Nokia has released a beta version of its Qt SDK, allowing developers to create applications that will compile down for Symbian, Maemo and even MeeGo.
Qt is Nokia's preferred development platform, and will become the primary Symbian platform come Symbian ^4. For the moment it allows developers to create applications, incorporating telephony functions, and compile them for various Nokia-backed platforms including the forthcoming MeeGo.
It's not just Nokia which makes Symbian devices, and MeeGo was loudly endorsed by Intel at launch, so Qt could be considered a cross-manufacturer platform too. The new SDK incorporates the latest Mobility APIs to allow text messaging, location data and interaction with various sensors, and is available for Windows and Linux desktops.
The beta release includes platform simulators, so you can see what your application will look like on the various platforms including both touch and non-touch Symbian devices. Completed applications can be packaged up for distribution, and AllAboutSymbian notes that closer integration with the Ovi Store is in development.
The beta SDK is free to download from Nokia, which will be hoping that lower barriers to entry will bring more developers on board, though competing with Apple is always going to be an uphill struggle. ®