It’s Finally Here… Alfred v2 Beta!

For those that may have missed it, Running with Crayons, the dedicated team behind Alfred released the much anticipated version 2 on Saturday. I along with many other eager beta testers quickly downloaded and installed the latest version and gave it a test run.

Early Beta Shows Promise

Some things aren’t still wired... It is a beta after all.

Some things still aren’t wired… It is a beta after all.

Even though it’s clear that the app is still in the early beta stages, it shows immense promise. The new workflows are easily the crown jewel of version 2 and already the community of beta testers have started creating some very interesting workflows. The mechanics behind workflows is slightly different to that of the current extensions, but once you wrap your head around it, you will quickly find the power that therein lies dormant.

One big change that opens up many avenues of innovation is the possibility of generating feedback in Workflows. In essence, what this does is allow you to pass back results to Alfred, providing great flexibility and new and ingenious uses cases for Alfred.

Much akin to lego blocks, actions are snapped together to form a workflow.

Much akin to lego blocks, actions are snapped together to form a workflow.

Extensions, or should I say workflows, are not the only part of Alfred that was reworked. In fact, the whole app had a makeover. Features and preferences are more streamlined and better organised. Amongst the many interesting additions to the roster are the ability to ask for confirmation for System Actions (such as asking for access to your contacts) and options to activate/deactivate Default Actions. Speaking of Default Actions, another immensely useful gem is Find Similar which when actioned will open Finder and search for similar files and folders.

For those that like to tweak things and give your Mac a unique look, you’ll love Alfred v2. The Theme Editor now allows you to change just about everything. From font (type and size), padding between entries, border radius and colours, it’s all up to you (with a few limitations of course). Simply hover over an item to change it. Further options are available when pressing modifier keys too.

Modifier keys reveal other possible tweaks.

Modifier keys reveal other possible tweaks.

Conclusion

While I did mention it at the beginning of the piece, I’ll say it again. This is beta software so some things aren’t yet functional and others are missing. Nonetheless, it is already a stellar piece of software. If you want to get in on the action, then purchase a Mega Supporter license and head on over to the buzzing forum where users are starting to share workflows, themes, ideas and bugs.


  • Jeff

    Pros/Cons of moving from Launchbar to Alfred?

    Used to be Quicksilver user for a long time – but back when developer stopped supporting and recommended Launchbar I made the jump.

    I use Launchbar constantly … not only as an opener, but to move files/folders around w/in Mac, rename files, make symbolic links for Dropbox, search google/amazon/macupdate in the menu bar, etc.

    Can Alfred do symbolic links and the other things I use launchbar for?

    The new “darling” is Alfred … has anyone transitioned from Launchbar. Is it – was it – worth it? Launchbar does everything, I think, I need …

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Hey Jeff,

      I can’t attest to launchbar due to the fact that I’ve never used it, so to state that Alfred is better would be false on my part. What I can attest to is that the new version of Alfred is shaping up to be a killer tool.

      The crown jewel is no doubt workflows. Their flexibility is immense and some of the workflows that are popping up are astounding. To give you an idea, there is currently one workflow that allows you to install/update other workflows, kind of like Sublime Text 2 has a package to install/update packages.

      Given that workflows can now return results to users, there are workflows that show you weather conditions, currency conversions, translations and sooo much more, just a keystroke away.

      I can feel secure in recommending Alfred because I know it’s shaping up to be one of those MUST HAVE tools in any Mac user’s arsenal.

      Cheers,
      PL

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