Great News! Qt 5.3 Beta is now available for download. Qt 5.3 Alpha was released about 3 weeks ago and I am really happy to announce that we now have the Qt 5.3 Beta with updated functionality and binary installers.
Qt 5.3 is mainly focusing on quality and performance improvements, but we also have a nice set of new features available. With Qt 5.3 Beta we are introducing Beta support for Windows Runtime with final support for the platform coming in Qt 5.4. In addition, Qt 5.3 Beta also provides VS2013 binary installers.
Highlights of Qt 5.3 Beta include:
- New QQuickWidget providing improved integration between Qt Widgets and Qt Quick
- New Qt WebSockets module got added featuring full support for the web socket protocol (RFC 6455)
- Major improvements to printing support
- Major improvements for iOS and Android ports such as:
- Better input method support for iOS (including also Chinese),
- Positioning support for Android and iOS
- Bluetooth for Android
- … and many more
- Support for Windows Runtime platforms: Windows 8/RT (Modern UI), Windows Phone 8
- New target binaries: Qt for VS2013 (32 and 64 bit, OpenGL and Angle), as well as Qt for WinRT and Qt for Windows Phone
- Qt Creator 3.1 Beta included in the installers
Thanks to John Layt and others, significant changes have been made to the internals of Qt PrintSupport in Qt 5.3. These improvements should resolve many of the page layout bugs and inconsistent behavior across platforms, as well as prepare the way for printing on mobile devices and cloud printing in future Qt releases. These changes were not part of the Alpha release, but are now in and can be used with the Qt 5.3 Beta.
The new Qt WebSockets module provides a Qt API for implementing the web socket protocol. With web sockets, one can create two-way, real-time communication between client and server on top of a long-held single TCP connection. The protocol allows consistent behaviour across all platforms and enables use cases such as online collaboration tools, communication software, games and remote controllers.
Beta support for Qt for Windows Runtime
Qt 5.3 Beta is also the first time we are offering a binary release of Qt for Windows Runtime. Please check the blog post by Andrew Knight on what goodies we have to offer for those interested in addressing the Windows Runtime platforms. The intention is to continue developing Qt for Windows Runtime port towards the Qt 5.3 final and also in upcoming patch releases with the target of having this port fully functional by Qt 5.4. As mentioned, Qt 5.3.0 will provide a solid and supported beta-level functionality of WinRT in a similar manner as Qt 5.1 introduced Android and iOS last year: you can start working with it and deploy your Qt applications to relevant marketplaces, but some things are still being worked on.
More is Coming!
In parallel to Qt 5.3 development, we are also currently working on developing a new Qt Purchasing Add-On that provides a convenient Qt API for implementing in-app purchasing on iOS and Android applications. This will make it much easier than before to leverage in-app purchasing functionality for monetization in the iOS AppStore and Google Play store. Support for Windows Store will be added later, as well as possibly other stores, such as the Mac AppStore. Following this Qt 5.3 Beta release, we will very soon release a Technology Preview of the new Qt Purchasing Add-On. The final version of the Qt Purchasing Add-On will be available under the Qt Mobile and Qt Enterprise offerings together with the final release of Qt 5.3.
Download Qt 5.3 Beta Today!
Qt Enterprise and Qt Mobile customers can download the Qt 5.3 Beta offline installer via the new Qt Account, which has replaced the Qt Enterprise Customer Portal. If you have not yet logged in to the new “Qt Account”, please make sure to reset your password first at http://qt.digia.com/loginportals/. The Open-source version of the Qt 5.3 Beta is available via download.qt-project.org. As this is a beta release, remember some things may be slightly shaky, but your feedback is much appreciated to help make the final release a great one. We encourage everyone to try Qt 5.3 Beta. If you find some problem, please create a bug report. It is also good to check the known issues wiki page.