Alternative Platforms for software discussed on this blog

Something discussed recently in my blog post on procrastination and the Pomodoro technique, was where to find alternative platform software. For example, you may read a blog post on some assistive technology you think you would find really useful, except it’s only available on iOS for example, and you only have Android and Windows devices. To start with, you might want to search the blog for similiar apps, by looking at the category or tags on the blog post in question-  for more help with this please visit the advice page on how to navigate the blog.

If you can’t find the relevant alternative platform software within this blog, and don’t know where to start looking for something similiar on the internet (or don’t have the energy to trawl through dozens of search results) you might want to give a go. This blog post will offer a short tutorial on how to use this great free resource for crowdsourced software recommendations.

There are two main ways to navigate this website: you can either search directly for the app you want to replace, or you can select from the platform options on the top left hand corner of the website home page.

Searching for alternatives

screen shot of search box. Text reads 'Which app do you want to replace?'

This is the most efficient way of finding alternatives if you know exactly what software you’re looking to replace. As an example I am going to input Cold Turkey, a piece of productivity software available on Desktop and Android, that has been discussed quite a bit on this blog. In this case, the right software comes up top of the list so I select that option. This website shows the icon as well as the name which is very useful if you’re unsure on the name but know what it looks like. This helps increase the likelihood of you finding exactly what you’re looking for.

screen shot of the search bar displaying preliminary results for Cold Turkey

After you hit ‘find apps’ you will be directed to a results page like below…

screen shot of search results for Cold Turkey. Results are titled 'alternatives to Cold Turkey for all platforms with free license'.

Now, because I know that Cold Turkey is not available on iOS, I’m going to click on ‘Platform’ and select iPhone (you can do the same for iPad, although the results from this selection will show whether they are available on both iPhone and iPad, so I often choose iPhone/iPad at random when looking for iOS platform software). Because students love free stuff (and in the interests of accessibility), I also select ‘Free or Open Source’ from the license type, although when searching for any DSA funded software I would select Commercial.

screen shot of results for alternatives to cold turkey for iPhone with Free license. The top results are Moment, Offtime and Blacklist.

And here are the results! You can also choose to sort by rank or filter by tags on the left hand side of the page, but as there aren’t many results for this software I choose to just scroll down and choose the ones that have both the iPhone and iPad symbols next to their icon, like Blacklist, a productivity app included in my blog post on phone blocking apps for iOS.

Browsing via platform type

This is a less direct way to look for software, but good to browse if you have a vague idea of what you’re looking for but don’t have specific piece of software in mind. First, select from the platforms below- on the upper right corner of the website home page. I have selected Windows.

screenshot of a list of platforms on Alternativeto. Platforms listed are Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, iPhone and Android.

Below you can see the most popular apps for this platform…

Screen shot of software available on windows. A list of 'Most popular apps' is below the title 'windows software'.if you scroll down, you can then start browsing different categories within Windows software, for example, productivity and utilities etc.

screen shot of page entitled 'More in windows software'. The top three sections are entitled Development, Productivity and Utilities.

Thanks for reading,