qt-vs-html-app-dev

Qt vs. HTML5 for Cross-Platform Apps

By Christian

VisionMobile, one of the leading firms for programming related researches & surveys, just released an interesting article: Cross Platform Apps – Qt vs. HTML5. We’d like to add our thoughts about this article to help you choose the right framework for your project.

Qt and V-Play

We initially built V-Play to develop games with the power of Qt Quick. This declarative scripting language of Qt is so powerful that it saves up to 60% lines of code compared to other programming languages. Moreover, since the release of Qt 5 you can also build great cross-platform apps with Qt, both for mobile and desktop.

With the next release of V-Play (coming next week!), we will further simplify app development with Qt, just as we make programming games easier. So stay tuned for the update and enjoy this blog post about Qt vs. HTML 5.

Qt Benefits over HTML5

Let’s quickly cover the main pros Qt has over HTML5, in addition to the ones mentioned by VisionMobile:

Ease of Learning

Learning HTML5 has become trickier because you get overwhelmed with frameworks. Frameworks are actually a good thing, but to know which framework fits your project best can take up weeks.

To learn Qt Quick (QML & JavaScript) is quite the opposite – it’s self-explaining and easy to understand, and the only choice you have. :)

The latest developer survey from research2Guidance of 2,188 developers also proves that learning Qt and V-Play is easier than PhoneGap for example. This image shows the result of comparing the complexity to learn a cross-platform tool:

Top 10 Cross-Platform Tools of Complexity to learn the tool (low complexity means easy to learn):

Qt_vs_html5_top10-cp-tools-by-complexity

Download V-Play now and Create Cross-Platform Games and Apps

Performance

This is a big one. Qt is based on C++ and has a hardware accelerated scene graph which makes it even fast enough to power high-performance games, so you get great performance for apps too. In the last years, a lot of work has gone into further optimizations for mobile app use cases to get the most out of rendering performance. For example ListView optimizations or auto-batching of textures to minimize draw calls (see here for some benchmarks). You can even do crazy shader modifications simply from QML and apply video filters at runtime.

Animated UIs

Qt Quick & QML were initially created to make animated user interfaces easier, not something that was added later on to it!

The declarative approach is a bit weird in the beginning to understand, but once you get the hang of it you will never want to let things such as property bindings go. Things like state machines and animation components makes transitioning between views and animating UIs just a matter of 1 or 2 code lines.

Tools

Qt Creator, the IDE of Qt and thus also of V-Play, is one of the best IDEs out there. It has everything tailored to the Qt framework you need: a debugger, integrated help, UI designer, and a top-notch profiler where you can measure draw calls, JavaScript timings, QML bindings and a lot more.

Native Integration

Qt originated as a C++ framework, with Qt Quick & QML added later as a declarative layer to simplify UI development & prototyping. So you get a solid and proven C++ framework which makes the integration between the scripting world and C++ easy and allows to define nice separations between application logic and UI. So if you have existing C++ logic you want to reuse in your mobile app, Qt is the way to go.

Similarly, calling Objective-C or Java code for Android is simple too (for example Qt 5.2 introduced some helper classes to simplify JNI communication for Android). This means you can integrate any native functionality that is not supported by the core framework and make it accessible from a scripting environment.

Native SDKs with Qt

We have worked on 30+ Qt apps and games in the past years, and often were in the situation where we needed a native functionality or 3rd party service not existing in the Qt framework.

To make these native SDKs available from QML across projects, we started the V-Play Plugins. These exist to integrate native services for multiple platforms with a single API call. You can for example use them to integrate monetization services like in-app purchases or mobile Ad frameworks like AdMob and Chartboost in your Qt 5 apps. Or to access the native Facebook SDK or Push Notifications from Qt.

You can find the Qt 5 plugins here: http://plugins.v-play.net/

Conclusion

To be fair, HTML5 also has its advantages, like not being developed by one major contributor. But there also are advantages with that, because you get bugs fixed faster as you don’t need to count on different browser vendors to fulfill the standard or to agree upon a new required feature.

As Mark Wilcox from VisionMobile puts it:

“Qt has a slight edge over HTML5. However, there are other metrics you could use that would give the opposite result. In practice the technology needs to be selected to fit the project.”

Because of the additional reasons given above, we do see Qt on a far better track than HTML5. What is also great is the rapid rate of improvements that are released with every Qt update, and we’re happy to be in the Qt community and to simplify Qt development as a Qt Technology Partner!

If you want to share your app or game development story with Qt too, hit the comment section below. 😉

There is also currently this year’s VisionMobile developer survey going on – vote for Qt and V-Play here:

Vote for Qt & V-Play in the Global Developer Survey

Just enter V-Play in the “Other” section for the question “Which cross-platform tools are you using?” and also select Qt.

 

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References

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Game Development
Cross-Platform, Any Resolution

Use one IDE to deploy to all supported platforms, including iOS and Android, from a single code base.

Support all screen resolutions, aspect ratios and sizes with auto-adapting UI elements, smart scene scaling and memory efficient asset selection.

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V-Play ranked #1 at research2guidance cross-platform tool benchmarking 2014 by 2188 developers comparing 40 leading tools.

Multiplayer

V-Play Multiplayer supports both real-time and turn-based gameplay, so you can use it to make many different types of cross-platform multiplayer games. It's perfect for making player-vs-player games like 'Words with Friends' or games for a large amount of players, such as 'Clash of Clans'.

Learn More Video

Highscores & Achievements

The V-Play Game Network is a cross-platform gaming service that allows players around the world to compare game highscores and achievements. Players can also challenge each other across multiple platforms and share their progress on Facebook.

Learn More

QML & JavaScript

Qt Meta Language is a highly intuitive reactive language, which is super easy to learn, yet it's extremely powerful and flexible. Mix it with JavaScript to create awesome stuff, with just a few lines of code.

import QtQuick 2.0
import VPlay 2.0

GameWindow {
  Scene {
    
    SimpleButton {
      anchors.centerIn: parent
      text: "Press Me"
      onClicked: {
        console.debug("Wow you pressed me!")
      }
    }
  }
}

Learn More

Monetize & Analyze

With V-Play, you can use many 3rd party services for ads, in-app purchases, analytics and more, with just a few lines of code. All of these plugins work cross-platform, which allows you to maintain a single code base.

Learn More

Level Editor

The LevelEditor can be used during development to create and modify levels for your game, which you can then bundle in your final publishing build. Additionally, you can also integrate the in-game level editor to your published game and let your gamers create new levels.

Learn More Video

Card Game like UNO, Hearthstone or Poker

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/OneCard/OneCard.pro

Match-3 like Candy Crush Saga

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/JuicySquash/JuicySquash.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/JuicySquashAdvanced/JuicySquashAdvanced.pro

Puzzle like 2048 or Threes!

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/2048/2048.pro

Casino like Big Win Slots

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/FlaskOfRum/FlaskOfRum.pro

Side Scroller like Jetpack Joyride or Flappy Bird

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/FlappyBird/FlappyBird.pro

Tower Defense like Castle Defense or Bloons TD

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/Squaby/Squaby.pro

Falldown & Jump like Doodle Jump or Mega Jump

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/ChickenOutbreak/ChickenOutbreak.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/ChickenOutbreak2/ChickenOutbreak2.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/DoodleJump/DoodleJump.pro

Platformer like Super Mario or Lep's World

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/Platformer/Platformer.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/PlatformerWithLevelEditor/PlatformerWithLevelEditor.pro

Action like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/StackTheBoxWithCommunityEditor/StackTheBoxWithCommunityEditor.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/BalloonPop/BalloonPop.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/CarChallenge/CarChallenge.pro

Arcade like Arkanoid or Space Invaders

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/ZombieBreak/ZombieBreak.pro

Community like Super Mario Maker or Minecraft

We got a demo game for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this game genre. You can use its source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/examples/Squaby/Squaby.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/StackTheBoxWithCommunityEditor/StackTheBoxWithCommunityEditor.pro

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/demos/PlatformerWithLevelEditor/PlatformerWithLevelEditor.pro

Any other Idea? let us know how we can help you

You are looking for another demo?

The V-Play SDK includes many open-source demos for different game genres. You can use their source code and build your game in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

If you do not find your game genre in this list and wonder if V-Play is the right choice, just contact us, we are happy to help!

Contact Us

App Development
Better Apps, Less Effort

Develop feature-rich, cross-platform mobile apps from a single code base.

V-Play apps look, feel and perform exactly like native iOS, Android and Desktop apps. With less code & much faster development time.

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V-Play ranked #1 at research2guidance cross-platform tool benchmarking 2014 by 2188 developers comparing 40 leading tools.

Save Time, Code & Money

Save up to 90% source code with V-Play, compared to frameworks like Xamarin, Titanium, React Native and others.

Learn More

QML & JavaScript

Qt Meta Language is a highly intuitive reactive language, which is super easy to learn, yet it's extremely powerful and flexible. Mix it with JavaScript to create awesome stuff, with just a few lines of code. QML also allows you to easily create smooth and complex animations.

import QtQuick 2.0
import VPlayApps 2.0

App {
  Page {
    
    AppButton {
      anchors.centerIn: parent
      text: "Press Me"
      onClicked: {
        console.debug("Wow you pressed me!")
      }
    }
  }
}

Learn More

Monetize & Analyze

With V-Play, you can use many 3rd party services for ads, in-app purchases, analytics and more, with just a few lines of code. All of these plugins work cross-platform, which allows you to maintain a single code base.

Learn More

Native Sensors & More

V-Play Apps harness the power of Qt, the leading cross-platform development framework used by over 1,000,000 developers.

This gives your access to native device features like sensors, camera, file system as well as multimedia, networking, localization and much more.

Learn More

Responsive Design

V-Play has built in responsive design capabilities, you can target phones and tablets with the same source code.

Learn More

Highly Extensible

You have existing JavaScript, C++ or native code? You want to add any 3rd party SDK that we do not offer already?

No worries, you can add any JS, C++, Java or Objective-C code to your project.

Learn More

Component Showcase App shows the most important V-Play features and components

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/showcase/Showcase.pro

Qt World Summit Conference App a full-featured conference management app made by V-Play

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/qtws2016/QtWS2016.pro

Twitter App how to build layouts like in the official Twitter app for iOS and Android

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/twitter/Twitter.pro

Maps App displays free bikes or boxes at bike stations for Vienna's bike sharing service Citybike Wien

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/maps/Maps.pro

Messaging App demonstrates how to create the UI of a Facebook Messenger like app

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/messaging/Messaging.pro

Weather App how to include powerful animations into your user interface

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/waether/Weather.pro

Any other Idea? let us know how we can help you

You are looking for another app demo?

The V-Play SDK includes many open-source demos for different app types. You can use their source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play..

If you do not find your app type in this list and wonder if V-Play is the right choice, just contact us, we are happy to help!

Contact Us