Apps

12 must-have cross-platform applications

Firefox

It's no longer unusual for organizations--or even individuals--to use a mix of Windows, Linux, and Mac, so we need applications that work across these different platforms. TechRepublic contributors have discovered their favorites as they work with them day to day, so here is a list to get you started. Feel free to make a case for your own favorites in the comments.

There is little doubt that one of the most popular cross-platform applications is Firefox. No other browser has come as close to usurping Internet Explorer as the reigning king of the Web. A good cross-platform browser has become essential, since so many applications and services are now handled online. Thankfully, the rise in popularity of cross-platform browsers like Firefox has helped ensure that companies don't lock down their sites and services to a single browser.

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

25 comments
justPaulo
justPaulo

Excelent article. I would include TrueCrypt too.

dgoranss
dgoranss

I have been using Skype for a while and almost stopped using MSN. The only drawback is that not all of my contacts have found Skype yet.

aloysiusjegan
aloysiusjegan

Hi, I hope SVN also in the same category. I used SVN in Linux and Windows. Mac OS X, no idea :(

Jaqui
Jaqui

actually Miro [ http://getmiro.com ] performs better. and is cross platform. It's focused on being a player for internet TV stations, but it plays all formats natively, and can be used to play local video content. Acrobat reader by adobe, if you can accept the massive resource hog of it. It's almost as bad a java for size to install, and as hungry for ram / cpu cycles to run. and if you want open office to work completely, add the massive bloat of sun's jvm to it. Cause ti doesn't have full functionality without it. That makes it absolutely useless. MySQL Administrator instead of PHPMyadmin? the free, web based phpmyadmin has always been completely cross platform, and allows for full control over MySQL. [ and the Postgresql version phppgadmin does the same for postgresql database engine, with is also completely cross platform, if you have ntfs on your windows system. ]

Richard.Vickery
Richard.Vickery

I tend think Google's Chrome is much better than Firefox only because, on Linux, it uses gnash much better than Firefox

jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527
jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527

I would take exception to Adobe's product for PDF viewing. While it is still the most commonly used (for now), I personally have been making a hard push with all of my customers to try out PDFXchange Viewer. So far, not one have chosen Adobe over this open source product. Aside from an astounding number of tools to mark and fill in your pdf forms, PDFXchange Viewer suffers from neither the bloat nor the constant updates that Adobe does. I would suggest it to anyone looking for an alternative.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Don't patronize their products... There are many other PDF viewers that work well on Linux, aren't bloated, don't try to update all the time, etc...

TexasJetter
TexasJetter

I agree that Adobe is way to bloated. While it do keep it around I switch to FoxIt PDF, but recently found Nitro PDF Reader. It is free (be sure to search for PDF Reader, they have paid products as well) and includes not only basic markup, but a PDF printer as well. The interface imulates MS Office 2010 ribbon bar, which I am growing to like.

mbesten
mbesten

Thanks for that tip. The Reader and Writer combined in one piece of software is the best feature compared to other apps. Any problems with the beta?

SES21
SES21

I've also been testing Nitro PDF Reader beta but it's a long way from cross-platform! It's Windows-only & they say they don't even have any Mac plans in the foreseeable future.

TexasJetter
TexasJetter

Haven't noticed any problems with "beta". Ocasionally I will come across a PDF that will not be displayed properly, but I have found that as an issue with others (FoxIt etc).

Tiger_Cane
Tiger_Cane

While it suffers from some of the same ills as Adobe reader, I have found FoxIT PDF Reader to be a great substitute. It is also light - 10% of the space requirements of adobe reader I have not yet looked at PDFXchange Viewer so thanks for posting that one.

ron
ron

I personally like Virtualbox, its also cross plate form I believe it to have a much smaller footprint then VMware. It is now flying under the Oracle flag since they took over Sun Microsystems. The new version is easy to install and runs flawless on Win XP w/2gigs. I've been using it for well over a year now.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

in my Linux machines -- home and work. Works great, allows me to use Windows when I need to without any internet risks involved. Since both OSs run at the same time, my Linux base OS provides for all my internet access, web surfing, firewalling, etc. I abandoned VMware after trying Vbox, since it runs fast, its' more robust, easier to install & maintain, reliable, and a nicer package. Free, too. Recommended!

sabumd
sabumd

I fully agree that Virtualbox is the best cross platform software, not vmware.

ABrown
ABrown

i've beewn using Virtualbox for a few couplke years and i love it over others, runs nice on my Win 7 with like 12 vm's(linux n windows)

edwinmontes
edwinmontes

INSTEAD O ACROBAT READER I PREFER PDF FOXIT READER

rpnrch
rpnrch

With you there. Can't stand Acrobat reader, try to use Foxit for all things PDF.

WebTek2
WebTek2

..and I use it in conjunction with Carbonite, which is NOT cross-platform capable, but with DropBox you can share files with several PC's from one account. However, DropBox needs to follow suite with Carbonite, they do not impose any quota limits on your backups but they do recommend not to backup more than a dozen or so GB's. :-)

SES21
SES21

CrashPlan *is* cross-platform & offers lots more options than Carbonite - check it out!

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

Teamviewer and Synergy+ both rock! Now there's an iPhone app for Teamviewer and I can connect to a PC from my phone if need be. (Had to do this twice now) Excellent remote support tool!