App Building

App development using App Designer, a programmatic workflow, or GUIDE

An app is a self-contained MATLAB® program that provides a simple point-and-click interface to your code. Apps contain interactive controls such as menus, buttons, and sliders that execute specific instructions when your users interact with them. Apps can also contain plots for data visualization or interactive data exploration. Package and share your apps with other MATLAB users, or distribute them as standalone applications using MATLAB Compiler™.

The table summarizes the different ways to build apps. For a full comparison, see Ways to Build Apps.

App Building ApproachDescription
App Designer

App Designer is the recommended environment for building apps in MATLAB, and it is the replacement for the GUIDE development environment.

App Designer is a rich development environment that provides a large set of interactive components, a robust programming workflow, a layout manager, and automatic reflow options to make your app responsive to changes in screen size. If you have MATLAB Compiler, you can use App Designer to create web apps.

Programmatic Workflow

In this approach, you use MATLAB functions to create a traditional figure and place interactive components in that figure programmatically.

GUIDE (not recommended)

GUIDE is the discouraged drag-and-drop environment that has been replaced by App Designer and it will be removed in a future release.

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 app, see GUIDE Migration Strategies for information on how to help maintain its compatibility with future MATLAB releases. To create new apps, use App Designer.