In recent years, the advancement of desktops has been growing explosively, and there are more and more improvements and updates regarding the systems operating in Windows, Mac, and Linux which requires constant maintenance to keep the applications up to date.
In order to get a better version of the applications to operate desktop systems cross-platform, Electron is an eye-catching star in the developer’s world. We have introduced the 10 Most Popular Electron Apps of 2020 last year, and we want to do a follow-up and introduce some popular and widely-used apps in 2021.
So, does the topic sound interesting? Let’s take a look at the introduction of Electron first and find out more about the 10 most popular Electron apps of this year.
What is Electron exactly?
There are several advantages of using Electron for developers to build desktop applications, and the first one is that Electron Apps can run natively on most popular desktop systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Normally you have to code one app for each and every system which is very time-consuming for developers since they have to spend more time learning different languages, how the system work, as well as optimizing the visuals and layouts to give a smoother experience to fit the system.
The beauty of the Electron framework is that it takes care of all that. It will automatically make your app responsive so it will fit any screen no matter if you are using a small or big one. Also, everything is coded in one single code base.
However, even though Electron sounds more convenient and easier to use with a large number of developers and users, there are still some downsides. Every application comes with entire runtime, the quality of some apps is poor, and they may be too large download sizes and high memory usage.
Despite these, the community on the platform is actively working on making the framework better and improving the user experience.
So, why don’t we take a look at the video below to get a better understanding of Electron?
Overall, the benefits of Electron outweigh the downsides, and in the following, we list the 10 most popular Electron apps in 2021. Let’s look at these inventions that make our lives more convenient.
The 10 most popular Electron apps of 2021
1. Microsoft Teams
Many of us have been using Microsoft Teams in the office especially from 2020 until now since a large number of people have to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic time. With over 115 million active users on Microsoft Source, it is safe to say that Microsoft is truly a dominant player when it comes to communication in the office landscape.
To give an overview, Microsoft Teams is a persistent chat-based collaboration platform complete with online meetings, document sharing, and many more extremely useful features for business communications. Microsoft Teams is a big competitor with Slack, and we will mention it below.
You can find a quick overview of how to use Teams from the video below.
Zoom has become one of the leading video conference software apps recently, per default 100 participants are allowed to join online and with plugins you can have up to 1000 participants, making it perfect for large company meetings or if you simply just want to hang out remotely with a large group of people.
And of course, Zoom also includes nearly all of the features, tools, and businesses looking for a video conferencing system.
For those people who care about privacy and do not want your chat data to be stored in one of Mark Zuckerberg’s thousand data centers, Signal is a good choice for you.
Signal is an open-source communication app that works just like most of the other popular chat applications. The big difference is that Signal takes privacy very seriously and carefully. All the communication is encrypted. And it is also worth mentioning that Signal is completely non-profit, has no ads, does not collect information, and does not spy on its users.
When it comes to gaming, streaming has become one of the major industries in recent years, there is another cool Electron app for gamers and streamers, and that is Streamlabs. Most streamers today use Twitch and it is the most popular and powerful tool to be able to broadcast.
Streamlabs is a completely free application and it is really simple and easy to use, and there are many cool features that can make your broadcast look much more professional. And of course, you don’t have to be streamers or gamers to use this application.
5. Slack for Desktop
A great thing about Slack is that it is compatible with many apps such as DropBox and Trello which will help you streamline your workflow and reduce context switching basically. Furthermore, the slack bots can also make you more efficient and productive by taking care of repetitive tasks for you.
In case you want to know more about Slack, then check out the video below.
6. WordPress for Desktop
If you are browsing the web regularly then you definitely have visited a website built with WordPress. WordPress was created in 2003 and it is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world, powering more than 35% of all the websites on the internet.
It is estimated that over 75 million sites have been built with it and some big brands including BBC, Sony Music, Walt Disney, and TechCrunch are using it as well.
The Electron-based desktop version of WordPress makes it even easier than ever to create and manage the content of the page without even opening up your web browser which was required before when it only existed as a web application.
WordPress has been around for almost 20 years now and there is a lot of interesting facts about it. And this is also the reason why we wrote a separate article about it. You can see the article of 7 Mind Blowing Facts About WordPress for more information.
Skype is probably the oldest communication application that exists from our memories. The market has become more difficult and there have been more competitors popped up in recent years. However, Skype is still one of the most popular and well-established applications for conference and video calls.
Skype has taken many different forms over the years but it is now a part of the cross-platform Electron family. This newer version of Skype provides a much cleaner, more stripped-down, and faster experience to improve user experience. So now you can focus more on the purpose, and that is communication. Thanks to Electron for making a lot of things easier.
8. Pexels Desktop
If you want to quickly find high-quality images that are completely free to use without worrying about copyrights, then Pexels is a good choice for you. For many publishers, writers, and content creators, Pexels is a real lifesaver.
Pexels is a giant library that contains full of royalty-free stock images, and it is really easy to copy. The photos are open to use for the articles. Previously, Pexels only existed as a regular website, but to make life easier for users, they developed an Electron app. The Electron application makes it much faster to search, copy and manage images locally.
If Microsoft Teams and Slack are two giants in the corporate world, then Discord is another big giant for communication aimed more at everyday things. It is a free chat application just exactly like Slack and WhatsApp, it can be used by everyone but it is designed and used mostly by gamers in the gaming world.
Discord users can communicate with voice calls, video calls and create communities called “servers”. Since it was created in 2015, Discord has become extremely popular and now there are over 400 million registered users.
10. WhatsApp Desktop
Whatsapp is one of the most popular and widely used communication apps in the world, and there are around 2 billion users from the statistics in February 2020. Most of us know WhatsApp as a mobile app, but do you know the app can also be used on the desktop? The desktop WhatsApp actually used Electron and NodeJS, running on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
The desktop app is of course created in Electron and is fully cross-platform compatible. With over half a billion users all over the world, it definitely has been ranked number one. But since WhatsApp is more popular and used on the phone and not as big on desktop as on mobile, we put it further down.
However, we still have to admit that we can not underestimate its importance and popularity.
An additional bonus: Windows 95
The list above includes the most popular electron apps of 2021. But we just can not resist sharing another app that is still worth mentioning which we think is still one of the most interesting Electron apps but not on the top 10 list, and that is windows 95.
Some of us may be familiar with Microsoft’s operating system that came out in the mid-nineties, namely Windows 95. And yes, you can actually run it today directly on your computer. Thanks to Electron, you can run Windows 95 on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
You can still play vintage and old-school games and get to recall some memories from them. And we’re really talking about the whole of Windows 95 with all the tools, utilities, games, and so on.
Although this version already came out more than 25 years and obviously there is no one really using it today, people apparently have new options and other preferences to use nowadays. However, we do think that it is still an interesting project and actually gives people more than a nice and nostalgic trip.
If you want to go for a nostalgic journey and recall some childhood memories, you can still download it here.
As you all can see from the list of 10 most popular Electron apps of 2021 above, these apps are really communication dominant which we also think is a trend these recent years.
This is actually not that surprising since many of us have to get used to the lockdown situation, working from home, and not able to meet friends in our spare time due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic that started at the beginning of 2020.
And it is also a part of our lives now so no wonder there is an explosion in the popularity of communication platforms are built with Electron, and it perfectly explains how these communication apps surge.
But just as we humans find new ways and improve the quality to communicate with each other and at the same time, have no choice but to come up with some methods to get our lives still go on during this unpredictable Covid-19 situation, so does technology change in the same way.
And there is no doubt that this technology has made our lives a lot more convenient and easier. Electron is definitely something that blurs the barriers between different platforms and makes our favorite apps more accessible.
At Wiredelta, we believe that the future of app development is cross-platform frameworks, such as Electron which makes the desktop environment a lot more friendly and easier to maintain. We will keep updating the new information and articles from time to time, so if you are interested, please don’t forget to stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter.