Qt for iOS

Qt's iOS port allows you to run Qt applications on iOS devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

Getting Started

Development and deployment is done using Xcode. The supported workflow is to maintain a .pro file based project, which generates an Xcode project. Building and deploying can be done using either Xcode or Qt Creator. We will look at that in more detail in the next section.

The minimum deployment target for Qt applications is specified in Supported Platforms.

Setting Up the Development Environment

You can download the Qt 5 installers from the Downloads page. For more information, see Getting Started with Qt.

Before installing Qt, you first need to install Xcode. You will find it in the Mac App Store here.

Note: As recommended by Apple, you should always use the latest Xcode version when building your applications for the App Store. In practice this means you also need the latest version of macOS to develop apps with Qt, due to Xcode's system requirements.

For running Qt applications on your Mac or in the simulator that comes with Xcode, this is all you need. However, for running applications on a mobile device and/or publishing your applications in the App Store, you must join the Apple Developer Program, and set up developer certificates and provisioning profiles. The easiest solution is to use a profile that takes any App ID (a *).

Before building any Qt applications, you should test that Xcode is set up correctly, for example, by running one of the standard Xcode application templates on your device.

Building Applications From the Command Line

As mentioned previously, the development workflow consists of maintaining a normal .pro file project and exporting it to Xcode.

Here is how to build a project with Xcode:

  • run qmake (if you have not done so previously)
  • open the resulting .xcodeproj file in Xcode
  • build the application in Xcode

Note that you must re-import the project if its setup changes, for example, when adding or removing source files.

Building Applications with Qt Creator

You can find information on how to set up and run Apple mobile device applications in Qt Creator's manual:

As mentioned previously, you must have Xcode installed.

Using Objective-C Code in Qt Applications

Clang, the compiler used for applications on Apple Platforms, allows mixing C++ and Objective-C code. To enable this mode, suffix your source files with .mm, and add them to OBJECTIVE_SOURCES instead of SOURCES in the .pro file. This makes it possible to use frameworks from Apple's Developer Library in Qt applications. Most useful is perhaps the possibility for adding In-App Purchasing with the StoreKit framework.

We currently have one example mixing Objective-C and C++ code. You find it here.

Examples for iOS

In Qt Creator, tested examples on iOS can be looked up. Use the ios keyword to search for examples in the Qt Creator Welcome mode. Note that some examples may have limited functionality.

For a list of examples known to work on iOS devices, visit Qt for iOS Examples.

The following topics provide more details about Qt for iOS: