Throughout the course of the year I try out and discard many dozens of Mac apps. I keep a few of the best, recommend some of the others to friends whose situation may be different than mine, and for a few I wonder why they even bothered to build the app in the first place.
One app I use regularly and have for years is called DragThing. It’s a floating dock app launcher navigation tool, perfect for those of us not married to the keyboard, still invoke point and click, and need to keep apps and files in one big giant app window.
For the keyboard user there’s a number of Mac app launchers which should be considered, including one called Alfred. It’s not unique among app launchers but what it does goes beyond mere launching.
Yes, it launches. From the keyboard (which– as any bona fide card carrying Mac power user will tell you– is better). Alfred pays attention to your requests and prioritizes apps to line up first.
There’s more to Alfred than launching. It can search the web using built-in searches or custom searches. Forget opening Safari or Chrome or Firefox. Search the web from within Alfred. By using the keyboard.
All Alfred needs is a search identified– wiki, youtube, twitter, etc.– and it knows what to search and where.
Alfred also multi-tasks. That means you can connect keywords with hotkeys and built-in actions and Alfred does multiple tasks. For example, a single hotkey combo can launch a number of apps at once.
Also built in to Alfred is an option to save and use Mac clipboard contents as snippets. That makes it a mini-clipboard manager app.
Finally, Alfred is customizable with a number of themes in different sizes, color schemes, fonts and sizes. You know, the kind of extras that don’t make a difference in how you use Alfred but make a difference in how you see Alfred.
There’s much to like about using Alfred. It’s not point and click like DragThing or the Mac’s built-in Dock. It’s also a good way to force yourself to use the keyboard more. After all, you know what Mac power users say about the keyboard, right?