Choosing the Best Frameworks For Desktop Application Development

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Due to the fact that there are so many great options, it’s a tough choice to decide which desktop framework to use. Web applications are an integrated part of our lives almost as much as cloud computing is becoming. So many of our popular computer processes are no better off being used as a web-based app, like photo editing and spreadsheet apps.

The simplest way to narrow down the best desktop application framework for you is to understand the basic categories; desktop frameworks for Windows, desktop frameworks for Mac OS, and cross-platform frameworks.

Desktop Frameworks for Windows

The Windows community has a substantial toolkit that allows for impressive frontend Windows app development. It is both accessible and advanced, so it is ideal for those who are beginning to professionals, with price ranges to suit all. For Windows, .NET will frequently appear as is extensively used.  Here are some examples:

Microsoft Visual Studio

The .NET framework provides plenty of variety and includes favorites like Python, C#, C++, Visual Basic, to name a few. If you want to start exploring Windows 10 app development, this is ideal. Microsoft Visual Studio is powerful but is subscription-based.


Windows Presentation Foundation library is set within the .NET framework and has been since 2006. It has been included within the operating system since Windows Vista was launched. WPF is a graphic subsystem that unifies user interface elements like 3D and 2D rendering, adaptive documents, runtime animations, and more.


.NET saw one of its biggest changes with the Universal Windows Platform and it transformed how we customize desktop apps and cross-platform apps. The app you create can be spread across a variety of Microsoft platforms thanks to the algorithm that scales the app depending on the device.


Since the very early days, Windows Forms has been part of the .NET framework. Today, it can be used as a user interface tier platform. Your WinForm apps are event-driven apps, so the library will wait until the user interacts. There is great functionality for visual elements because of the overlying control class.

Desktop Frameworks for Mac OS

As Apple expands its range of devices, it also has to develop software that is compatible with all things like iOS, Mac OS, WatchOS, and now tvOS. The desktop frameworks encourage the development of stunning apps with the use of Apple’s precise architecture. Below are two of the best frameworks for Mac OS:

Logic Pro X

A true favorite for everyone looking to develop music apps and is probably the default tool for sound-related software. The majority of musicians and sound recording studios will tend to use Logic Pro X. It is straightforward to use with effective results.


Cocoa is the principal framework and serves as the native object-orientated application programming interface. Through the Cocoa Touch framework, developers can work on apps for iOS, tvOS, and WatchOs. There are great tools for animation, specific graphic control elements, and gesture recognition. In terms of programming languages, options include XCode, AppleScript, Python, Ruby, and Perl (with the help of bridges).

Cross-Platform Desktop Frameworks

It’s nonsense to have to write the one app multiple times for various devices. Cross-platform desktop frameworks cater for the development of a desktop app that can be quickly and effortlessly transitioned into a mobile app or web-based app. Applications can be developed for iOS, Android, and Linux.  We are going to look at 2 popular choices:


Swing is part of the Java framework and was created in order to provide an enhanced set of graphical user interface components. You will find the usual components that you would when using Java such as scroll panels, checkboxes, lists, and tabbed panels. For Windows, there is extreme flexibility and a heavy reliance on runtime mechanisms allowing Swing apps to hot-swap its interface even while running. On the downside, without efficient code, Swing will run slowly.


As a GitHub development, Electron of an open-source framework using Node.js for cross-platform desktop applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is a good choice for web developers as it is a fairly web standard. A developer has the ability to focus on core functions of the app because the framework takes care of the complex side of software development. For desktop app development, you can take advantage of core functions like auto-update and crash reporter. However, Electron isn’t fully supported by Chrome.

In Conclusion

We have only scratched the surface of the available options and really the decision will be based on what is right for you and your needs. Aside from the features of each desktop application framework, you will need to consider the cost and also the distribution model- how you plan to get your product onto the market. With all of that in mind, the frameworks we have mentioned are a great place to start.