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General question on Apple

  • Hi. I have to port an Qt Android application on iPad. I have to purchase one.
    Is there something to know on developing for iPad and iPhone or it's easy as Android?
    (Develop, application sharing ...)

  • Lifetime Qt Champion


    A Mac is mandatory, Xcode also, and if you want to deploy on your device and upload your application to the AppStore then you must be subscribe to Apple's iOS developer program.

    Depending on the customization you need you might have to use Xcode directly for some parts.

  • Ok, do you know if I have to purchase the commercial Qt license? I have read something about that the application must haven't got external libraries...

    Can I ulpoad my app in my iPad (for test) without AppStore?

  • The licensing issue happens only when you publish the app on the store. Any other way of sharing the app it's fine (local testing, adHoc installation and enterprise distribution).
    And for what concern the legal issue about the GPL license, the situation it's not clear because the GPL doesn't clearly states what to do when the software is distributed via app stores (I mean all app stores: Google Play, Apple Store etc).
    So, the legal issue is not resolved for all submission in all stores... but some unofficial statistics says that there are almost more than 50% of the apps that use some GPL/LGPL libraries inside and nobody is taking any action against that use (neither the Free Foundation).

  • As far as I can tell, the issue of static linking with the QT libraries relates to LGPL v2.1 section 6b which states that you must "Use a suitable shared library mechanism for linking with the Library." If you don't do that, then it seems that you must release the object code and/or source code for your application.

    However so far I haven't see anything in LGPL v2.1 that indicates that distributing via an app store is any different to other methods of distribution. Where can I find a reference to that?

  • In another thread, a link provided by p3c0 contains a reference to distribution via an app store. For any one looking for this reference it can be found here:

    Specifically is says:

    The distribution of Qt applications to end-user mobile devices through an “app store” does not in any way constitute “distribution of a hardware device”, or “distribution of the Licensed Software with a device” – the very nature of distributing an application through an “app store” prevents its distribution with a hardware device.

    I'm not sure if this the same thing that Gianluca was talking about though.

  • Ok, for now the only clear thing is that the question is a bit complicated.
    Now I have a new iPad and in a simulator I can run my Qt Application.

    I'm a bit disappointed on that bluetooth is not available for ios, but this is another question. I hope it will be available soon.

    I'm trying to install my application in my ipad. I see that to do this I must agree to the apple developer program and it is not for free. Am I wrong?

    Is there a way to have my qt app in my IPad for free? Now I'm not sure to have a business with Qt - Ios and i think is not a good idea to pay.

  • IANAL, but what (I think) I know:

    • iOS: you just can't run any software on iOS devices without a key from Apple for signing the software. To get the key (or "team provisioning profile" as they seem to call it), you have to pay to join Apple's developer programme. It's not extortionately expensive (and not compared with the cost of the HW), but it's certainly not free and for someone who's grown up with FOSS SW and other folks' cast-off HW might a bit of a psychological hurdle to pay to just be allowed to program a device. If you don't like it... fortress iOS is not for you (well maybe there are jailbreaking options on some devices; I know nothing of this). And beside the iOS device you'll need xcode and therefore a Mac; more expense.

    • Qt: what litlington said above; the static linking is what breaks what people have gotten used to with LGPL on desktop platforms which use shared libs/DLLs etc. If I ever got to the point I thought I had an iOS app people would pay for, I suspect I'd just spring for a commercial Qt license. The other options seem to be releasing the app as FOSS, or in theory some horrible thing where you release object files so people can static link against a new Qt (and AFAIK, that really is a pedants' theoretical option; I've not seen anyone try that in practice).

  • You can only run your app on an iPhone or iPad simulator unless you join Apple iOS developer program. But once you have joined you can go right through to publishing your app on the Apple App Store. It does work.

    However my conclusion is that even for a free app distributing via the App Store breaks the LPGL licence (because of the static linking). I wasn't even aware that my app was being statically linked by Xcode until I was prompted to investigate by this thread.

    $150 per month for a QT licence doesn't make sense for me. Even for a low volume commercial app.

    So now I am waiting to see if iOS 8 dynamic linking solves the problem and at the same time investigating native Apple code development. But I suspect that even Swift, Xcode 6 and the clever Apple frameworks are going to be a poor 2nd to QT/QML.

  • $150,0 per month does not make sense for real. Qt should rething this price if they want to grow at the mobile development... Or change the mobile license to other then LGPL that allow developers to deploy IOS applications.

  • This price and LGPL restriction in IOS will kill the possibility of game development using Qt.

    When Unity3D professional (Windows/MAC), and mobile costs $225,00 including taxes for three developers per month...

    Qt Commercial (Windows/MAC) and mobile costs $399,00 PER ONE developer per month... This is much expensive...

    I'm very frustated about this price because we're developing an opensource game development engine called Cute3D and I'm afraid that this price of the commercial version of the Qt mobile makes the game development using Qt unfeasible for indies.

    I think Digia should rethink this price or change the license of the Qt IOS port to MIT or other one that allow people to deploy their games in IOS.

  • [quote author="renato.viana" date="1409187985"]I think Digia should rethink this price ...[/quote]

    I looks like they have done just that, and even named after your post - an Indie Licence for $25 per month.

  • For those looking for the Indie licence agreement, it can be found here:

    "Service terms":

    Scroll down to find it.

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