I am happy to announce that we have today released Qt 5.1 Beta. We are now a major step closer to release Qt 5.1.0, which is expected before the summer. With the Beta release, binary installers for Qt 5.1 are available making it easier for you to get started with Qt. Let’s take a quick look at what is in the package.

Key functionality

The main driver for Qt 5.1 has been to increase the maturity of the new features introduced with Qt 5.0. We have improved the functionality and performance based on the feedback received from real-world use cases of Qt 5.0 and porting applications from Qt 4.x. We are able to meet your needs with Qt 5 because of the feedback and contributions from our growing ecosystem of about 500,000 developers in over 70 industries using Qt on numerous platforms and configurations.

The key new features of Qt 5.1 Beta include:

  • Qt Quick Controls module providing a set of reusable UI components especially for desktop applications created with Qt Quick
  • Qt Quick Layouts module bringing an easier, more intuitive, way to manage scalable UIs by ensuring that items are consistently arranged, and that the UI as a whole remains usable across different screen sizes.
  • Qt Serial Port module providing a cross-platform interface for using hardware and virtual serial ports in Qt applications
  • Possibility to use Qt Quick and Widgets together in the same application window
  • Qt Creator 2.7.1 bundled into the package, providing, for example, Qt Quick Designer for rapid prototyping, as well as improved C++11 code editing
  • Support for static Qt builds making it possible to address those use cases that cannot use dynamic linking
  • Introducing Qt Sensors as an officially supported module

For a more detailed look, please take a look to the Wiki article listing the new features of Qt 5.1 Beta, refer to the Qt 5.1 Documentation Snapshot as well as the Known Issues page in the wiki.

Binary installers

For most users the big thing with Qt 5.1 Beta compared to Qt 5.1 Alpha is binary installers that provide a convenient way of installing all you need to start developing with Qt without needing to build Qt yourself. With Qt 5.1 we are introducing some new configurations such as 64bit VS2012 with OpenGL, which is already available with the Beta. Soon after the Beta we are upgrading MinGW to version 4.8 and aim to bring also 32bit VS2012 with ANGLE configuration by the time we are releasing Qt 5.1.0.

Qt 5.1 Beta comes as an offline installer, but we will also be providing online installers before the release of Qt 5.1.0 final. The offline installer contains all you need to get started with Qt – tools, documentation, examples and pre-built Qt libraries. Source packages are available for those who wish to build Qt (or need to use a configuration that is not available as a pre-built binary). In addition to the desktop binaries, Qt 5.1 Beta comes with pre-built binaries for Android that can be bundled in with your application.

New platforms

Qt 5.1 Beta provides technology-preview level implementation of the new Android and iOS ports. In addition, Qt 5.1.0 final is planned to re-introduce Windows Embedded Compact 7 support that has earlier been available with Qt 4.8. We have added all these new platforms into the CI system so that each change that goes into Qt is verified to work on these as well as the other platforms and configurations already in the CI. At the moment, the CI for Android and iOS only tests for building, but we are gradually also adding the automated tests to be run on these new platforms, to decrease the possibility of regressions.

There is quite a lot of buzz around the new mobile ports and many are interested in knowing what is possible already with the Qt 5.1 Beta. In general, it can be stated that you can create stunning applications that run smoothly on both of the new platforms, but with limitations in supported functionality and the developer experience of getting your masterpiece into these devices.

With Android the following functionality works quite well in the Qt 5.1 Beta:

  • Widgets, Graphics View, Qt Quick 1 and Qt Quick 2 applications
  • OpenGL, networking and other core functionalities of Qt
  • Some parts of Qt Multimedia, for example QML media player
  • A set of commonly used sensors with Qt Sensors
  • Deploying your application to a device from Qt Creator
  • Debugging your application from Qt Creator
  • Qt 5.1 Beta comes with pre-built binaries for Android that can be bundled in with your application

With iOS the main issue is Qt Quick 2 not being available, as it needs a new QML engine, but the following functionality works quite well in the Qt 5.1 Beta:

  • Widgets, Graphics View and Qt Quick 1 applications
  • OpenGL, networking and other core functionalities of Qt
  • A set of commonly used sensors with Qt Sensors
  • Deploying your application to a device from Xcode / iTunes

Next steps

With the release of Qt 5.1 Beta we are one step closer to the Qt 5.1.0 final release, which we aim to have out before summer. Based on the feedback we receive from the Beta, there will be a Release Candidate created in a few weeks time, or alternatively a second Beta.

Please test out Qt 5.1 Beta and send us feedback:

  • File a bug report to bugreports.qt-project.org in case you find a new bug
  • Send e-mail to Qt Project mailing lists or contact us via IRC
  • If you have a commercial license, please contact Digia Qt Support via the Customer Portal

Qt 5.1 Beta release can be downloaded from the Digia Qt Customer Portal or from download.qt-project.org for open-source users.

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Qt 5.1 Beta Released