I don't know about you, but I use a lot of different web-based tools. From Google Mail, Calendar, and Docs, to Slack, and plenty of various websites. Those all take up browser tabs, which leads to a crowded browser window. Fortunately there are a number of ways to avoid those scrunched up tabs and even place some of your more important tools in their own, specialized window. One such tool is Wavebox.
Wavebox is a cross-platform application that allows you to work with multiple accounts, add web links, use cloud services (such as Google Drive and Office 365), and offers plenty of configuration options to suit any level of user.
Let's install Wavebook and see how to make use of this cloud-friendly tool.
Before we get into the installation, it needs to be said that Wavebox does offer a free account, as well as a paid version. The free version allows you to add only two Google accounts and doesn't support Microsoft services or adding websites. The Pro version ($19.95/year) includes Microsoft services support (OneDrive, Tasks, Calendar, Outlook and Office 365), website links, Slack and Trello support, and unlimited accounts. There is also an Enterprise version which includes SAML-based single sign on, custom account integration and APIs, custom branding, and priority support. For more information on pricing and features, check out the Wavebox matrix.
Wavebox can be installed on Linux, macOS, and Windows. I'll be demonstrating the installation on a daily build of Ubuntu 17.10. If you work on a different platform, you'll simply alter the installation instructions to suit your operating system.
Installing on a Debian-based Linux distribution is simple:
- Download the .deb file from the downloads page
- Open a terminal window
- Change to the directory containing the download
- Issue the command sudo dpkg -i Wavebox*.deb
- Allow the installation to complete
If your installation errors out, you can fix that with the command:
sudo apt-get install -f
Once installed, you will find the Wavebox launcher in your desktop menu. Start up the application and you're ready to add accounts.
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The first thing you must do is add an account. How an account is added will depend on the type of account. When you first open Wavebox, you will be prompted to create a user account or log into your current account. If you opt to log in with either Google or Microsoft (Figure A), Wavebox should automatically add the respective, supported services. That is not the case.
I have found that, even after logging in with either a Google or Microsoft account, when I go to add one of their services (such as Inbox or Outlook), I still have to log into those accounts. In other words, you can skip the clicking "Already a user? Login" button as it seems to serve no purpose.
So instead of attempting to log into Wavebox with an account, bypass that and click which account you want to add. For example, with a Google account, you can choose between GMail or Inbox (Figure B).
Click the account you want to add, login with that account's credentials, and Wavebox will walk you through the addition with three steps: Personalize, sign in, and configure (Figure C).
Once you complete that, the account will be added and can be accessed from the left navigation (Figure D).
At the bottom left corner of the main Wavebox window, you can click the + button to add another account. If you have websites that you might want to include, click the + button and then select Any Web Link. In the resulting window, walk through the wizard to add the site (Figure E).
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You can add an interactive icon to your notification tray, by clicking on the Setup wizard in the left navigation (Figure F). After the Setup Wizard opens, you only have to configure the tray icon (border and background color) and then click Finish. This will add the Wavebox icon to your notification tray.
From the Notification icon, you can get a quick overview of recent messages (from your different accounts) or even click to compose a new message (Figure G).
Definitely worth a try
And that's pretty much the gist of Wavebox. Although you could get by with these services in a single browser, you'll find options available to you within this particular application not found within a standard web browser. Wavebox isn't revolutionary, but for some it might be just the tool needed to make the daily grind a bit less grind-y.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.