Introducing Marble Touch

It’s release preparation time again. As most features are fixed by now, this is a good time to show some of the things we’ve been working on lately. There were a couple of blogs about Marble features that will debut in KDE 4.8 / Marble 1.3 already, but I’d like to introduce another one which we didn’t announce properly yet: Marble Touch, a Qt Quick Components based version of Marble built for the Nokia N9/N950. It is centered around different views or activities that align the user interface for common tasks like searching or routing.

The first version is planned for release in about two months. Like all Marble programs it’s based on the Marble library to reuse the vast amount of features it offers. Marble Touch 1.3.0 will come with the following activities: Virtual Globe, Search, Routing, Tracking, Weather, Friends, Space View. See the current state in the Youtube video Marble Touch on the Nokia N950.

You may notice certain glitches in the video — missing icons, missing animations, missing pinch zoom, z-order problems, slow response time. That’s alright for the beta state and we’ll take care of as much as possible until the release. I’d love to see help from a designer or usability person though! If you’re interested, please visit #marble in Freenode or write to

After the first release there’ll be feature releases every month. They’ll add features that are currently implemented in the Marble library, but not yet available from the Marble Touch user interface: Bookmark support, guidance mode, voice navigation. In parallel I’d like to work on an Android version of Marble Touch optimized for tablets. A Plasma Active version would be nice as well, but I lack the hardware to play with it.


6 Replies to “Introducing Marble Touch”

  1. Looks great. I hope Meego may rejuvenate. Android version would be cool. I can now find some time to help out in the Android development and testing.

  2. Niko: Well there is hope that the code and design of the Nokia Harmattan MeeGo stuff will live on in future projects and designs.
    Also Qt Components is not tied strictly to MeeGo. It should be possible to port it to Android or other platforms. We just need somebody who will adjust Marble for it and who will package it.

  3. i truly hope it isn’t “android ftw” as that is for all intents and purposes a closed platform with some very real limitations in what is possible (ask the kolabsys people about akonadi and android ..). it is a closed model that encourages forking as a solution. not much fun, not great for freedoms.

    as for testing on plasma active, as long as it works with QtQuick 1.1 and looks reasonable on a larger screen device such as a tablet, things should go swimmingly.

    a release in 2 months is too late for Plasma Active Two, unfortunately, but would be in plenty of time for Plasma Active 3. we should aim for inclusion in the Plasma Active images when the first release is available.

  4. Hi =)

    Great work on Marble touch.
    Just one side note not really pointing to the marble itself but rather to its i18n aspect: when you say “third” in german it’s “3.” while in english that would be “3rd” 🙂
    So your first instruction for directions would be “Take the 3rd exit in the roundabout.” 🙂
    And i really hope that at some point i could buy a touch device with KDE SC/Plasma Active and Marble preinstalled.
    Keep rocking 🙂

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