Comparing GUIDE and App Designer

MATLAB® offers two interactive design environments for building apps: App Designer and GUIDE (GUI Design Environment).

  • App Designer was first released with R2016a and is the recommended environment for building apps in MATLAB.
  • GUIDE was first released in 1996 (MATLAB 5.0) and will be removed in a future release of MATLAB.

After GUIDE is removed, existing GUIDE apps will continue to run in MATLAB, but will not be editable using the GUIDE environment. To continue editing an existing GUIDE-based app and help maintain its compatibility with future MATLAB releases, you can use the GUIDE to App Designer Migration Tool for MATLAB on File Exchange. Alternatively, you can export it from GUIDE to a single MATLAB file by selecting File > Export to MATLAB-file.

When creating new apps, users are strongly encouraged to use App Designer and the appdesigner function instead. To learn more about the benefits of App Designer and the features it supports, please review the following feature comparison and visit the App Designer page.

Key
 Support for interactive and programmatic app building
Support for programmatic app building only

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

Component Library

   

Property Inspector

   

Component Browser

   

Callback Sharing

   

Single-File Management for Code and User Interface

 

 

Modern Look & Feel

 

 

Toolstrip-Based Desktop

 

 

Rich Canvas Interactions

 

 

Embedded Code Editor

 

 

Rich Property Editors

 

 

App Metadata Management

 

 

Robust Programming Editor and Workflow

 

 

Quick Start Interactive Tutorial

 

 

App Testing Framework Support

 

 
App Templates    

Code Editor

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

Code Debugger

   

Code Folding

   

Code Analyzer

   

App Input Arguments

   

Rich Programming Aids

   

Quick Code Navigation

   

Global Component Rename

   

Utility Functions via Custom App Methods

   

Graphics Support

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

2D & 3D Plotting

   

Axes Support (axes, polaraxes, geoaxes)

   

Axes Interactions (pan, zoom, rotate)

   

Figure Interactions (keyboard and mouse events)

   

Printing Support

   

See Displaying Graphics in App Designer in the MATLAB documentation for more information.


App Sharing and Access

Design Environment 

GUIDE4

App Designer

Share as MATLAB App Install File

   

Share as MATLAB Standalone Desktop App 1

   

Share as MATLAB Web App 1

   

Create, Edit, and Run Apps in MATLAB Online 2

   

Export as Standalone MATLAB Class File

   

Containers and Layout Managers

Design Environment 

GUIDE4

App Designer

Panel

   

Menu Bar

   

Tab Group

   

Scrollable Containers

   

Grid Layout Manager

   
Auto-Reflow    

Context Menu

   

Toolbar

   

Common Components

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

Button

   

Drop Down

   

Edit Field (Text)

   

Label

   

List Box

   

Radio Button Group

   
Slider    
Table    
Text Area    
Toggle Button Group    
Date Picker    
Edit Field (Numeric)    
Image    
Spinner    
State Button    
Tree    

Dialogs and Notifications

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

Alert Dialog

   

Confirmation Dialog

   
Progress Dialog    

Instrumentation

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

Gauge

   

90 Degree Gauge

   

Linear Gauge

   

Semicircular Gauge

   

Knob

   

Discrete Knob

   

Lamp

   
Switch
   
Rocker Switch
   
Toggle Switch
   
Airspeed Indicator 3
   
Altimeter 3
   
Climb Rate Indicator 3
   
EGT Indicator 3
   
Heading Indicator 3
   
Artificial Horizon 3
   
RPM Indicator 3
   
Turn Indicator 3
   

Component Extensibility

Design Environment

GUIDE4

App Designer

HTML Component

   
ActiveX Control4    
  1. Requires MATLAB Compiler.
  2. MATLAB Online is available with select licenses. Check your eligibility on mathworks.com/products/matlab-online.html.
  3. Requires Aerospace Toolbox.
  4. Will be removed in a future release.