Pulse SMS - Desktop Apps v2.0.0

Update April 4th, 2018: v2.0.0 is out of beta and rolling out to everyone! It will be hitting the auto-update channels, soon.


Pulse's Mac, Windows, and Linux apps have always been built on Electron, an open-source, cross platform, native desktop app framework that powers some of your favorite desktop apps. The goal of my desktop apps is to provide native system integrations, such as notifications, on top of the web app interface that you already love.

Today, these native apps are getting an upgrade, and my implementation is going open-source: https://github.com/klinker24/messenger-desktop

About the Update

To keep it simple, this new version of Pulse switches out the rendering engine for the web app UI. Pulse was initially built around Chromium's webview implementation, which is pretty well known to be a mess, with little support. Recently, Electron and Figma introduced BrowserView, which acts more like a Chrome tab, rather than the legacy, embedded webview. If you are a developer, check out Slack's blog post about their recent switch to BrowserView: https://slack.engineering/growing-pains-migrating-slacks-desktop-app-to-browserview-2759690d9c7b

As a user, this change to BrowserView this means higher - and more consistent - performance, with less bugs getting in the way.

While the webview worked well most of the time, the times that it didn't were frustrating and difficult to debug, for both me and my users.

On top of the new rendering engine, this version of the Pulse desktop app is built against Electron 2.0.0, which should come with a slew of bug fixes and improvements as well. Here is the full changelog for this version:

  • The Pulse desktop apps are now open-source: https://github.com/klinker24/messenger-desktop
  • Cut from webview -> BrowserView for improved performance and bug fixes
  • Built against Electron 2.0
  • Spellcheck support on all platforms
  • Cleanup and general bug fixes/improvements

How to Update

v2.0.0 is going to start out as a beta release and your desktop apps will not automatically update to it.

v2.0.0 is out of beta and rolling out to everyone! It will be hitting the auto-update channels, soon.

To download and install the app for your computer, head to my releases page and pull the latest version: https://github.com/klinker24/messenger-desktop/releases/latest

  • Mac users should download the .dmg file
  • Windows users should download the .exe file
  • Linux users can pick the .deb, .rpm, or .AppImage

Note that this is a different releases page from where you have gone to download the apps in the past. Future releases will be done through the open-source repository.

For many users, you won't see too many major changes here, and that's good! For those of you that did have issues, this should be a welcome new release. I have been using it myself for awhile and have been impressed by the performance gains.

For developers, enjoy another example Pulse client! I now have put out two different version's of Pulse, as open-source contributions. They could be good examples of working with the API and encryption, if you are interested in playing around with the backend.

Like what you see here? Go ahead and give me a star on GitHub to let me know :) Enjoy the new update!