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Stop that Skype install! Here are the chat apps you should be using on Windows or MacOS

In last few years, it seems like everyone has ditched AIM, Trillian, and the like for Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and plain-old text messages. And while person-to-person instant messaging is something we all do on our phones now, desktop clients are far from dead. In fact, they’re currently enjoying something of a renaissance.

While apps like Trillian and AIM have fallen to the wayside, companies like Slack have seized an opportunity. By reaching back into the mists of time and resurrecting the ancient traditions of mIRC, Slack has ignited an arms race between Silicon Valley’s biggest players. Between Microsoft, Facebook, and dozens of smaller companies, it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone is trying their hand at a chat app. Microsoft’s recently-introduced Teams is simply one of the more recent apps to join the fray.

Chat is the “next big thing,” at least for the moment. If you Google “chat apps,” for instance, you’ll be presented with a buffet of choices. And like a real buffet, once you have a look around, you’ll quickly realize that most of your options are just slight variations of the same thing. With so many choices, which chat app or apps should you be using? Well, there are really only two viable choices worth considering.

Short answer? Slack. Long answer? Slack and Discord. Here, we have some additional details, just in case you’re curious about why you should use either offering.


Slack is the de facto king for now, and for good reason. The software is slick, feature-rich, and pretty much ubiquitous. These days, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a business using Slack. It’s everywhere, not because it’s the default chat application for Windows or MacOS, but because it’s the best.

Slack Desktop - Windows

Why? The interface is clean, stylish, and straightforward. You have your channels on the left, your direct messages directly below. You also have Slackbot, which essentially amounts to Siri and Alexa’s less-helpful cousin. You can have Slackbot set reminders, and you can even customize it to respond to certain commands.

With dozens of integrations — including support for a host of other productivity suites — Slack works well with just about every service out there, and businesses can further customize it to fit their needs. Plus, it’s a bit of a hot property right now. The Slack team is constantly updating the app to roll out new features, squash bugs, and make your chat experience as pleasant as possible.

Plus, it’s free. There are also no ads, or limits on how many users you can have. There are paid plans, and they provide a more robust experience and added storage space, but most users can get by with the free version.

Need another reason why Slack is the best chat app on the market today? It runs on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and directly in your web browser, without any major variations between platforms.

Download now from:

Slack iOS

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