In 2020, efficient communication tools have become imperative. While staying isolated at home, all of us need an effective way to talk to and catch up with each other and get things done. You wouldn’t necessarily want to spend your whole day in video conferences, so a messaging-based tool is the preferred solution. But which one should you pick?
Out of all the messengers on the market, Discord stands out right away. First released in 2015, the app quickly captured the gaming niche market, growing to 250 million users in just a few years. With the pandemic shutting down offices around the world in March 2020, Discord has adjusted its focus from being primarily a gaming-based messenger to a chat for communities and friends.
So what is Discord app for Mac and are there other apps like Discord available right now? Let’s find out.
How To Use Discord Download On Mac?
For anyone who comes across Discord for the first time, the app might seem quite different. It’s free, self-hosted on servers rather than some sort of company accounts, and infinitely flexible. What’s truly unique about Discord is that you can not only create your own servers to chat with your friends but also join other private servers via invites and even explore public servers based on your interests (e.g. music, specific games, tech).
Does Discord work on Mac? Yes, as well as Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web. The app also covers all the functionality you’ve come to expect from a messaging service, such as texts, audio calls, multimedia support, and even group video calls for up to 10 people. The only unusual feature for you could be voice channels, which mimic real meetings (i.e. everyone’s mics are on).
To start with Discord, simply download the Mac installer from the official website, open the app, and create your Discord login. Now you can start and claim your new server, accept invites from your friends with existing servers, and browse publicly available servers to see how active communities work (and contribute if you’d like).
While Discord is great for ongoing collaboration and discovery, you might be looking for something more straightforward that works great on mobile devices and allows your small team (or a group of friends) to collaborate and keep in touch. So what are the Discord alternatives?
For work: Slack
When it comes to being productive with a remote team, there’s hardly any better app than Slack. As one of the perfect alternatives to Discord, Slack also features messages, voice calls, and channels, but adds a wealth of powerful integrations with other enterprise software.
Whether you want to use Trello, GitHub, or Dropbox, Slack makes it easy and lets you add bots, which then notify you of everything that’s going on in your company, from new sales to coworkers’ birthdays.
Overall, Slack is a really good solution for teams of any size. The only downside is the price — the service costs around $6 per seat per month, which can get pretty costly. So if you’re looking for a cheaper solution, read on.
For discovery: Telegram
If you like discovering public communities on Discord, you might wonder whether any other app offers something similar. Enter Telegram.
Telegram is not only one of the world’s leading messengers, with more than 400 million users, but also a micro-blogging tool, which anyone can use to start a channel and broadcast to their subscribers. Over the years, millions of channels have been created, from personal blogs to high-quality journalism to niche publications.
Besides channels, Telegram offers fast and private cloud-based messaging, available from any device. The service is encrypted and completely free — a good addition to any team’s software stack.
For complete security: Signal
In a world where all the popular software is owned by a few giant corporations which make money with invasive advertising, you might be wary of sharing some of your confidential or private data. How do you exchange information then?
Signal is a messaging app created by the non-profit Signal Foundation. It’s based on the open-source encryption protocol and has been peer-reviewed to provide complete privacy for everything you have to say. The app supports texting, audio and video calls as well as file sharing, both for one-on-one and group conversations. There’s unfortunately no web version for Signal and to use it on your desktop you have to install it on your phone first — all to ensure the highest level of security.
For Gmail users: Google Hangouts
Since we have to keep so many products on top of our minds today, some consolidation might sound like a blessing. For example, if your team is already using Gmail and Google Drive, why not seamlessly integrate Google Hangouts into your workflow as well?
Google Hangouts really consists of two apps: Google Chat, a messaging platform, and Google Meet, video conferencing software. Both are free for business users of the Google platform and work natively with any Google features (e.g. you don’t need to set permissions to share documents). Google Hangouts supports direct messages and group conversations (with threads) but stops short of being one of the fully fledged messaging apps like Discord.
For global connectivity: WhatsApp
If your team is scattered all over the world and needs a tool for real-time quick communication, why not try to adapt something everyone is already using? WhatsApp.
With more than two billion users globally, WhatsApp has by now become the default method of communication for many. It supports all the most popular messaging and video call features, is end-to-end encrypted, and even makes it possible for businesses to talk to their customers directly through the WhatsApp for Business functionality. While the default WhatsApp for Mac might seem not that feature-rich, you just need a better substitute.
ChatMate for WhatsApp is a native WhatsApp desktop client for Mac that augments the messenger with a number of cutting-edge features. ChatMate provides Touch ID support for additional privacy and can hide messages unless you hover over them. Other perks include functionality extension with Touch Bar and enhanced UI with a dark mode. You also have a full control of notifications, including the menu bar ones, and can adjust the sound to your liking.
How to combine all messengers in one
With so many Discord alternatives available, it might be hard to pick just one to cover all use cases. Good news is in today’s world you don’t have to — messaging aggregators can do all the work for you, so you just have to pick one great app.
IM+ is the ultimate (i.e. the only) messaging platform you’ll ever need. This app combines dozens of messaging services, from Facebook to LinkedIn, in a single straightforward interface on your Mac. Afraid that work might take over your life when you mix it all together? IM+ offers a simple toggle switch to differentiate between personal and business, so you never have to be online when you don’t have to.
So when it comes to the Discord app for Mac alternatives, you have plenty of choices, depending on the features and use cases you need to cover. You could pick just one, such as WhatsApp, and use it with ChatMate for WhatsApp app or not restrain yourself, use them all, but neatly organize them with IM+.
Best of all, ChatMate for WhatsApp and IM+ are available to you at no cost whatsoever, through a week-long trial with Setapp, a platform that gives you access to more than 180 outstanding Mac apps for any task at hand, from writing code for the web (Espresso) to transforming your PDF files (PDFpen). Try them all for free today and see how your days could become much more productive in no time.