Qt and Android, Which is the Best Framework for Your Embedded Software?

Qt and Android

A new white paper from Witekio has finally identified an answer to a question pondered by software engineers the world over: In which cases should I use Qt, Android, or even both?

Starting from zero

Three engineers set out to determine which of these two popular software toolkits would be the best foundation for an embedded software project.

While they could have relied on arguments based on computer science theories or added yet another informed but inconclusive opinion to the long Qt vs Android debate, Witekio’s engineers took a practical approach and decided to build an application from scratch on an iMX8 board specifically geared to deal with connected objects.

By starting from zero, project lead Julien, Android developer Erwan, and Qt developer Stephen hoped to be able to unpack both frameworks in the most practical way. This was not about what might work best in theory but instead would conclude on what would work best in practice.

“By developing both applications simultaneously, we were able to get a real handle on the strengths and weaknesses of both Android and Qt,” said Julien. “The board was the same, the specifications for the application was the same, the only difference would be the underlying software frameworks, and we could see which would come out on top.”

He added that, “In the end it was close, but we could clearly identify the superior approach.” 

A holistic assessment

This new white paper from Witekio takes the battle between Qt and Android head-on and pits developer against developer in a bid to build a music player application with standard functionality quickly and easily.

The white paper opens with a discussion of about when to use Qt and when to use Android. It then considers some of the industry standard measures that are commonly used to explain why both the Qt and Android applications should be built on Linux instead of on an Android OS. Whether clocking at an optimized boot speed, comparing the speed of a proof of concept (POC) software solution, or assessing the need for RAM, Linux was the platform that came out on top.

At the core of the white paper is the comparison between Qt and Android across three criteria:

  1. Framework functionality

  2. Development ease

  3. Development speed

For each criteria Witekio’s experts explain how each framework fares and offer clear examples as to the strengths and weaknesses of each approach in the context of the development process.

And the answer? 

By avoiding opinion and focusing on the practical development experience, our new white paper explains why we have judged one of the frameworks to be superior to the other.

“It was a close race,” explains Julien. “Qt is stronger when it comes to the mobile UX, the Android development environment offers better developer assistance and debugging, and both are strong when it comes to manipulating media files. In the end, though, there is a winner, and our white paper explains why we concluded it is the better choice.” 

Want to read the details or even have a look at the code?

Get white paper & source code  

Witekio at Qt Virtual Tech Con

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