart Installer will go on-line and get all the dependencies that your Qt application requires, typically Qt and QtWebkit + Open C. If these packages are already installed on the phone, the Smart Installer does nothing. So, it is a little bit like an “apt-get for Symbian” has been wrapped around your application. See below for a nice drawing of how it all works (click for full size).

How the Smart Installer works

The benefit of such a binary is twofold. It ensures the phone gets the up to date and correct versions of Qt and its dependencies, and it also dramatically reduces the file size of the application you are shipping.

Trying it out

If you’re an impatient person and just want to try out how an application using the Smart Installer works, then click the link under the image below. It will install the Qt demos (fluidlauncher and the other demos and examples) using the Smart Installer on your phone.

Downloading Qt and dependencies

Tip: To get less prompts when installing, sign your app properly. Go to symbiansigned.com and Express Sign yourapp.sis, then wrap it with the Smart Installer and Express Sign yourapp_installer.sis as well. The example above still has fluidlauncher self-signed, so there are more prompts than needed. At the moment, if everything is properly signed you are looking at five prompts for the user to answer – and we’re working on getting that down to only two or three.

If you have trouble using the Smart Installer, go to qt.nokia.com/phonedemos and you can download the Qt demos where all dependencies are included in one big package and no network access from the phone is required.

It’s still in beta!

Now the Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian is still in beta, but we want you to try it out. At the moment it won’t be possible to get any “smart” Qt applications into the Ovi Store – but it is just a matter of time before that becomes possible.

Stability wise it works pretty well on the 3.2 and 5.0 phones we’ve tested (5800, N78, N97 mini etc.) but we’ve had some issues with some of our N95s where wlan fails in mid-download. Please test and give feedback to the developers in this forum. We want to hear about any usability as well as functional issues you discover.

EPL release and the Symbian Foundation

The Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian is not directly developed by the Qt developers, but we’re helping out the team in Finland/India with patches and QA. At the moment the code is not yet available for download – but we are in the process of preparing the code for contribution to the Symbian Foundation, so this should be resolved shortly.

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Posted in Qt, S60, Symbian


summel says:

WOW! thanks for the great post! installation is relly easy and the programs clearly show that symbian is in no way behind iPhone OS πŸ˜‰ the only thing thats not so good imho is that most apps only work with a touchscreen phone :/ besides that it is great πŸ™‚ and so easy to install

PhilippeP says:

Install went smoothly …. but not one apps/demos seems to work ….(Nokia 5800 Xm)

Alessandro says:

@PhilippeP: That sounds more like a failed installation. We tested a lot on XM5800’s and are very curious about your feedback. If you have an account on Forum Nokia, you could be the first to post your details here πŸ™‚
For example:

  • What did the fluidlauncher_installer.sis actually install on your phone and what happens if you launch any of the apps?
  • Did you use WLAN or 3g for the dependencies installation?
  • Did you have previous Qt/Pips/etc. versions installed?
  • @espenr: are we interested in any log files (if we generate them on the phone at all?)
Jason says:

Running an AT&T Nokia 6650. The smart installer says “Device Not Supported”. What’s the deal? I have S60…

delor says:

What phone do you recommend for Qt development. I’m currently looking at Nokia N97, N900, 5800XM.

JT says:

Cool. This is what I have been waiting for…

Krzysztof says:

Nokia N96 failed as well (device not supported)

lee tong says:

Nokia N96 device not supported

espenr says:

@delor: For Symbin I’d got with an N97 mini (or the 5800 is OK too) – for Maemo obviously I’d go with the N900 πŸ˜€ hehe. Overall I believe the N900 is more hacker friendly since you don’t have to deal with all the security stuff

dcc says:

Cool! When it be released?:-)

Sihem says:

Hi everyone,

It unfortunately did not work on my 5800 or 5230! The Smart installer installs, starts the check for dependancies (i am testing with the animated tiles example), asks for an internet access point and then stops. I tried with bith 3G and Wifi. And the logs I find in c:logsADM contain:
20/04/2010 10:41:50 CADMAppUi::CADMAppUi()
20/04/2010 10:41:50 + CADMAppUi::ConstructL()
20/04/2010 10:41:50 + ProcessCommandLineArgsL()
20/04/2010 10:41:50 + ReadBackupInfoL()
20/04/2010 10:41:50 ! No backup, cannot continue
20/04/2010 10:41:51 + CADMAppUi::ExitApp(): 0
20/04/2010 10:41:51 + CStateMachine::Stop()
20/04/2010 10:41:51 Total 0 kB in 0.0 s, avg 0.00 kB/s
20/04/2010 10:41:51 CADMAppUi::~CADMAppUi()

What am I missing here?


Batjuh says:

Installed the demo’s just 5 minutes ago! The fluidlauncher start up well and all the demo’s working okay, tried the weather and hyperui widgets and the also work. looks good, cant wait till there more appz! Wish i could program with c++ myself! Maybe i should go and learn, easier said then done i suppose!


Pallavi says:

I see that Smart Installer Beta 2 is out and at this link http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/11492_Qt_47_and_Qt_Creator_20_in_bet.php -“it is mentioned about packaging using Smart Installer” and Ovi. Is it now (12 may 2010) allowed to put QT application using SmartInstaller on Ovi store? Please let us know as we are held up.

Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide one thing again and help others like you helped me.

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