Question

What desktop software do you use that still doesn't have a collaborative, web app, SaaS alternative?

There's Figma as an Illustrator or Sketch competitor ... and that's one of the few creative programs built as a collaborative web app. While CRMs, project management, email tools, database builders, and more went online over the past couple decades, there are still a wide variety of software that's stuck on the desktop.

What desktop software do you still use, things that still don't have a web app alternative and aren't built around collaboration?

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MikeRaia's avatar
2 years ago

The Adobe Creative Suite, Techsmith Camtasia (product videos), and Microsoft Office (50% desktop/50% online). Web Outlook is actually really good and I've been trying to use it 100% of the time.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MikeRaia )
2 years ago

Creative Suite is a huge one; there not only aren't web app replacements for most of the tools (aside from Figma vs. Illustrator), there often aren't many desktop alternatives to their apps.

On standard Office, do you use the web apps for Word/Excel/PowerPoint much if at all, and if so, do you think you could switch to using them full-time if needed?

On Web Outlook, I presume that's the Outlook with Microsoft 365 Business, not Outlook.com? If so, does web Outlook now let you check email from other email accounts?

1 point
MikeRaia's avatar
@MikeRaia (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

I could switch to Office on the Web I think. I wish there were less issues with DropBox/Chrome/Office 365 though. It's not real seamless currently.

I'm referring to the Office 365 Outlook, yes. Not sure about adding additional email accounts.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MikeRaia )
2 years ago

Neat to hear. Yeah, seems like the best experience would be using Office web apps inside the Office 365/OneDrive ecosystem; anywhere else would potentially have issues.

0 points
ivmirx's avatar
@ivmirx (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Figma can't replace Illustrator when it comes to, well, illustration. I don't think that Illustrator is still used for UI design nowadays when there's Sketch-like Adobe XD for this.

The best Illustrator alternative would be Affinity Designer (the same goes for Photoshop and Affinity Photo).

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ivmirx )
2 years ago

@ivmirx Fair enough; in many ways, it likely competes more with Sketch and Adobe XD, as you mentioned, rather than Adobe Illustrator.

That said, @MartinBekerman has been making some insane illustrations in Figma. Mindblowing.

2 points
gotwalt's avatar
2 years ago

Mimestream - still in public beta, but already the best desktop email client I've used in a while. Essentially an Apple Mail clone, but tightly integrated into Gmail / Google Apps. Fast search, awareness of filters / tags / other organization structures that just don't translate into the Apple version of the same idea. Fast and actually native.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @gotwalt )
2 years ago

Mimestream looks really nice. The best of Mail.app mixed with the best of Gmail could be a winner. I actually may have to give that a try; looks like it could be a solid alternative to Superhuman for people who don't need all of its features.

1 point
maguay's avatar
2 years ago

Writing software has always been a big one for me. Even though there are web apps for writing—even Draftin for focused writing—I've never found a web app that fit my writing workflow well. As such, I typically write in iA Writer or Ulysses on Mac or iPad, then copy that text into Google Docs for editing or our CMS to publish.

And then as @MikeRaia mentioned, Adobe Creative Suite keeps me on the desktop. Lightroom has a web app but it's far too basic; Photoshop (or other desktop alternatives like Pixelmator) still make it easier to even do simple tasks like crop and resize images than web apps do. The good thing there is, they're tasks that aren't collaborative, so they're fine confined to the desktop. InDesign is one that I'd love to see remade as a web app, in Figma's image, as publishing could absolutely benefit from being more collaborative.

0 points
MikeRaia's avatar
@MikeRaia (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

I've been writing directly in Grammarly for a while. No complaints and plenty of advantages.

0 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MikeRaia )
2 years ago

Interesting, I've always copied near-final copy into Grammarly for editing, then copied it from there to wherever I'm publishing. Never used it to draft the initial copy. But that's a great idea, as if you hid the assistant, it's a reasonably clean, minimal editor (no Markdown support, though).

0 points
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