Open source apps offer an alternative to expensive and often unsafe commercial software. There are tons of incredible free, open source apps out there on Windows that can vastly improve your experience on the platform.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular and highly recommended open source apps.
What are open source apps?
Open source apps are programs that you can run, modify, and redistribute without worrying about licenses. Essentially, such apps are public domain programs and everyone has access to their source code.
However, not all open source programs can be changed and released. So there is a whole discussion about the differences between free software and open source software.
Therefore, before distributing any software, make sure that it is open source and that you have the right to distribute it.
There is no shortage of open source apps on the Internet. From video editors to password managers, if you know where to look, you can find open source alternatives to commercial software.
Below are some of the best open source programs that you should know.
Like Microsoft Outlook, Mailspring is feature-rich. More importantly, there is an open source email engine.
It has all the features you would expect from a modern email client, such as: B. Support for themes and layouts, a unified inbox for all connected accounts and touch support.
Advanced features like read receipts, link tracking, comprehensive localization and even the ability to undo a sent email make Mailspring one of the best alternatives to Outlook.
Mailspring is free to download and use, but not all of its features. You need a $ 8 monthly subscription to get features like read receipts and link tracking.
Mailspring is available on Windows, MacOS X, and Linux.
Download: Mailspring (Free, subscription available)
Minetest is a free, open source voxel-based game engine. In other words, Minetest lets you create games that look like Minecraft. And while you can experience Minecraft-style gameplay in the Minetest sandbox, the scope of the app is much larger.
First, Minetest is a platform for creating other games. So you can download the software, learn about scripts and APIs, and create the game of your dreams.
Second, you can use Minetest to play games created by other people. From survival horror to exploration, there are some cool games that you can play by simply connecting to the game's server.
Finally, you can modify any Minetest-based game and publish it on the Minetest network.
Minetest is available on Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, and Linux.
Download: Minetest (free)
3. The most important
If you want to use the capabilities of Slack in a more secure, privacy-conscious, and open source product, Mattermost is the app for you.
The main selling point of Mattermost is its open source nature. And since the app has an active community aiming to keep it secure, you can be sure that privacy will never be an issue. You can go a step further and manage your Mattermost account yourself to keep it safe.
In addition, Mattermost has all of the features you would expect from a collaboration tool. Features like file sharing, group chat, seamless integration with corporate systems, and the ability to create custom workflows are just a few reasons why Mattermost should be on your radar.
Mattermost is free for small teams and costs a small fee for medium and large companies.
Mattermost offers native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Download: Mattermost (Free Premium Version Available)
HandBrake is an open source video encoder that has been around since 2003. With it, you can convert any video format to a format of your choice. For example, if you want to convert an MKV video file to MP4 video file, you can do it with HandBrake.
You can also batch scan and encode multiple video files at the same time. HandBrake also supports DVD and Blu-Ray encoding.
In short, when it comes to free video encoders, you can't do better than HandBrake.
Handbrake is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Download: Handbrake (free)
Shotcut is a free, open source alternative to commercial video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro. Like Premiere Pro, it's a timeline-based editor that lets you drag and drop assets.
Shotcut's user interface is also very similar to Premiere Pro. You can dock and remove panels just like you can in Premiere Pro.
It also works like Premier Pro and supports hundreds of codecs, 4K resolution and stream capture from HDMI, webcam and Windows DirectShow devices, among other things.
Finally, Shotcut has an extensive collection of free educational resources on its website. These resources go a long way in giving users a strong knowledge base to get the most out of Shotcut.
Shotcut is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Download: Shotcut (Free)
Of all the apps on this list, the most useful one is a web browser. We all use a browser every day. Therefore, our privacy depends heavily on the browser we use. And it's no secret that Google Chrome does almost nothing to protect your privacy.
This is where Vivaldi comes in.
Vivaldi is partially open source. It is based on Chromium, the same engine that Google Chrome supports, but has custom UI code. Because of this, Vivaldi is a mix of open and closed source code.
Since Vivaldi is based on Chromium, you can now install all of your favorite Chrome extensions. It also has a built-in ad and tracking blocker.
In addition, it offers numerous novel features such as tab stacking, extensive customization using themes, custom keyboard shortcuts, a split screen view for different websites and a floating window view. Not to mention, you can change almost any aspect of Vivaldi.
Vivaldi is one of the best open source browsers out there.
Vivaldi is available for Windows, MacOS, Android and Linux.
Download: Vivaldi (free)
Open source is the way to go
No matter how good commercial apps are, the future is open source. Democratizing software is the only way to ensure that businesses protect the privacy of users and their data. And this cannot be done without an open source route.
Until companies understand the importance of data protection and the open source use of their apps, finding alternative software experiences is the only way to protect yourself while enjoying good service.
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About the author
(3 articles published)
By Fawad Murtaza
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