Yes. Desktop Development is Still Relevant.
Currently, we see more and more apps being developed for mobile and web platforms. Many engineers in the software development field are choosing web apps over desktop development to prosper in their careers. While it is true that most of the business functions that were once performed on desktop-based applications, in the past, are now commonly performed on web-based applications. However, many use cases signal that desktop development is still common and winning the race.
In this article, we will dive into Desktop App Development and explore how it is still relevant in the web, cloud, and mobile development age.
What is Desktop Applications Development?
It isn't easy to imagine our life without desktop applications. We have been using such apps as a web browser, a desktop app allowing us to access many web applications through the internet. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a desktop app enabling developers to write and execute code.
Desktop software apps are developed to run on personal computer systems and laptops. What makes desktop development even worth considering over a web application is its speed and performance as it is independent of internet connectivity.
Users can install desktop software or applications from websites or use external drives to complete the installation process. After the installation, users can access the application software without needing to establish an online connection. One of the key features of desktop apps is efficiency – these are highly customized as per the user's requirements and flexibility. For example, PhotoShop, AutoCAD, or Ozone are some desktop software for specialized and professional use cases.
Types of Desktop Frameworks
There are multiple frameworks and languages used to build desktop applications. These can be categorized based on the platform they support or cross-platform technologies that can be integrated along with programming languages and libraries.
As the new Windows and cross-platform app development technologies rise, Desktop Development offers more power, processing speed, reliability, and user experience.
Windows App Development
Microsoft provides a toolkit specially designed for the Windows app developer community. Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is the new technology for Windows professional developers to build flawless backend, coding frameworks, and frontends that offer seamless business-specific functionality. Microsoft toolkit provides the best solution to build high-performing applications with advanced and accessible features of frameworks.
MacOS App Development
Apple encourages its software developers to build desktop apps that are compatible with the architecture of Apple systems. Objective C is the preferred language, and Cocoa is the most popular framework for macOS development.
Cross Platform App Development
Cross-platform desktop applications run across different operating systems like Windows, Macintosh, and Linux/Unix platforms without compromising functionality, quality, and usage.
One of the main benefits of using a cross-platform framework is its unified codebase which can be reused for SaaS-based apps. C++ is the recommended language that runs with QT Framework to develop cross-platform desktop apps.
Why Desktop Development Isn’t Going Anywhere Soon?
Desktop apps weigh down web apps- they perform better than web applications and they don't require an Internet connection to work. For example, some industry-specific functions like scientific computing, professional-level content, or hardcore gaming software where desktop apps are still used and preferred over web counterparts.
Here's a list of some benefits desktop apps will always offer over web-based apps.
High Degree of Privacy
Desktop apps offer a high degree of privacy compared to web-based applications. Using a desktop application means that all the data the user creates with that application's help stays within the system. This makes data accessibility much easier for the users. Moreover, this data is less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. While the data that through web applications is stored online and thus is susceptible to security and privacy thefts.
No Annual or Monthly Charges
As desktop apps run on a local server, there are no expenses related to purchasing a server space to access the application. Servers come at a cost, and those expenses are passed along to the users for accessing that application. Usually, this is done in the form of a paid subscription. In desktop development, users need not worry about the bills to use the software. All the desktop apps will either be free, or you'll have to make a one-time payment for lifetime access. Thus, desktop apps are free of monthly or yearly payment hustles.
In many office setups, an interrupted connection can cause the loss of thousands of dollars to a business. Not to mention the inconvenience of accessing the mission-critical business data when it is needed. Desktop apps come with great convenience as there is no dependency on the internet connection to get started with the work.
Desktop applications are built for specific purposes to handle professional business applications such as video editing, real-time audio editing, 3-D modeling, etc. It is easier to make custom changes on a desktop application that keeps users' needs and requirements in mind than a web-based application that uses a one-size-fits-all approach.
Optimal Usage of Operating System's Resources
As stated earlier, desktop applications have the highest processing power since these operate without any internet connection. Higher processing power is not the only advantage you avail yourself of when using a desktop app.
Desktop applications offer various features that are not suitable or possible enough for you to take advantage of using web applications. Take a graphical processing unit (graphics card or GPU) as an example. A GPU is a built-in resource in your central processing unit that you can use when working through a desktop application such as a game or graphic design software.
You can alter the card's properties to change your games' visual specifications or have a better and more realistic look to the object or model you are rendering through 3D desktop software. A graphics card allows you to view the better and more precise versions of the visuals through a desktop app via GPU than you usually see on web games or applications since they don't support such features.
Brand recognition is always a crucial aspect of a business. Desktop apps are one way through which companies can improve branding. As users hit the shortcut – Alt+Tab for switching among the applications in their system, a business gets free branding.
Desktop Development is Here to Stay
Even though mobile and web applications dominate the world, the market for desktop development is still evolving. Software vendors are not only adapting to the new technologies to build the latest desktop apps but are introducing new ones to fill the gap. Another great thing about desktop apps is that the new generation of app-building technologies is not limited to the desktop. The future is integrated- users can try it out on the web and switch to the desktop version for easy accessibility.
The crux of the story is that desktop development is very much alive, with the evolution of technology happening much faster. If you're thinking of a custom desktop app, Icreon can help you build that based on your requirements and users' needs to outsmart the competition. Explore Icreon’s Software Services.