Alfred 1.1 Released, Featuring Address Book Contact Viewer And More

Since Alfred was released last year, it’s become an essential timesaver for pretty much every single Mac user, as it allows you to launch applications and find files quickly and easily. Now, the Cambridge-based company have pushed out an update to this popular app, Alfred 1.1, adding several improvements and a few new goodies.

Alfred 1-1

The Alfred 1.1 update was released yesterday with new features and several improvements

If you’ve chosen to pay for the Powerpack (which is available for the measly price of £15 – around $24), then the update adds an Address Book contact viewer, which allows you to search for your contacts and display all the information saved about them directly in Alfred, rather than having to open them up in OS X’s address book. You’ll have to enable this feature first though (go to Preferences > Features > Address Book) for it to work properly. The contact viewer also allows you to integrate with your contacts a lot easier – for example you can dial your friend’s number via Skype or send him an e-mail directly from Alfred – a real bonus and timesaver for a lot of people.

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The new Address Book contact viewer in Alfred 1.1, available only to Powerpack users.

The update has also added several subtle improvements and has fixed a whole list of bugs (for the full change log, see here). To grab hold of this brand spanking new update to a simply fantastic productivity app, head over to the download section of Alfred’s website to get it. The update has not yet been pushed out to those who have purchased Alfred from the App Store so in the meantime hold your horses or manually download it from their website.

As always, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Are you impressed with the new update? Has this made Alfred simply better for you? Let us know!


  • Joe Schmoe

    Who edits these reviews? This is now the second one in this writing style:

    1) “…it’s become an essential timesaver for pretty much every single Mac user”
    Sorry but can you back up this claim? I know I don’t use it and if every “pretty much everyone” is using it, why do we need a review?

    2) Sorry but where I come from £15/$24 is not “measly”

    3) The address book feature is not a time saver for me unless you count a “measly” amount of time. Maybe I just don’t have a lot of friends, which if you read this maybe you can believe.

    4) Basically three paragraphs to say “There is a new release on the way, check here for what it has in it”

    I really liked the information this blog used to post, but recently I think we have some aspiring novelists coming though, that just want to stretch there literary wings.

    Sorry to have a go but, I would really prefer tangible content fist; what is new what is changed, then pretty up the writing style.

    Happy Valentines day

    • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

      Thanks for the feedback Joe. We take your comments to heart and will definitely consider your statements carefully.

    • Big McLargehuge

      Stretching their wings? Come on, it’s four small paragraphs.

      I don’t generally have to go lay down after reading a half a piece of paper worth of type.

      Keep doing what you are doing James. Thats the thing I like about this website is that you guys explain what problems you may come across and what apps do well without me having to go get the app and experience it myself. If you guys went by Joe preference, you could have a secretary type out a few bulleted facts and fire all the writers.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/james.cull James Cull

        Thanks for that :)

    • Ansatz

      I’m going to have to agree with Joe Schmoe in this case. The writing seems to be very amateurish lately and it’s a very recent change. I never had many problems with this site and my only real complaint was that every app they reviewed consistently scored between a 7-9 out of 10. Either they are afraid to give any app an exceptional/poor rating or they are consistently reviewing “good but not great” apps. Either way, their rating system in my eyes is effectively useless.

      Nowadays, though, most of the reviews seem constantly hyperbolic and read like a high school term paper. They have the obligatory, introductory paragraph/sentence that attempts to introduce the topic in a “fun and engaging manner”, followed by a lot of colorful (although in my opinion unoriginal) buzz words. The writer also tends to make the fundamental mistake of over-explaining things that are easily inferred from the context.

      For example, “Address Book contact viewer” followed by “allows you to search for your contacts and display all the information saved about them”. Of course it lets you view contact information since it is, after all, a contact viewer. If the Alfred developers had decided to call it fastFaces or something, then you would be justified in describing its purpose but as it stands, you are just talking down to the reader. The same issue occurs in the line “…send him an e-mail directly from Alfred – a real bonus and timesaver for a lot of people.” which, again, explains explicitly what was easily inferred from the context. I’m also not a big fan of the incessant begging for people to contribute in the comment section. Things like “Tell us how you feel”, “leave your thoughts”, “let us know”, etc just isn’t needed. In this post alone, 4 separate but basically equivalent requests were made, in a row, requesting comments. It’s 2012, we know how the internet works and if I or anyone feels the need to comment on the content, we’ll look below the primary content for the standard white box and “submit” button which is standard to most modern content management platforms.

      I’d also have to agree that, for the most part, the claims made about certain apps seems to involve little reason, evidence or forethought into what is being said.

      1) “…it’s become an essential timesaver for pretty much every single Mac user” and “a real bonus and timesaver for a lot of people”. Think about what you are saying here. Alfred added the ability to, for example, send an email directly from its interface while in the standard free version of alfred we had to go into mail to type out an email. Let’s actually test out the idea though

      New method:
      1. ctrl+space to open alfred (2 strokes)
      2. joh + Enter (3 strokes needed before alfred recognized my contact for John and 1 stroke for enter)

      So 6 strokes before I am allowed to start typing my email

      Old method:
      1. ctrl+space to open alfred (2 strokes)
      2. m + Enter (1 stroke needed before Alfred recognized Mail.app and 1 stroke for enter)
      3. cmd + n (2 strokes to start a new email)
      4. j + tab (1 stroke before Mail.app recognizes John’s email address and autofills it for me and 1 tab to get into the information fields)

      So 8 strokes before I am allowed to start typing my email.

      Therefore, the new method of email entry saves you 2 key strokes and 2 steps. Assuming an average typing speed of 50 wpm and, say, 5 letters per word + 1 stroke for space bar (i.e. 300 key strokes per minute), we can expect 6 key strokes to take 1.2 seconds to type and 8 key strokes to take about 1.6 seconds.

      Would you really consider a saving of 0.4 seconds a “bonus” or “essential timesaver”?

  • Murphy

    Just wanted to drop a line. I love Alfred, and I use it multiple times, every single day.

  • Jeremy

    I love that he keeps adding to Alfred, but in all honesty, i only use it to launch my applications.

  • Sebastiaan

    Same here, i just use these things as quicklaunchers. Personally i don’t use Alfred, i’ve installed it once, couldn’t get used to it and stuck with QuickSilver. The only thing that bothers me with QS is that it’s spacebound. Other than that it does exactly what it should do for me, quicklaunch my apps.

  • aalleexx

    And in the same time there is also the free and venerable Quicksilver. Still there, still working fine, still with his own “contact search” module :-)
    Like Quicksilver because it’s really really really powerful. Alfred is less powerful but have a better UI, so easier to handle for “newcomers” and a pleasure to use for others who don’t want/need to mess under the hood in order to tweak every single little thing.

    Like Alfred but, sorry, I use Quicksilver everyday.

    Thanks

  • Heather

    What are you trying to prove Joe Schmoe? You are just being an idiot by showing off. This is supposed to be a simple half a page review that is it.
    You go James!

  • fractalfrog

    Same here even though I have paid for the Powerpack

    I would also like to say that £15/$24 is not a “measly” amount as it is much smaller than that. :-)

    • fractalfrog

      I replied to the comment of Jeremy but for some reason it got submitted at the end of the comments and therefore make little sense ;)

  • Donovan Ryan Hay

    Hi,

    I have read quite a bit on “Alfred” and honestly, I don’t see the need for it. Spotlight in Lion, from what I have read, does the exact same job.

    Can someone, who has actually used it, please explain the benefit of Alfred over mac’s built in spotlight?

    Thanks a mill.

    • sadhuram

      Spotlight just allow you to search files and Alfred or Quicksilver, which is by far much better, allows you to find files and make actions with them.

      I use Quicksilver to: open my favourite websites in few keystrokes, change Itunes music without quitting the application I’m working on, eject all volumes of my macbook with threee keystrokes (all USB, external hard drives etc), send a files by bluetooth, email, choose several files in finder and compress them in zip, I use QS also as a calculator, I don’t know a word in English and with three keystrokes I can found the translation in spanish in wordreference, with the 1Password plugin I can choose ebay and press enter and then chrome opens and loads http://www.eaby.es and I login automatically without having to type the username and password etc etc

      To sum up, you can do all the things you normally do in speed velocity :)

      • sadhuroura

        speed velocity… hahaha I wanted to say light speed

  • http://allendunahoo.com Paul Dunahoo

    I guess I am the only one that hasn’t tried Alfred. Maybe you should do a poll Joshua, to see who uses Alfred and who doesn’t.

    Can you do a full review?

    • sadhuram

      Use Quicksilver, is more powerfull and customisable. In addition, is completely free and there is constant development. Alfred is just a copy of QS with less features and personally, I don’t like the GUI.

  • http://cixdesigns.com Micah

    I have used Alfred, and previously used Quicksilver. For some reason I prefer Alfred’s interface, but everyone leaves out of the discussion the more powerful even if less pretty free alternative “Google Quick Search Box” http://www.google.com/quicksearchbox/ if we are comparing the free version of Aflred, Google’s is far more powerful, even up against the paid version it might do more. A simple CTRL, CTRL and its up.

  • Tychonaut

    Jeez.. why does everyone just ignore Launchbar on this topic? I mean, it really does seem like a fanboy wankathon. I tried started on Quicksilver a few years ago and it was *just* buggy enough (and unsupported at the time) to make me look for alternatives. I compared Alfred and Launchbar… found Alfred to be butt – ugly and feature-poor compared to Launchbar (mind you this was 2 year ago).

    Since then I have been a happy Launchbar user and it seems to me like Alfred is still playing catch up. I’m really supposed to be impressed by a ContactViewer? Reeeally? Whoo-hoo. Baby. (He said sarcastically.)

    Can someone tell me any way that Alfred trumps Launchbar, or why I should not start thinking this site is really not so impartial when they are saying things like “Alfred has become an essential timesaver for pretty much every single Mac user”? Do you guys have offices next to each other or something?

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