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So many cross-platform app developers

July 02, 2015 — BarryK
My previous two posts started looking into a cross-platform tool for developing apps:

This is a good list of them:

...though, that list focuses on tools to target phone and tablet platforms. I do want that, but would also like, if possible, to target desktop platforms, such as Linux and Mac.

One that really stood out as superb, is Smartface:

The host platform is Windows only, and only two targets, Android and iOS.

I got it running, and it is lovely. The amazing thing is we get the fully-featured product for free.
It ticks so many boxes: auto-complete in the editor, sqlite support, embedded browser support, extremely easy to use, lovely GUI layout designer, etc.

QtCreator is not in the list of developer tools in the URL at top of this post. However, it is a cross-platform tool, and does support phone targets.

I installed this in Quirky and have just started to look at it. Qt is supposed to run on anything, and is also the choice of the Ubuntu Phone developers.

It is not as simple as Smartface, preliminary look around, there is minimal help with using it to develop phone apps.

However, I will keep on investigating Qt, with QML. My installation of QtCreator doesn't seem to be working properly, so I might install the latest development release of Ubuntu, see how that pans out, then a bit later have a go at building a new Quirky based on the next release of Ubuntu.

A cross-developer's Quirky
This new Quirky will be my creation that is specifically for use as a cross-platform developer tool. Interesting idea that, a distro that is setup just as a development tool for creating apps that will run anywhere (Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Ubuntu Phone, etc). So, I would build it with the 'devx' component already builtin, so it is all ready to go.

That's my thinking anyway. Does that seem like a good idea?


Qt is available under GPL licenses, or commercial -- the latter is required if you want to publish your app closed-source.

I have an app in mind, and I was curious what it would cost if I wanted to go the closed-source route. I found out here:

Depending on choices, anywhere from US$174 to $315 per month. Yikes!

I am not going to, just curious. That's too expensive for an individual anyway.

Tags: linux