Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor

Alfred App

Mar 10, 2010 —

Alfred is a new launcher app for OS X that’s competing with Quicksilver, Google Quick Search Box and Spotlight (I guess). But the difference here is that Alfred uses Spotlight’s index for files and applications. Making it crazy fast, with the addition of many Quicksilver-like features.

It does the launching incredibly well. I really like how it displays a list of up to 7 search results straight away, but seems to know which result it is you’re actually looking for.

It has really simplified the launch/search ‘thing’, which I think Google QSB tried to do, maybe slightly unsuccessfully. The thing that is great about QSB is that it’ll always give you an option to Google something. As it stands, in Alfred, if I search for ‘Coda’ I’m presented with only one option, the app Coda. I’d really like to be able to always Google something.

Another, probably better example: If I type ‘book’ I’m given the results Address Book and FontBook. Now, I’m unlikely to want to google the word ‘book.’ But if that option doesn’t come up then I can’t rely on using this to Google things instead of the Quicksilver Google Search thing I have setup.

Note: I realise I can type google at the start of the search to make it search Google. The same way you can type wiki for Wikipedia or images for Google Images. This is probably something I just need to get used to. Or maybe it could be a preferences thing to ‘Always show Google as a search result’.

It hooks in with your bookmarks which is brilliant. But it appears to be pulling my Safari bookmarks, not Chrome which I’m currently using. Also, I almost exclusively use Delicious for my bookmarks. And I use Quicksilver to search them. It would be brilliant if Alfred could pull results from Delicious.

There are many other stranger things that I bet people are holding onto Quicksilver because of. For example, I use it to directly email files to people. I use this many, many times a day and I was kind of hoping that Google QSB would do some of these stranger things. Especially considering it’s developed by the same guy that developed Quicksilver. I really don’t expect an app like Alfred, which is pitched as a launcher to do things like that. I guess Quicksilver’s just starting to feel a bit old and un-loved and it would be nice to see something new come along and replace it.

It has options for your location to be America, Canada, France, UK, Italy etc. so that your Google results are localised. Can we have Australia please?

It’s important to remember that Alfred is still in beta and is already an incredibly good launcher. So, if you’re after one, check it out.

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