Developing W3C Widgets for Nokia N900

Ever since I got my Nokia N900 several months ago I wanted to craft great apps for it. There haven’t been that many development options if I’d like to do the development on my Mac. Good options was Python (PyMaemo) which you can use to create apps that behave like native apps. Second and very good option is to develop apps with new Nokia Qt SDK as it also has IDE (Qt Creator) and N900 emulator which runs nicely on Mac too.

Few weeks ago I discovered that Qt released a technology preview of Qt Web Runtime (Qt WRT) for N900 and after crafting few hello worlds and simple apps for that I can say that this is by far the easiest and fastest way to get your apps up and running on N900 (or any future phone which supports Qt Web Framework).

Created game of Othello for my Nokia N900

Here is a sample video of my first widget, game of Othello aka Reversi, running on my Nokia N900. In the video you can see how well the widgets are integrated into the platform so they have the same feeling as native apps starting from the installer:

Runtime supports W3C Widgets which are basically ZIP archives containing HTML, CSS, JavaScript files and single configuration file config.xml where you define e.g. widget name, icon and version. You’ll only need to rename the *.zip package to *.wgt and open the widget file in your device and it is installed on the device like a native app with icons and all. Compared to J2ME app development widget development is really rapid and agile.

Qt Web Runtime also has support for native APIs like camera, contacts, messages, etc. so widgets act like 1st class citizens on the device. You don’t have any nasty security popups which are the most annoying thing in Java ME apps.

I’ll post the downloadable widget in the later posts.