Qt for BlackBerry
Qt can be used for application development for the recent BlackBerry platform. This includes phones running the BlackBerry 10 operating system as well as the PlayBook. This page is thought to serve as a starting point for all those who are interested in developing with Qt on BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook OS.
QNX as a base OS for BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook OS
Compared to older BlackBerry products running BlackBerry OS based on Java, BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook OS use QNX as their base OS and support native development in C and C++. A large number of additional system and platform specific APIs and services are provided on top of the standard QNX package. For more information see QNX Neutrino RTOS User's Guide and Getting Started with QNX Neutrino.
Qt on QNX, Qt on BlackBerry 10 and Qt on PlayBook OS share the same code base which is a part of every upstream Qt release since Qt 4.8. Even if slightly hidden in the shadow of mobile buzz, Qt on top of QNX is used by a growing number of QNX projects in many industries. Qt Creator supports working with QNX Neutrino devices as well, see Setting-up-Qt-Creator-for-QNX for more details.
Qt on BlackBerry 10
The BlackBerry 10 operating system powers the new generation of BlackBerry mobile products starting with the Z10 and the Q10 announced at the launch in February 2013. More devices are available on the market today: Q5, Z30, Passport, Classic and Leap.
A recent version of Qt 4.8 is integrated in the BlackBerry 10 firmware and NDK. Moreover, Qt is used as the base of the Cascades application framework and so by many pre-integrated BlackBerry 10 applications. It's also possible to develop and deploy applications using Qt5 on BlackBerry 10. You just need to include Qt5 libraries in the application package.
Development with Qt for BlackBerry 10
Development of Qt applications for the BlackBerry10 platform is possible using the [BlackBerry Native Development Kit (NDK)]. First versions of NDK contained both, the Momentics IDE as well as the NDK itself. In recent releases, developers first [download] the Momentics IDE which then installs the NDK and simulator packages. Every NDK package includes a version of Qt4.8, a cross compiler toolchain, plus packaging and deployment tools. Basically all you need for development. It certainly includes tons of other API and libraries to discover. After setup you can opt for development with the Momentics IDE or with Qt Creator.
See complete article Setup for BlackBerry10 development
Qt5 on BlackBerry 10
Qt5 is not integrated into the device firmware yet, but it is possible to leverage its full potential already today on all BlackBerry10 devices. You can package the Qt5 run-time (libraries, plugins and QML modules) along with your application and submit for sale in BlackBerry World.
See complete article Qt5 on Blackberry10
Qt and the Cascades application framework
The Cascades UI framework uses Qt C++ and QML as a base to provide a standard set of UI controls and other APIs tailored to the BlackBerry 10 platform. You can develop your application in C++ or QML. If you are curious, take a look at the Introduction to Cascades article.
Qt on the PlayBook OS
The PlayBook tablet products have reached their end of life. PlayBook OS does not include Qt. An earlier version of Qt is integrated in the PlayBook NDK (Native Development Kit). The overall process, including the steps for setup, development, testing and deployment for the PlayBook OS and for the Blackberry10 platform is similar, but there are a few differences, see the Qt on Playbook OS article for more details.
Contacting Other Developers
There exist a special interest group Qt on BlackBerry and QNX.
If you have any questions about Qt on BlackBerry, you can get help here:
- #qt-qnx IRC channel on http://freenode.net/
- BlackBerry community forum: Native and Cascades Development
Resources and references
- Using Qt Creator for Qt Development on BlackBerry 10
- Using custom Qt builds on BlackBerry 10 devices
- Remote (on-device) debugging with BlackBerry 10 devices
- Building Qt4 for BlackBerry devices (please note that Qt4 is pre-installed on BlackBerry 10 devices, this article is more relevant for PlayBook devices)
- Building Qt5 for BlackBerry devices
Tips and Hints
- UI guidelines for BlackBerry 10
- BPS event integration in to Qt event loop, a how-to
- Various hints and tips for application development on BlackBerry 10
Related BlackBerry Jam Talks
- Introduction to the BlackBerry 10 NDK - Developing a Native BlackBerry 10 App from Start to Finish
- Introduction to Qt on BB10
- Performance and Debugging for Native Developers
- Fundamentals of the Cascades UI Framework broken for swoz@ubuntu