Mobile apps are far more popular than their desktop counterparts, but most people still rely on laptop or desktop computers, either for work or just browsing the web at home.
Whether you’ve invested in Apple’s Mac line or a Windows PC, there are absolutely some worthwhile desktop apps out there to get more out of your computer.
Here are the five apps – for both Windows and Mac – you should download.
Skitch lets you quickly and easily annotate images
Skitch is a Mac app that lets you draw on and annotate images. Screenshot an image or upload a photo from your computer, add arrows, text, or symbols, then export and share.
Skitch is free in the Mac App Store.
Giphy Capture helps you turn any video into a GIF
- Giphy Capture
In the past, creating GIFs used to be a multi-step process or, at the very least, required using some very suspect-looking apps. Giphy Capture not only makes that process quicker, but it also has an intuitive interface that anyone could figure out: You can capture, edit, and upload GIFs with just a few clicks.
Giphy Capture is free in the Mac App Store.
Flume brings all the features of Instagram to your desktop
For those who use Instagram for work – or anyone who’s Insta-famous – having to switch from desktop to phone can be frustrating and time-consuming. Enter Flume, an app that aims to create a “beautiful Instagram experience” on your Mac. The app lets you scroll through photos on your desktop with ease – and at full resolution. The pro version even lets you upload photos and videos directly from your desktop.
Flume is free in the Mac App Store.
Franz combines all of your messaging platforms in one place
Communicating via multiple messaging apps can be confusing but, at times, necessary. Luckily, Franz is here to take the clutter out and make it easier to toggle in between apps by combining services like Slack, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and more on one simple, modern dashboard.
Franz is free to download for Mac and Windows.
Spark is a better way to do email
Spark used to only be available for iPhone and iPad, so the launch of a Mac version last November was exciting.
Spark is a smart email app that simplifies and curates your messages, combining them into groups and notifying you of the ones you likely want to see. The app is modern, streamlined, and reminiscent of Slack, so users will feel right at home.
Spark is free to download in the Mac App Store.
Polarr is a pro-level photo editor at an amateur-level price
Polarr is a powerful photo editing tool that rivals some of the best software out there. With much of the same functionality as Adobe Lightroom – toning, curve adjustment, effects, and more – the app will solve nearly all of your basic photo editing needs. And with an easy-to-use interface, you won’t be confused by numerous buttons or too many features.
Polarr is free to download in the Microsoft store.
Drawboard PDF provides an easier way to annotate documents
- Drawboard PDF
With Drawboard PDF, you can do away with Adobe Acrobat Reader for good. The streamlined app lets you annotate documents with drawings or notes and share them with your team, eliminating the wasted paper and confusion.
Drawboard PDF is available in the Microsoft store for $9.99.
Vectr makes it simple to create beautiful designs
If you’ve ever struggled to create a resume or brochure on Microsoft Word, you know how challenging it is to create and how unattractive the end result is. With Vectr, you can create beautiful designs, logos, or mock-ups and share them with collaborators. Plus, the app is designed for both beginners and advanced designers, so it’s easy to use.
Vectr is free in the Microsoft store.
Flipboard is your own personalized magazine
Flipboard may have originated on the iPad, but it’s actually one of the best Windows apps out there, and for good reason: The beautiful, free app provides an easy way to personalize the things you like to read, catch up on the latest news, and save articles for later.
Flipboard is free in the Microsoft store.
Todoist is a virtual to-do list
If you’re still writing your to-do lists on sticky notes, Todoist may be the app for you. The virtual to-do list lets you organize your agenda, sync it with other devices, and share tasks with others. There’s a free version of the app, plus two other pricing tiers for the ultra-organized.