When comparing Tower 2 vs GitKraken, the Slant community recommends GitKraken for most people. In the question“What are the best Git clients for macOS?” GitKraken is ranked 5th while Tower 2 is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose GitKraken is:
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined. It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something. It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows. It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view. It has undo and redo buttons on the main window. It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Git-flow integration
Git-flow provide a consistent development process by defining a strict branching model that is great for managing large projects. T2 allows setting up and integrating into repos that follow this model.
Pro Pretty, modern-looking user interface
T2 has a good-looking interface and consists of 3 main views - services, repositories and repository.
Services view for managing integrations with hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket and Beanstalk.
Repositories view for organizing local and remote repositories into folders and getting general overview about them.
Repo view that consists of two main subviews:
Working copy view shows modified files and their diff and allows wrapping up changes in a commit.
History shows commits alongside metadata and projects file structure.
Additionally, it allows performing various tasks such as merging branches via drag & drop, search allows searching by message, commit hash, author, committer and file and there's a quick open that allows fuzzy-searching for folder names.
Pro Offers a visual way to solve conflicts
T2 shows conflicting files, their authors and the commit that made changes. It then allows selecting which files should be used in the final result.
Pro Fetches remotes at regular intervals
See what colleages or other contributors are doing in order to perform merges.
Pro Beautiful user interface
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined.
It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something.
It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows.
It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view.
It has undo and redo buttons on the main window.
It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Built on top of Electron, so it runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Pro Extremely easy to use
A lot of care has gone into trying to make GitKraken as easy and intuitive as possible and it show. Every action is quick and painless with no more user interaction than necessary. For example, switching to another branch is as easy as a double-click on the sidebar.
Pro Some of the best integration with hosted version control services
GitKraken can be connected to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket accounts through OAuth. From that point onward most if not all actions that are related to these services can be done inside GitKraken. Things like: cloning or forking a repository, adding a remote, pushing to a remote repository hosted on these services can be done inside the app.
You can even manage pull requests inside GitKraken for example. All pull requests for a certain branch for example are shown on that branch's graph.
Pro Free version available
There are both pro and free versions available. The free version is pretty complete feature-wise for day-to-day operations.
Pro Offers a simple way of undoing mistakes
GitKraken has simple undo/redo buttons that work the same way you'd expect in any other software.
Pro GitFlow support out of the box
Supports GitFlow out of the box.
Pro Under constant improvement
A quick glance at GitKraken's release notes shows how frequently it's updated. Updates are released on a 2-4 week cycle and each one brings new features and bug fixes.
Pro Has a FuzzyFinder
GitKraken has a fuzzy finder to switch between repos/files.
Pro Perfect for beginner developers
GitKraken is easy to use and is brilliant for the beginner developers
Pro Has a dark theme
No more eyestrain staring at white screens - GitKraken has a lovely dark theme.
Pro Good keyboard shortcuts
Price starts at $69 USD per year.
Con It requires separate licenses for MacOS and Windows
Usually a lot of products that are on MacOS and Windows let you use the same license for both platforms. Tower forces you to pay two licences if you are in this case (the unique benefit is a 20% of discount on the second platform).
Dog slow if you have large repos. UI is terribly inefficient and is prone to beach balling often.
Con No longer supported since the release of Tower 3
This is the last version of Tower available via a perpetual licence (vs subscription) but the focus is now on Tower 3 so, although version 2 still works, it is no longer receiving updates or fixes.
Con Inefficient UI
In order to not overwhelm the users with information, much of the information is either hidden by default or requires navigating to a different section to access.
Con Doesn't support subtrees
Con Unable to add custom parameters for git commands
The inability to add default custom parameters for git commands is a read deal breaker. Imagine that you want to add --no-force-with-lease to push command but this is impossible with Tower because it does not allow you to configure extra parameters for git commands.
Con Must log into GitKraken servers to use the free version
All functionality is disabled unless you register for a free account and remain logged in.
There is the $99/user/yr Enterprise option. It allows you to deploy a Linux License Server in an air-gapped/offline environment.
Con Has memory-related issues
Like most Electron apps, GitKraken has some memory-related issues. For starter, it requires more memory for an action than an equivalent non-Electron application. Although this should not be a problem most of the time for people who use machines with lots of RAM (after all, RAM is pretty cheap nowadays), it can have some issues when opening large repositories and there have been cases where GitKraken failed to open very large repositories or started lagging once they were opened.
Con Not open source
It is gratis (no cost) but is not open source. The community cannot fix problems in it, audit it for security, or trust it in general.
Con Not free for commercial use
The free version of GitKraken cannot be used in commercial projects.
Con Crashes once in a while
Under specific circumstances, like resetting 5000+ changes, the GUI will crash.
Can take between 2 and 5 seconds to load a repository, if not crashing while loading
Con Amending merge output is a pro feature
In most cases of Merge Conflicts, users are stuck with auto-merge or manually resolving it by hand. This is because in the Free Tier, users can only (1) Keep File (ver 1), (2) Keep File (ver 2), (3) Auto-merge, or (4) Use External Merge Tool.
In addition, using External Merge Tools is very limited because GitKraken (all tiers) restricts External Merge Tools to only those it managed to Auto-detect. It also does not support custom arguments for the External Tools.
Modifying the merge output directly, or Selecting lines to keep/discard, is a Paid Feature.
Con No longer free for use with private repos.
You can use GitKraken for free if you're working on a public repo, but you can no longer work on a private one without paying.
Con Has annoying popup reminders that ask you to upgrade to the Pro version
Understandable, since nobody is entitled to use work done by others for free, but annoying nonetheless.
Con Not free for private projects
The FREE plan does not allow you to open private repositories. This seems to be a recent change as of November 2019, previously that was ok.
Con Can be confusing
Con Ugly, looks like a web app
Con No real commitement to Linux support
Infinite loop on Fedora 28, no debug feature or stacktrace available, no clear dependencies listing.... no real support on Linux.