For anyone whole follows tiredbees.com you may have realised that I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy. 

But in my work as a developer I have to use many different platforms and OSs and having familiar app that work across all these make life easier.

So, without further ado:

Apple iMessage / Facetime:

I actually really like iMessage, as it completely integrates with the iPhone replacing the old SMS massager and automatically sending either SMS to non-iOS or MacOS devices and iMessages iOS and MacOS devices.

WhatsApp for Windows and Mac OS (My favourite alterative)

WhatsApp is the popular instant messaging app in the world, and I can see why it supports most current mobile platforms (Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 8+, Windows Phone 8.1+, JioPhone and JioPhone 2), Desktop OSs Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9+ as well as through the web browser.

What We Like

  • Free phone and video calls to any WhatsApp user
  • No need to register (app uses your phone number as an identifier)
  • Free SMS and MMS to other WhatsApp users
  • Group text messaging
  • Compatibility with most smartphones
  • Free video chatting

What We Don’t Like

  • Calls are free only with other WhatsApp users
  • Messages encrypted only when all users involved in an exchange use version that support encryption

Facebook Messenger browser based

I personally find this app annoying due to the fact it connects all your Facebook connects to you automatically, and any dubious Facebook apps can send you SPAM from your Facebook friends account.

What We Like

  • Just about everyone is already signed up.
  • Simple, polished design.
  • Voice and video calling.
  • Chat heads.
  • Cute stickers.
  • Payments.

What We Don’t Like

  • Frequent requests for phone number,
  • Just about everyone is already signed up

Microsoft Teams for Windows and Mac OS (I use this at work)

Microsoft was attracted by the success of online collaboration spaces, such as Slack, however being a Microsoft Office 365 app, it integrates perfectly with all the other apps in that suite. Using SharePoint and OneDrive to share files and Skype for video and voice calling all from within Teams. Also, as if integration with native office app wasn’t an it also has a large array of value-add partner, for example Adobe and Atlassian.

What We Like

  • Plugs into the Microsoft Ecosystem for embedded application access. 
  • Allows for super-organized channel management.

What We Don’t Like

  • Looks exactly like Slack. 
  • Can only be used as part of Office 365.

For a more information about Android alternatives to FaceTime, our friend over at Android Joy has written a more in-depth article.

Apple Mail:

A world on Apple Mail, it seems email desktop app have largely been forgotten about by big developer such as Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft. However, I think Apple’s Mail is still the best on both Mac and PC. It is unfortunate that it is not available for PC.

Microsoft Outlook for Windows

Probably the best email client on the Microsoft Windows, however in Microsoft infinite wisdom it uses Word as a rendering engine, resulting in email arriving not looking as intending by the sender and vice versa. 

What we like

  • Feature-packed
  • Tightly integrated calendar and contacts
  • Mobile and web apps now very polished

What we don’t like

  • Not as slick or intuitive as it could be
  • Poor rendering engine

Microsoft Outlook for Mac

For many years Outlook for Mac was an unreliable and underpowered program that was deservedly unpopular. With the introduction of Office 365 and a 2016 version of Outlook for Mac.

What we like

  • Fast, easy account setup
  • Usual excellent integration of mail and calendars
  • Pretty colours
  • New features merely match Apple Mail’s — sometimes less effectively

What we don’t like

  • Pretty colours
  • Doesn’t use Mac OS native notifications

Thunderbird for Windows and Mac OS

Thunderbird is an exceptional free email client that lets you manage as many email accounts as you like from one convenient location. It’s very flexible and can be expanded via plugins that fill any holes in its feature set.

For Windows user Thunderbird is the best choice without spending any money. Much better than the built in Windows 10 email client, Windows Mail, which doesn’t render emails correctly probably because it is based on Outlook nor can you read your email offline. You might as well the G-mail.

What we like

  • Supports an unlimited number of email accounts
  • Expandable via plugins
  • Easy to set up

What we don’t like

  • Some key features rely on third-party extensions

iCloud

I’ve have been using Dot Mac/MobileMe/iCloud since before the iPhone was released. Years ago, Apple’s storage solution for Dot Mac/MobileMe was iDisk and it was not good. iCloud Drive however ingrates seamlessly into perfectly into Mac OS, uploading your documents and desktop to share across Macs, Windows PC and iOS device.

Nextcloud for Windows and Mac OS

Nextcloud offers the leading self-hosted file sync & content collaboration platform combining the convenience and ease of use of public clouds with the security, privacy and control business needs. Our 100% open source self-hosted solution quickly deploys & integrates deep in existing storage and user directories, delivering easy collaboration to your users. It is extensible with over 150 apps from our ecosystem. Users can access data everywhere with our mobile and desktop apps!

What we like

  • A focus on security sets this software apart from other cloud-based data solutions
  • Fully open source
  • As much cloud storage as you like
  • Compatibility with all major operating systems on mobile phones and desktops/laptops

What we don’t like

  • Hard to set-up the server and desktop apps
  • Desktop app is not as well integrated as some.

OneDrive for Window and Mac OS

Microsoft may have been slow in adapting to a cloud-first computing age, but OneDrive now underpins everything else in Microsoft Office 365 – it’s a place to store files, the key to collaboration in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the home of the free online apps too.

Beyond that, OneDrive can sync files between desktops, laptops and mobile devices, making it – on paper – as comprehensive a cloud storage system as you can find.

What we like

  • Clear interface. 
  • Clients for Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Windows and Windows Phone. 
  • Can fetch any file from a PC. 
  • Excellent photo presentation with slideshows and tagging.

What we don’t like

  • Not a share target for Windows 10 apps. 
  • Storage offerings shrinking.
  • Unable to handle long or complex filenames.

Dropbox for Windows and Mac OS

Since 2007, Dropbox has become one of the most well-known names in the SaaS industry. Behind that success is a focus on smart but simple solutions to file management, including the sync folder copied by most of the competition today.

What we like

  • Very fast sync
  • Microsoft Office Online Integration
  • Dropbox Paper

What we don’t like

  • Only up to 1TB
  • Expensive
  • Not zero knowledge
  • No 24/7 support