I’m happy to announce that Qt 5.3 Alpha is available for download. Qt 5.3 is coming out a bit earlier than our regular 6-month release cycle would’ve forecasted, as we have decided to pull forward our release cycle meaning, starting from Qt 5.3, future Qt releases are planned to happen every Spring and Autumn.
The focus for Qt 5.3 is mainly about improving the stability, performance and first-time user experience of the product. A lot of the work over the past months has been focusing on improving the quality of Qt, especially on the mobile platforms and Mac OS X. Having said that, Qt 5.3 will also offer a good amount of new and exciting features, and a new platform: WinRT/Windows Phone!
One of the main new features in Qt 5.3 is an improved integration between Qt Widgets and Qt Quick. The new QQuickWidget class allows seamless integration of Qt Quick-based user interfaces with a Qt Widget-based application. This should significantly simplify using both technologies together in one application and provides an easy way to migrate Qt Quick into existing Qt Widgets applications.
Qt Network gained support for the SPDY protocol, speeding up of web content download in Qt WebKit and through QNetworkAccessManager. A new Qt WebSockets module got added featuring full support for web socket (RFC 6455).
Qt QML and our new QML engine (introduced in Qt 5.2) will with Qt 5.3 support profiling using the QML profiler in Qt Creator. In addition, you will be able to profile and debug multiple QML engines inside one application using the new EngineControl debug service.
Also, Qt Quick gained a Calendar Control and a Dialog template that includes standard buttons.
Qt on Windows can be configured to allow runtime switching between desktop GL and ANGLE.
A lot of our focus is on fixing bugs and smaller improvements for the mobile platforms, both on the framework and tooling side. In addition, a couple of new backend implementations for existing modules have been included. We have added Bluetooth support for Android and Qt Positioning is now fully supported on both Android and iOS. Finally, input methods such as Chinese are now supported also on iOS.
Support for WinRT and Windows Phone
To complete our mobile offering, Qt 5.3 will include support for WinRT and Windows Phone on a beta quality level. Most features in Qt Core, Gui, Network, Widgets, Qml, Quick, and Sensors are working already, and we will focus on improving them towards the final release.
More details of the new features in Qt 5.3 are available in the wiki.
In addition, we are planning to include the upcoming Qt Creator 3.1 release into Qt 5.3 final, adding quite a few new features on the tooling side. Qt Creator 3.1 will also include initial support for WinRT and Windows Phone.
As usual, the Qt 5.3 Alpha release is available as source packages that can be downloaded from the Qt Enterprise Customer Portal, and the open-source version from Qt Project.