Cross-platform GUI app frameworks are essential for developers who want to create applications that can be seamlessly run on multiple platforms. These frameworks help maintain a consistent user interface and experience across platforms, while reducing development effort and resources. Here’s a list of Frameworks for building full-stack, AI-powered, cross-platform desktop and web apps. This is not an exhaustive list and does not include frameworks like QT, Unity 3D, etc. that are not mainstream options for building light-weight, web and desktop GUI apps.
Flutter: Google’s open-source UI toolkit that utilizes the Dart programming language and the Skia rendering engine. It enables developers to build natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Apps like Google Ads and Alibaba are built with Flutter.
|UI Rendering||Chromium engine||Skia||Built-in OS WebView||Native platform UI components|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux||Android, iOS (community solutions for Windows and macOS)|
|Performance||Relatively high resource usage||Efficient rendering, lower memory footprint than Electron.js||Low memory usage, comparable with native applications||Native performance, but may vary based on the platform|
|Popularity||Widely adopted, large community||Rapidly growing, backed by Google||Emerging, smaller community||Popular, smaller community than React, but widely supported|
|Notable Apps||Visual Studio Code, Slack||Google Ads, Alibaba||SpaceDrive, Xplorer||Instagram, Airbnb, Tesla|
|Learning Curve||Moderate, if familiar with web development||Moderate, may need to learn new language (Dart)||Moderate, may need to learn new language (Rust)||Moderate, if familiar with React|
Web browser-based (HTML\Canvas, WebGL) DOM
Native Rendering (Qt, Skia, Unity, UE
|Electron.js||NodeJs + Chromium engine||pinned version of chromium shipped with every app on every OS. Same UI/UX.||Bundles a full chromium engine. Multiple Electron apps running along side each other each have their own Chromium engine running & can’t share|
|Flutter||Skia + Dart programming language||https://flutterflow.io/|
|tauri.app||JS + Rust||Rust||https://github.com/spacedriveapp/spacedrive https://xplorer.space/|
|react-expo||No desktop support|
|https://sockets.sh/||Has P2P with NAT traversal Supports 5 OSes (Win, Lin, Mac, And, IOS)|
|streamlit||ReactJS + Python|
|**https://atrilabs.com/ **||ReactJS + FastAPI based Full-stack web dev framework for Py devs|
|pynecone.app||ReactJS + Py Backend||https://pynecone.io/|
|gardio.app||SvelteJS+FastAPI + HF\anyUrl w/ grclient||Can use\embed existing HF spaces in the Explore tab|
Convert python scripts into self-contained executables (windows, mac, linux) that doesn’t need a separate Python installation
Flutter: Dart based, smaller memory footprint than Tauri — everything is under control by app on all platforms. Requires slightly better hardware than Tauri as it needs OpenGL/Vulken/Metal support. Programming langauge options:
- flet.dev: Python framework to easily build realtime web, mobile and desktop apps
Tauri.app: Rust based, uses the built in OS WebView, so memory footprint is smaller than Electron. Large chunk of shared memory that “hides” memory usage as part of the OS Programming langauge options:
Tauri, Mix of rust (which is a sweet integration!) and html/css/JS - memory footprint almost the same as Electron! Many bugs are outside of your control since your app will be running on different underlying engine on each PLATFORM and VERSION of the platform (i.e. Ubuntu 18 LTS has a different Webkit version than 20, 21 & 22. Now think exponentially how many different distro’s and versions they all each have… Now include Windows Edge/Blink engine versions, and then also Mac OS Webkit versions… Throw into that different rendering of Blink vs Webkit and different JS gotchas between JSCore & V8 and you have a wonderful recipe for some fun times… 😉 )
Electron.js with Next.js via Nextron
Gradio App via pywebview
Not worth the dev cost to move to Svelte (though sounds very promising in terms of performance compared to frameworks that use a virtual DOM).
Svelte adds scripts & css to HTML with syntactic sugars to achieve almost everything that React can. Svelte Kit is ~ Next.js like App framework. Working with Raw HTML may not be good for dev velocity.
|Flutter via flet.dev||Electron.js via Nextron||Gradio App via pywebview|
|Web-support||Native JS||svelte.js + Python|
|Desktop: Windows, MacOS, LInux||Electron.js (dedicated chrome engine) + Node.js||OS-webview + Python|
|Mobile: IOS, Android||https://flet.dev/blog/flet-mobile-update/#flet-mobile-architecture||OS-webview + Python\native-ML|