HeliumReborn for Nemo

Lately, I've been using some time to port Helium Mobile -browser on top Qt Quick Components on Nemo Mobile. There was few reasons for this, but main reason was to get virtual keyboard to work better with the app.

I started first from the existing codebase and tried to modify it. It was somewhat difficult as the existing codebase included (some) support for Maemo5, Symbian, and MeeGo. Quite quickly I decided that it would probably be easier to start from fresh project and only add what I needed. This proved to be good approach and now after about 5 days of work I have something that I'm happy with. Virtual keyboard really does work better with the new codebase and I think application UI looks nicer now. Also, the code now uses booster, which should help startup a bit. New code includes all the stuff that Helium has had and even a bit more. I'm calling the new version of the app HeliumReborn.

QtSDK 1.1.4 is really what made this rapid change possible. It now includes Harmattan Qt Quick Componts in the Qt Simulator. This meant that I could quickly experiment with the desktop how my changes work (since we have the same components in Nemo). The components worked pretty much the same way on real devices (both on N950 with Nemo and N9 with Harmattan) and I could ran the same arm binaries in both!

My target is to push the stuff back to Helium upstream project and then update Helium in the Nemo. However, this might take some time. In the meanwhile you can test this out if you have a device with Nemo Mobile. To install it open terminal application and then install with the following steps:

1) Change to root (password is "meego") with command:

1) Add my repository (the following should just one one line):
zypper addrepo http://repo.pub.meego.com/home:/vesku/CE_MW_MTF_armv7hl/ veskus_helium

3) And finally install with:
zypper install heliumreborn

HeliumReborn is now installed in the application grid (in the second page). The old Helium browser is still in the shortcuts bar.

In case you are interested about the sources of HeliumReborn, they are available here until I get the changes properly upstreamed.


  1. how do I use this on an n9?

  2. There is a .deb package available: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/45141614/heliumreborn_0.0.1_armel.deb

    See for example here for instructions on how to install .deb package to N9: http://www.symbianfan.com/2011/11/how-to-install-deb-files-on-nokia-n9.html

  3. Is this still being developed as part of nemo/jolla?
    Or maybe you should use Snowshoe's work for the UI?

    1. HeliumReborn is part of Nemo Mobile and there has been some improvements lately from community. For example now it supports multitouch. I haven't worked on it lately, but I may come back to it if I get good idea to implement or see a bug that I can easily fix.

      Obviously, I cannot comment on what apps Jolla will contain.

      I'm curious about Snowshoe I definitely would like to see it on Nemo Mobile, but it requires QtWebkit from Qt5 which we do not yet have on Nemo Mobile. As soon as that is available I'll definitely try it on Nemo.

  4. Anonymous2/3/13 21:59

    according to:
    the last work done on Helium Reborn for Nemo Mobile is about 5 months back now. Is that page the authoritative resource for progress on Helium Reborn, or do you know about any other work being done since?
    You might know Helium Reborn has been ported to Maemo 5 (see:
    http://maemo.org/packages/view/heliummobilebrowser), so I wanted to find out if it'd make sense to apply the latest changes to a new release for Fremantle - last version is from Sept 25th 2012.

    1. Yep. That's the current upstream.

      I think updating the Fremantle version would make sense. Latest updates are cleanups to code by Robin Burchell. Those should improve the performance a little and I think on N900 every little bit helps.