Qt on Android Question. Necessitas or better to just delete Android?

  • Hi,

    An interesting question came up today. Say you have invested time and money into your Qt application which runs on a small embedded Linux computer. Now you are looking at inexpensive Android boxes so cheep they make your mouth water. You're thinking if you could get that Qt application to work on that hardware you could be saving some big bucks. Well, there is Necessitas. However, things like Qt INI files and C++ command line arguments are (apparently) difficult if not impossible to implement in Android. And I don't even know how to play videos with any type of control from the underlying Qt program while in Android.

    Ok, so, all Android boxes are essentially Linux boxes. Since you are not all that interested in Android's ability to run 100s of different applications, the thought occurs to you why bother with Android? Why not just delete it? Why not just run the Qt program on these inexpensive Linux boxes?

    Am I missing something? If people could weight in on this question it would help me out a lot. Not just for Qt development but also for Necessitas and Android development.


  • Moderators

    You mean ignore a market of half a billion users? You can do that, sure, but you are likely to loose a lot.

  • No no, you don't understand. I'm not interested in a single user. I'm interested in creating the OEM software for hundreds if not thousands of "our" products.

    Qt is used over and over as the single main application running on multitude of platforms. That's a given. What I am after here is to take advantage of the COTS nature of Android hardware. Most OEM embedded processor displays fall above the $100 price threshold. While hardware intended for the Android market is starting to fall below.

    What I want to know:

    Can a Qt product line take advantage of a the low cost of the COTS Android box? Can the Android environment be removed from the Unix box easily? Can the Qt application run as "the" application?

    Why would anyone what to do this?

    We have plenty of money tied up in our Qt Intellectual Property (IP). At this point, it is unclear if we can port our Qt applications to Android using Necessitas. Controlling videos is apparently a huge problem.

    So, the question has been asked:

    Should we abandon Qt in favor of native Android programming.

    That's what it really comes down to. Will the low cost of Android COTS boxes drive us from Qt to Android Java centric development? Or is there a way we can easily run Qt on such a box w/o the Android overhead?

  • Moderators

    Oh, indeed you are right, I misunderstood.

    You can use underlying linux, or better - flash your own, then run X11 or Wayland servers and Qt should work well. Sure, that requires a bit of tinkering. And the base Android gives you support for Android market apps, which might be a plus.

    As for video handling, I'm not an expert here, but recent discussions on necessitas mailing list suggest that the upcoming Alpha4 will support videos well for new APIs (SDK level 13+). Older APIs turn out to be very problematic.

    Another, or additional, thing you might do is to actually join Bogdan in development of Necessitas. A huge amount of developers would be extremely happy if you did that :)

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