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Top 6 All-in-One Messenger Apps for Linux

by Pratik
best-all-in-one-messenger-apps

Ever since I have started using Ubuntu as my daily driver, I have been searching for good all-in-one messaging apps. Back in Windows, I used Station which met all my requirements and had all the apps I wanted like Trello, Slack, WhatsApp, Gmail, etc. Moreover, the DND features to snooze notifications of individual apps and 1Password integration were an added bonus. Scrolling through GitHub, Reddit, Ubuntu repository, I prepared a list of hand-picked All-In-One messenger apps for Linux and here goes the list.

Best All-in-One Messenger Apps for Linux

1. Shift

Shift is more-of a Gmail focused email client rather than an all-in-one messenger app. But, it does stacks up pretty well in both the roles. For a minimal user, it has a wide list of 700+ apps to choose from. Although, Shift allows you to use only 2 apps in the free variant.  I use a GSuite account and I was happy to see that as soon as I sign in to Gmail, I get Google Calendar and Google Drive connected in the same tab. All the Gmail shortcuts are also retained, so things work the same as in a normal browser window.

Shift is a great app but the free variant is quite restricted. The biggest of them being the “Sent with Shift” signature on every email. The free variant also doesn’t have DND mode, chrome extensions, unified search, etc. About the paid variant, I couldn’t find a password manager integration or a lock-down mode.

What’s good?

  • Desktop notifications
  • Supports multiple accounts for every app (Maximum 2 in case of free variant)
  • 1200+ apps

What’s not?

  • The free variant is quite restricted
  • “Sent with Shift” signature on every email

Total No of Apps Supported: 1200+

Download Shift 

shift - all in one messenger Linux

2. All-in-one Messenger

The most popular app on this list is the All-in-One Messenger. It is a cross-platform Chrome app rather than a standalone software. But, you can launch it actively without Google Chrome. You get all the popular messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Google Hangouts, etc. Although it is quite a bare-bone minimal app, it does have a few nifty features. You can mute notifications for individual applications which really comes in handy when those WhatsApp group notifications start flooding.

All-in-One Messenger is a good choice for minimal users. For power users, there are roughly 13 apps to choose from and most of them are messaging applications. On the collaboration front, you would be slightly disappointed as there’s no Trello, Google Docs, Google Drive, etc.

What’s good?

  • Minimal UI design and footprint
  • Desktop Notifications
  • Supports multiple accounts for a single app
  • Mute notifications of individual apps

What’s not?

  • Fewer collaboration apps
  • Lack of Password App Integration
  • Need to have Chrome or Chromium-based browser installed

Total No of Apps Supported: 10+

Download All-in-One Messenger

all-in-one-messenger-app

3. Rambox

Rambox is the most popular all-in-one messaging app for Linux distros. It has a huge list of Messaging and Email apps like Slack, Messenger, ProtonMail, etc. Apart from these if you don’t find your favorite web apps, you can add the URL within “Custom Service” and start using it within Rambox.

The notifications from all these apps can get distracting at times. Hence, you can hit the DND mode which would block all the app notifications. Another nifty feature is the Master Password which lets you set up a single password for all your apps. Upon setup, Rambox will ask you to enter the password on every startup. My favorite feature is the JS and CSS code injection which simply means it lets you access the inspect element code of the app. Thus you can create your own custom themes or event handlers for Rambox.

Rambox recently moved from the open-source banner to the paid model. The app is now bifurcated into free and paid variants where the latter one costs $4/month. The paid variant provides 600+ apps, text search, spell-check, ad-blocker, etc.

What’s good?

  • 100+ app support
  • Master Password lock
  • Saves apps and preferences to the cloud
  • Multi-device support
  • DND mode and desktop notifications

What’s not?

  • Third-party password app integration

Total No of Apps Supported: 100+

Download Rambox

rambox - all in one messenger Linux

Read: 6 Best Sticky Notes for Ubuntu to Take Fast Notes

4. Franz

Franz is another popular all-in-one messaging app available for different platforms. It has all the basic features like desktop notifications, DND, multiple accounts, etc. Compared to Rambox, Franz has fewer services but mostly collaborative ones like Zendesk, Trello, GitHub, etc.

Just like Rambox, Franz supports cloud synchronization of your service list and preferences. My most favorite feature about Franz is the “Franz Todo” list. It’s not a major thing but it comes in really handy to just copy-paste tasks from Slack or Google Keep onto the To-do drawer by the side. Unlike, Rambox you can not only access inspect elements of Franz but also inspect elements of individual services and inject CSS or JS code.

Franz is an overall idle app for everyone but the most annoying thing about it is that it requires you to create an account. The account creation is mandatory even if you don’t want cloud sync.  The free variant of Franz should be good for personal usage but it has a lot of caveats. Firstly, it would randomly make you wait 10 seconds asking you to upgrade to the premium plan. It doesn’t really matter at the start but slowly it gets on your nerves and forces you to go in the paywall. Lastly, Franz counts multiple accounts as service so if you have 2 accounts for Gmail, it would count as 2 different services.

What’s good?

  • 100+ app support
  • Saves apps and preferences to the cloud
  • Multi-device support
  • DND mode and desktop notifications
  • Manipulate inspect element of individual services

What’s not?

  • Requires to sign in to use
  • The free variant is barely usable
  • No password lock

Total No of Apps Supported: 70+

Download Franz

franz-wait-time

5. Wavebox

If you are a corporate GSuite user, Wavebox might be the ideal app for you. I have also recommended it in my best Linux email clients for Ubuntu and it is worthy of a mention here as well. First up, the free variant allows you to only use a maximum of 2 Gmail accounts. And as soon as you add your Gmail account, it adds all GSuite applications within in a tabbed manner. This is the only app in this list which lets you use Google’s entire collaborative app suite. Along with Gmail, you can use other messaging and collaboration apps like Trello, Slack, etc.

Wavebox is a powerful tool yet it plays it cool when it comes to resources. It smartly puts apps to sleep in turn reducing the RAM usage.

What’s good?

  • Cloud sync support
  • Gmail with a full suite of GApp support
  • Extension support like LastPass, Grammarly, Boomerang for Gmail, etc
  • Inject CSS and JS code for each service
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts

What’s not?

  • Requires to sign in to use

Total No of Apps Supported: 1200+

Download Wavebox

wavebox - all in one messenger Linux

6. Station

I have been using Station for a long time on Windows and recently it released for the Linux platform. The best thing about Station is the integrated 1Password support. Moreover, Station provides a few Boosted apps such as Google Drive, Slack, etc. These apps are integrated within Station and you can hit CTRL + T and quickly jump within the app. For instance, since I am a GSuite user, I have set up Google Drive and Slack under Station. This lets me quickly jump from a Google Doc to a private conversation in Slack within a click.

What’s good?

  • It is available as AppImage so works on any Linux platform
  • Quick keyboard shortcuts to jump between the apps and pages
  • 1Password Integration and chrome-extension support like Mixmax, Gmelius, Clearbit, Mailtracker, etc.
  • DND and power saver mode
  • Gmail support with full GSuite app
  • Integrated app support for Slack, Google Drive which lets you search within the app

What’s not?

  • At times, resource management gets aggressive and kills notifications
  • Requires to sign in to use

Total No of Apps Supported: 670+

Download Station

station app for linux

Wrapping Up

For minimal users, I would recommend sticking to the All-in-One messenger. For power users, Rambox is still the best option out there. In case you are into the Google ecosystem, Wavebox should be the ideal choice as it provides the entire GSuite and it is much more resource-efficient than the Chromium-based web browsers.

For more issues or queries regarding Linux, let me know in the comments below.

Also Read: 7 Best Open Source Network Monitoring Tools for Windows and Linux

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