This week, Trolltech / Nokia have released their Qt cross platform application framework for the Symbian / S60 platform, the OS and GUI of Nokia's flagship N- and Eseries phones. Qt is probably best known as the toolkit used in KDE, one of the most popular graphical user interfaces for Linux and programs such as Skype and Google Earth. The promise of this framework is to code once and deploy everywhere.
Qt does not only standardize GUI development across platforms but has many libraries to do other tasks such as networking, database access, scripting, etc. in a cross-platform way. With three mobile platforms now supported, i.e. Windows Mobile, mobile Linux and S60, it will become easier than ever do write mobile software for different hardware platforms.
Despite using the native GUI elements of the different OSes I wonder how Qt applications will look like on S60!? Will programmers be sensitive enough to customize the user interface of their programs to the look and feel of the individual operating systems, which of course reduces the benefits of the cross platform approach, or will they go for a more relaxed style and try to make the application work the same on all platforms they plan to make their application available? Or maybe the major benefit of this move is less cross-platform deployment and more attracting developers to the S60 platform that already know Qt? Time will tell.