8 Cross-Platform Electron Apps That Don’t Suck

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Electron is an open-source framework developed by GitHub that helps developers build cross-platform apps with technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The technology is great; however, there are some problems (or challenges) with using some Electron apps. Some Electron apps are slower compared to their native counterparts. Additionally, some have reported absurd CPU usage with Electron apps. Huge file size is also a common problem, but this does not mean all Electron apps have the same problems.

Here is a list of eight Electron apps (not in any particular order) that don’t suck.

Atom is a popular, cross-platform and highly programmable text editor. It is no coincidence that Atom is related to Electron. In fact, Electron was formerly known as Atom Shell. Atom is built on top of Electron, and like Electron, it was developed by GitHub.

Atom Text Editor

The developers of Atom wanted to create the most hackable text editor of the 21st century. And that is exactly what Atom is: a truly hackable text editor. There is support for packages; hence, you can turn the text editor into an IDE of your own with thousands of available packages. The built-in package manager makes it easy to find and install packages. Moreover, if you are concerned about themes, you are not left out. There are several built-in themes to pick from. Even better, you can build your own or download themes created by others.

Atom also makes version control hassle-free with its embedded git. Collaboration is even fun with a package like Teletype. With Teletype, you can share workspace with others and code in real-time. Amazing!

VS Code is another popular, powerful code editor. Thanks to the Microsoft team for this open-source and cross-platform tool. Since its release, VS Code’s adoption has skyrocketed. It has quickly become the primary code editor for developers in various domains.

Visual Studio Code

VS Code is amazingly fast and lightweight. It can also be turned into a highly functional IDE. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of extensions available to support virtually any task or language: Python, Markdown, C++, Java, Go, Fortran, you name it. Another cool feature is IntelliSense. IntelliSense goes beyond autocompletion and syntax highlighting. It is aware of context and provides tips that can save you some precious time. In addition, there is a built-in support for various source control providers likes hg, Visual Studio Team Services, and Source Deport.

Slack is another great Electron app. It is a popular cross-platform productivity app you’ll surely like to have. It is suitable for most types of work activity by providing a simplified communication for groups. As expected, the app is extremely responsive, so you never feel any lag in performance.

Slack Desktop App

A great feature in Slack is the support for apps and bots. Bots help you become extremely productive by doing repetitive tasks. App integration helps you connect various apps to Slack. For instance, Trello can be integrated with Slack to make it possible to add cards directly. Hence, increasing productivity.

Etcher Image Writer

Etcher is an image-writing app that is extremely simple to use. In only three steps, you can begin the burning process. Unlike many other image-writing tools, it verifies burning to ensure the process works perfectly. It is also able to write to SD cards and supports many image formats such as img, zip, raw, and xz. With Etcher you enjoy fast flashing as well. The app has a simple, pretty user interface, making it very easy to navigate.

Mailspring is a great email client. It provides an intuitive interface to manage your email accounts. It has many nice features that easily beat that of other email clients. Firstly, it supports read receipts, a feature that notifies you whether or not emails sent from the client have been read. Also, different email accounts are grouped under one unified inbox, therefore facilitating productivity.

Mailspring Email Client

The app supports several email accounts including Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo, and IMAP/SMTP. Searching emails has been made easier with a lightning fast search bar. Other advanced features like translation and signature support make Mailspring fun to use.

If you struggle checking the items on your Todo list, Everdo is surely an app you should try. The app gives you flexibility in designing an achievable Todo list. With Everdo, you can schedule tasks to be done in the future, and assign energy level and amount of time to spend on them. The “Next” section in the app lists all due and overdue taks. This way you don’t forget to quickly do your overdue tasks.

Everdo

Moreover, you have access to your achieved tasks in case you need them later. Everdo protects your data. All your data lives only on your computer.

Tusk App

Tusk is a refined Evernote desktop app. Although an unofficial Evernote client, it comes with a handful of useful features. It has built-in markdown. Additionally, its auto night mode, and options for dark themes protect your eyes from strain. There’s a focus mode to reduce distraction while you are taking notes and you can customize shortcut keys to make working with the app faster for you. Most importantly, you can easily export your notes as PDF.

Skype

Skype is a popular communication app that has been around for a really long time. Chances are you’ve used it before. Late last year, the app saw a complete overhaul of the user interface and addition of several useful features. Highlights, a feature similar to Snapchat Stories, was added. The allowed size for files was increased. Real-time photo and screen sharing, as well as pop up emoji reactions, have been included.

While these changes overwhelmed many users, it has truly improved the experience, and Linux users were not left out.

Hope you like and use some of these apps. Share some of your great Electron apps in the comment section.

4 comments

  1. Hey Bruno, You should check out Zenkit. It’s like Trello + Wunderlist in one.
    We’d really appreciate any feedback you might have.
    Cheers,
    Eric

  2. Atom is an excellent (if not the best) programmer’s editor. The application is perfect, and the editor has all imaginable features, though it lacks text drag-and-drop. On my laptop with a hq7700 processor, 16 GB DDR4 ram, m.2 SSD disk and nvidia gtx 1050 4 GB graphics card, Linux OS, it takes about 10 seconds to start! The next project I open loads faster. On a regular IDE (Code Lite, Code Blocks etc) it takes less than a second.

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