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Not just another tablet. The first MeeGo tablet.

Published on Wednesday February 23, 2011 by admin in Qt in use | Comments

The WeTab MeeGo Tablet Using Qt

It’s true. There are MeeGo devices being commercially distributed and they are built on Qt. The guys at WeTab GmbH have been shipping their MeeGo tablet, WeTab, since the third quarter of 2010. They also recently released an SDK , so all of you Qt enthusiasts can publish Qt-based MeeGo apps on the WeTab app store www.wetab.mobi.

We were really excited when we first heard about the WeTab – this was the very first device based on the open mobile MeeGo operating system and it touts aWeTab Qt-based GUI and Qt WebKit-powered browser.

This MeeGo front-runner has an 11,6” widescreen display including an operating system which is optimized for touchscreen and multipoint usage. With a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom processor under the hood, the WeTab is a great platform for Qt apps to run natively.  Making it even more appealing, the WeTab also sports popular interfaces like USB, SD and HDMI.

In the weeks between the product's initial announcement and now, there has clearly been some fervent work undertaken in the development of some really exciting new apps – and for sure nothing beats native Qt performance.

WeTab

It's no exaggeration to say that at every event where we have displayed the WeTab it has constantly been in someone’s hands as developers wanted to test the touch interface and get a real feel for the device itself.

It's truly great to see a Qt-based device like the WeTab, with support from Intel and the open source community, go from design to market in just little over 6 months of MeeGo launching.

I won’t forget hearing at Qt Developer Days last October that the guys on the Linux Foundation stand were apparently proudly showing off this shiny slate of functionality saying something along the lines of: "It's a real open source product showing real alternative technology to proprietary lock-in”.

It is exciting, as although this may still be a first generation product in many senses, it does show that open source based technologies can work and will, for the most part, always result in real tangible products that will seek to challenge and push not only consumers, but also the other vendors in this space.

WeTab made it through the development process very quickly, and this was made possible by the Qt WebKit-based WeTab browser at the core the WeTab system. The developers at WeTab appreciated the fact that Qt allowed them to spend less time and effort on maintenance freeing them up to focus on device functionality. The WeTab's desktop UI is also built using Qt and the very scalable Qt Graphics View Framework was a big factor in the development team’s ability to rapidly write their whole code base.

The WebTab team also especially liked Qt's signals and slots mechanism and described it as a "seminal framework" suited to efficient native coding of great apps for various platforms including Microsoft, Apple and Linux. Not to forget to mention it is also, of course, the standard MeeGo framework!

Going forward, the WeTab team tells us they are closely bonded to Qt as the substantive base of both its GUI and its self-developed apps. Well, we like being a 'substantive base' for anyone – but simply put, Qt is a key factor in the WeTab development program now and it will continue to be so in the future. Hence their new SDK (http://wetab.mobi/en/developers/) , which offers the possibility to include small apps and widgets or starters for full screen apps into the tablet’s pinboard. The SDK is based on Qt 4.7 with C++ including Qt Quick with QML (JavaScript-like language) and provides developers with all necessary nuts and bolts, including VM image, templates, API documentation, all WeTab OS sources and more.

If you haven’t seen it yet and want a demo, you should visit us on our stand at Embedded World where we will have this and other MeeGo treats available for you to chew on.

p.s. Rumor has it that WeTab plans to give away tickets to Qt developers for CeBit to visit their exhibit there (Hall 19, Stand D14/3). Check out their site for more info.

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