Wavebox – Finally…All Of My Web Apps In One Place!
Whenever I come across an app or method that can radically streamline my workflow, I not only embrace it but have to share it with friends, family and write about it as it might help you too.
To say I was excited to find Wavebox is an understatement. Wait until you see what it can do for you and, most importantly to me, it’s open source so there are no shenanigans going on with backdoors and such.
First some background. My workday consists of wearing several “hats” and I need to have multiple web applications instantly available all day, every day:
- My own, personal stuff with my Gmail account as the ‘hub’ with calendar, Google Voice, and a ToDo list in Google Keep
- My secure Protonmail email account
- A postmaster email account for my server
- Two Google Suite email accounts for one of our businesses and a third Google Suite email account for yet another of our businesses
- My SteveBorsch.com Google Suite account and website
- My primary Slack account
- …and several other web applications I need to have available to me at the click of a mouse.
Using multiple Google Suite accounts within a single browser meant that ALL of them were active all the time AND, for anyone who uses multiple accounts in a single browser, you know how unworkable that is on a daily basis.
Each email account and calendar had to be open and ready. If you use Google Chrome to manage multiple Google accounts within the same Chrome instance, you know how problematic it can be to know which Google Account’s calendar you’re in at the moment!
After discovering apps that would let me generate site-specific browsers (SSBs) — which are essentially “clones” of Google Chrome and Safari but completely self-contained — I ended up with about 20 SSBs and each had multiple tabs open. (e.g., Fluid App; Coherence 5; Unite).
Fortunately my iMac has 32GBs of memory, but I was always maxing-out on memory since each tab in each browser has a “worker” process running in the background, consuming LOTS of memory on a machine. It was getting pretty crazy so I began the hunt for a solution that would be better.
In the image above you see my personal Gmail account. Above the word “Google” at the top of Wavebox, you can see my calendar and Google Hangouts are active, but multiple other Google apps are “sleeping”. Clicking any of those other Google apps takes a moment to refresh and open, but it is extremely fast to do so.
On the left bar is my Protonmail account, my postmaster account, three Google Suite accounts, Mailchimp, Slack and more, and all are “sleeping” except for the Protonmail account which I also need active all the time.
This sleeping capability is a HUGE MEMORY SAVER and uses a fraction of the memory I used to have to use-up when Chrome and various SSBs were running.
There are also a host of extensions and apps as well which can instantly give you access to all sorts of web applications like Office 365; Trello; Outlook; Salesforce Desk; Fastmail; Flipboard; Google Analytics; LinkedIn; and so many more.
Here is a short video that will let you see what Wavebox can do:
After I painstakingly set up Wavebox on my iMac, I immediately thought, “Oh no! I have to do this all over again on my MacBook!!” Turns out Wavebox has an export/import feature. I exported my new Wavebox and imported it in to Wavebox running on my MacBook. After logging in to each account again, I was up-and-running on it too in about 5 minutes. Wow.
Within two hours of using Wavebox I decided to buy the Pro version for $19.95 per year and have been using it for over two weeks now…and loving it.
Yes, I Looked at Alternatives
There are competing products out there too and I looked at several of them, but for my needs Wavebox was the best. The only contenders were:
Shift. This is a fork of Wavebox and, while it does a lot, to add other web applications like Wavebox does it would cost A LOT more ($99.95 per year).
Station. Though I didn’t spend a lot of time on this free app, it was pretty clear to me that it was simply a wrapper for the Chrome engine.
AlternativeTo has these alternatives to Wavebox too, though most are just email wrappers.
No matter what you do, just take a peek at Wavebox or the others since they can give you a big productivity boost if you have to juggle multiple email accounts and applications for each one of them.