maybe Qt for 2013?

Some thoughts on how we might move from pure IOS applications using Xcode to Qt..
The Xcode development system from Apple is very good and the Obj-C language excellent for mixing C for speedy calculations and the various GUI controls provided by Apple for user interaction. However (and very sadly) Obj-C only seems to work in any real sense on Apple devices, though C itself is pretty much fully portable. Hence if we are to develop applications for a wider base of devices, we have to think again.

Qt ( is a well established cross-platform development framework, which seems to cover most of the desktop operating systems and some embedded systems. It is based on C++ rather than Obj-C, which arguably isn’t quite a good a language (no doubt others would disagree!), though most of the stuff out there for open-GL is based on C++. Qt is in effect a set of high-level libraries which are compiled for each of the different platforms - and the user-code is written to call these library methods in the same way for each platform. Hence the code has to be re-compiled with the different targets to run on different operating systems. It does seem to be much better than Java, as the applications run native rather than through a virtual machine, so there is scope for writing decently efficient code, and I am sure there is a way to mix in C with the C++ for those of us who are obsessive about such things.

There is an open-source version from and a commercial form from digia (, though I don’t quite understand yet the difference between the licenses in these two cases.

IOS (i.e. IPad/IPhone) support isn’t released for Qt yet but they do claim this isn’t far away. The development platform itself seems to be pretty good: - not as clean as Xcode but that would be quite an amazing achievement if they managed to do this - but good enough.

Examples seem a bit thin on the ground for their latest release (5.0) but this was only released just before Christmas, so hopefully that will change over the next few months. Assuming that they do manage to get their IOS support stable this may well become a disruptive technology for development on mobile devices.