Which apps do you wish were available on Linux?

Also in today's open source roundup: Should you care about Microsoft's Skype for Linux? And how to turn an Android phone into a PC

Which apps do you wish were available on Linux?
bykst via Pixabay

Which apps do you wish were available on Linux?

Linux offers thousands of different apps, for many different purposes. But even Linux doesn’t have every app a user might need or want. There are definitely some very useful apps that just aren't available on Linux.

A writer at OMG Ubuntu recently explored the topic of apps that users might want to be available on Linux.

Joey-Elijah Sneddon reports for OMG Ubuntu:

If you could magically, instantly, create any sort of app for the Linux desktop right now, what would it be?

I am not saying Linux has an app gap. I am not implying that open-source suffers from any sort of major software malaise. Those of us who use Linux full time know that we’re not short of drop-in replacements for a broad range of well-known software types.

…I’m asking more about tools that fill a specific need in a specific way. “App” apps if you will.

There’s reason to be hopeful. Though I’d wager that native app development for Ubuntu on Phones and Tablets is far scarcer than it should be, the lure of Convergence is poised to bring apps like Dekko, Music and Calendar to the Ubuntu desktop.

More at OMG Ubuntu

The OMG Ubuntu article spawned a discussion thread on the Linux subreddit, and folks there offered their own app wishes for Linux:

Dbrass: “CATIA, Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks… Pick any good 3D parametric CAD package.

For those asking, both FreeCAD and Onshape don’t cut it at the moment. ”

CTthemandoll: “The pen functionality on Onenote for windows. It is so good! It is really the only reason I am willing to stand using my (non-pro) Surface 3.”

MichaelTunnell: “I can think of quite a few apps.

Easily the most interesting to me would be something like Tasker where you can automate practically everything. I would freaking love to have something as powerful as Tasker on my desktop.

Other stuff would be like Podcast Addict as gpodder is kind of poor and Podcast Addict is freaking awesome.

Perhaps Greenify to track resource consumption and take actions based on the consumption. This one is not that important of course because it can already been done for the most part just not as easily.

I could probably think of quite a few more but I agree that the vast majority of Android apps I dont care but there are some that would be freaking awesome to have.”

Avindra: “Adobe’s Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Gimp doesn’t cut it for me, and there just isn’t a really good video editor as feature rich as premiere pro on Linux. So I keep a Windows vm.

Libreoffice is a suitable replacement for ms office. The UI isn’t as cute but it’s workable.”

Pranomostro: “A decent text editor. /s”

NinjaPizzaCat: “I heard notepad.exe runs well under wine.”

DealerInAbsolutes: “Red Faction:Guerilla.

Personally though, I wish there were more libre games. Most devs don’t particularly care about maximising performance (looking at you, Skyrim, Minecraft), but if the games were libre, then we could deal with that ourselves. Mods are just a poor substitute for Free Software.”

Negirno: “A music player like Foobar2000.

Yes, I know about Quod Libet and DeaDBeeF but they’re missing things that I would like to have. QL’s search is slow, especially when you “enable” search for custom tags, and while DB is clearly made with the fb2k user in mind, it still doesn’t have a searchable media library.”

Youzhang: “Adobe lightroom, it saves me tons of time.”

JayneHJKL: “Process Hacker. Don’t even try to say top or htop. You honestly have no idea and have never used Process Hacker.”

More at Reddit

Should you care about Microsoft’s Skype for Linux?

Microsoft has been getting some positive media coverage for its new enthusiasm for Linux. It has even recently begun developing Skype for Linux again. A writer at CIO thinks that Skype for Linux is an important signal by Microsoft, and that more of the company’s software could be headed to Linux.

Swapnil Bhartiya reports for CIO:

…two weeks ago, Microsoft announced it was bringing a brand new Skype client to Linux and released an alpha version that is continuously getting updates.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft is using open source WebRTC to power Skype for Linux. (And it’s not just Linux where Microsoft is using open source technologies. Microsoft is using ORTC to power Skype for web, Outlook and Office Web Apps using the new Edge browser.) WebRTC ensures that work on the Skype client for Linux will continue for a long time to come.

As Linus Torvalds once said, “If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.”

The sudden arrival of Skype on Linux clearly shows that Microsoft isn’t neglecting Linux as a platform. Does that mean there is a possibility of Microsoft Word for Linux? I won’t rule it out. After all, you can already run Office 365 on Linux using a browser.

More at CIO

Turn an Android phone into a PC

Android offers the flexibility to do many different things, and now you can even turn your Android phone into a PC.

David Gilbert reports for Trusted Reviews:

Andromium OS promises to create a desktop environment for Android, allowing you to use all your smartphone apps on a big screen — similar to how Chrome OS is now beginning to support Android apps on its desktop platform.

Now the team behind Andromium is back with another solution – the Superbook. Launched earlier this month, the campaign has already clocked up almost $1 million in funding from its initial goal of just $50,000. Clearly there is a market for what the Superbook is promising.

Very much like Motorola’s Lapdock from five years ago, the Superbook is the shell of a laptop into which you plug your smartphone. Rather than the rear-mounted dock we saw with the Lapdock, the Superbook connects with your smartphone through a USB cable.

On the positive side this offers a simple, relatively cheap and straight-forward way of turning an old smartphone into something useful. It is not a replacement for a fully-fledged PC, but if you need something for word processing, browsing the web and answering emails, then Andromium is certainly a cheaper option than buying a new PC provided you have requisite bits knocking around your home.

More at Trusted Reviews

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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