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Flowd: Using Qt Quick to Create a Super-Slick User Experience

flowd

Your daily social flow made smoother, richer and faster

Location based services is one of the fastest growing application areas on the Internet.  Flowd – developed by Qt Alliance Partner Digia using Qt Quick – is a mobile location-based social networking and communication service. It is targeted to young, socially active, urban smart phone users. The service consists of a platform, web site and mobile clients. Flowd’s mobile key features are creating and visiting places, posting comments, sending shouts with images and sharing to Facebook and Twitter.

With Flowd the user can always follow what friends are doing and find out where the best parties are. Flowd is an immediate way to get going and share your location flows to Facebook and Twitter accounts: let your existing friend lists see your whereabouts in the world.

Aiming for the best user experience in the market

The key requirements for the mobile client are a smooth look and feel and a state of the art user experience. To enable this, the mobile clients are targeted only for touch-based devices, including upcoming Nokia touch-based models. The first Nokia devices that will run Qt 4.7 will be announced later this year.

When selecting the development platform for Nokia touch-based devices, Digia set user experience and time-to-market as key factors. The new Qt Quick UI Creation Kit is a new great way to build cross-platform applications. The first two components of the Qt Quick solution – the QML language and Qt Declarative module in the Qt library – will be released with Qt 4.7.  The tooling components that complete the Qt Quick solution will be part of Qt Creator 2.1 later this year.

Qt Quick allows developers to create fast animated, touch-enabled user interfaces. The required application logic can be implemented easily with C++ and end result is a native application with maximum performance.

Touch screen – joy for the user, challenge for the developer

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When developing applications to touch-based devices – especially in mid-range devices where system resources are limited – performance is a critical consideration. Since touch screens provide a lot of spatial ways to use the device, user expects immediate feedback to her actions. Touch-based UIs can also include numerous animations and illustrative topics which provide lot of value to user when implemented correctly.

On the other hand a touch-based UI includes potentially huge spots for failure. Scrolling lists, page and view transitions, UI component appearances and disappearances – you name it. Qt Quick enables easy UI design with good performance. The newest devices with hardware graphics accelerator provide exceptionally good performance exceeding by far the current industry standard.

Ease of development and user experience sleekness matching the competition

From a developer’s perspective, Qt complemented with Qt Quick delivers a long awaited productivity boost to development on the Symbian platform. Developing custom UIs the declarative way is an order of magnitude easier and faster than using traditional methods.

One of the biggest strengths of Qt Quick is that it gives the development team more complete control of the UI. Now the software developer does not have to be the bad guy by dropping innovation-killers like “there’s no such UI component”, or “customizing this would take us weeks”. This is a huge advantage in the highly competitive mobile application market where innovations are made every day and keeping up with the competition can be difficult if the platform UI components get in the way and hinder innovation.

The speed of development means that different options can be tested quickly to drive the UI development iterations towards a better UI for the end user.

Qt Quick UIs integrate nicely with native C++ code using Qt´s meta-object system. This enables the combination of the two worlds in a very familiar way. Qt Quick also provides good mechanisms for developers to extend and customize the behavior of it.

Qt Quick: Warmly recommended

Because of the performance, learning curve, time-to-market and the ability to create a high quality user experience, Qt with Qt Quick is the platform of choice when developing performance hungry, UX driven and UI centric consumer applications. In Digia, Qt Quick has been very warmly welcomed by both the management and developers.

More information can be found on www.flowd.com.


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