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How To distribute your Qt Desktop software?

  • Hi,

    I have a working desktop application developed with Qt. I now need to distribute it.

    I could not find any comparisons between the main actors in the software distribution industry, namely:

    The Windows Store;

    The Mac App Store;


    Digital River;

    Homemade distribution (Website + Update system + Licensing system + payment system).

    This list is of course non-exhaustive.

    The main questions I would like to answer are (for each platform):

    • How long and how hard it is to submit your software (and get it accepted)?
    • How long and how hard it is to submit updates for your application?
    • How much approximately does it cost (fixed cost + royalties)?
    • How long and how hard it is TECHNICALLY to integrate (if needed) with the platform?
    • How big is the user base for each platform (if pertinent)?
    • What features are specific for each platform?
    • How good is the user experience for each platform? In particular, how easy it is for the user to download, install and activate your software?

    I will try to update this post regularly.

    Thanks for any input.
    Best regards.

  • Lifetime Qt Champion


    How long ? It generally depends on the period of the year and the current load of the team working on the application validation.

    How hard ? It depends on whether you followed the app store guides lines, guide which should be available in the developer section e.g. "here for iOS":

    Costs will depend the store, and how much you'll sell your application and what's the cut taken by the store. ("iOS example":

    What do you mean by integrate ? Port Qt to a new platform ? It will depend on the platform, there's no easy answer for that.

    By feature do you mean hardware software ?

    In principle all app stores are pretty easy to use.

  • Hi,

    thanks for your answer. Please note that by "regularly", I meant every 3 months^^'

    "What do you mean by integrate ?"
    I think you have to use some proprietary API to make it available on Steam or any other distribution channel.

    "By feature do you mean hardware software ?"
    Steam is for example proposing gamification features.

    Best regards.

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    1. Integrate
      There's always a signing process that you must do before sending your application for review. Some have special sandboxed APIs for applications going through the store however their are platform dependent.

    2. Then you'll have to make special builds for steam that uses their SDK

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