Stop the Presses: Sneak Preview of Alfred 1.0

Big news, our favorite launcher is finally about to hit version one! It’s hard to believe that the app has received so much attention and good press while in a fairly experimental state but the simple truth is that Mac users simply can’t get enough of Alfred’s perfect combination of depth and simplicity.

Read on as we take a renewed look at what Alfred can do along with some awesome new features you can look forward to in the 1.0 release!

This is an advance look at some of the awesome new features soon to be in Alfred 1.0 – it should be going to general release around the end of November!

The Alfred Core

Alfred has come an incredibly long way since its humble beginnings as a somewhat simple launcher. The amazing thing is, despite its amazingly deep current feature set, that simplicity is still at the forefront of the Alfred experience, ensuring that absolutely anyone can use the app with ease.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the amazing things you do with Alfred and a few quick keystrokes.

Launching

As I just mentioned, it all starts with app launching. This is Alfred’s core feature and it does it with ease. Just hit your designated shortcut, begin typing the name of the app you want and Alfred will instantly pop up results that refine as you type. Hit enter or choose from the list to launch the app. Alfred even learns which results you choose most often and modifies its behavior accordingly.

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Launching an app

It doesn’t stop here though, Alfred can launch a lot more than apps. Try typing in “find” and then a filename and Alfred will search your hard drive for the file you’re after. You can also hit the spacebar right after launching to search for and open files.

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Alfred Find

Reference Actions

Alfred isn’t content with merely opening things, it also finds information for you. Want a quick definition? Just type “define” and the word you want.

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A preview of the defnition is shown right in Alfred, hit enter to launch Dictionary

Similarly, Alfred can help you with your homework. It responds much better than Spotlight to complex math problems.

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Alfred can perform basic math for you with ease.

The Web

Alfred plays well with the web too! If you want to open a specific web page, just type it into Alfred exactly like you would in Safari or any other browser. This will launch the site in your default browser.

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Opening a URL in your default browser.

If you need to search for something, there’s built in functionality for searching Google, Wikipedia, IMDB, and a bunch of other popular sites (Powerpack users can edit the default offerings).

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Running a web search.

If Alfred doesn’t search a site that you want it to, you can easily set up custom searches for almost any search function on any site! Be sure to check out our full tutorial on this very topic.

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Setting up a custom web search.

The Alfred Powerpack

The free version of Alfred is something that no Mac user should be without. The Powerpack takes Alfred to new heights by adding deep integration with your system. There are a ton of amazing features that come with the Powerpack, some of which are brand new to version 1.0. Let’s take a look.

Control iTunes

One of the Powerpack features you’ll absolutely love right off the bat is the iTunes Mini Player. Alfred gives you an impressive scope of control for iTunes including basic track commands, searching, album art previews and more.

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The iTunes Mini Player

File Commands

Terminal fans will enjoy Alfred’s ability to quickly perform a number of file actions. Just hit “~” to launch the file navigation window. From here you can navigate your hard drive freely and even perform actions of files such as move, copy and email.

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Navigating files in Alfred

Extensions

Extensions have changed the game for Alfred and opened up an endless world of possibilities. Create your own or browse the extension gallery for some awesome goodies. I recently installed an extension to quickly shorten links with Google and another that turns Alfred into a todo list!

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Alfred Extensions

Email and Address Book

The Powerpack links Alfred closely to your Address book. You can search for a contact and even launch an email to the person of your choice.

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Emailing from Alfred

Make It Your Own

Alfred’s default color scheme is super friendly and easy on the eyes but if you dig customization then you can tweak or completely overhaul the colors in an easy to use theme editor.

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Alfred's Appearance Tab

New and Improved

The newest version of the Alfred Powerpack has some awesome improvements and new features that make it more powerful than ever.

Clipboard History and Snippets (Improved)

If you’re on the lookout for a solid clipboard manager, look no further. Hitting Command-Option-C in Alfred will launch an improved clipboard manager that gives you access of recent clips. You can also save frequently used snippets for quick insertion. Just type “snip” and the name of your desired snippet to insert it. The snippets editor now allows for searching and sorting.

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Snippets

Alfred Never Forgets (New!)

You might or might not know about Alfred’s ability to recall recently opened items, well 1.0 adds to Alfred’s superhuman memory by adding a feature to remember recently visited URLS for quicker searching.

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Recent URLs

Global Hotkeys (New!)

This is my favorite new feature, Alfred now allows you to set up global shortcuts to launch an app, script, extension or anything that you want. Simply navigate to the new “Hotkeys” tab inside of Alfred and set up shortcuts for all your favorite actions.

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Global Hotkeys

Lots More!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Alfred 1.0 ships with a whole mess of improvements. To name a few, hitting Command-C now copies the result’s path or URL, clipboard and snippets are now independent, generic icons have been added for many filetypes, iTunes search has been improved, extension parameters are much more flexible; the list goes on and on.

You’ll also be happy to know that the Alfred team now accepts direct Credit Card and Paypal payments.

Absolutely Essential to the Mac Experience

This update is so positive that it’s probably starting to sound like a sponsored post, it’s not. We AppStormers are simply so fond of Alfred that we think every Mac user should give it a shot. We’ve followed the development closely since day one and are super excited to finally see the Alfred team hit 1.0.

If you don’t see yourself using all of the fancier features, download the free version and discover the wonder of launching apps instantly without the hassle of the Applications folder or Launchpad. If you’re the kind of user who likes control, the Powerpack turns Alfred into an unbelievably convenient and useful assistant that covers almost every aspect of OS X. Give it a week or two and you’ll likely be unable to use a Mac without Alfred going forward.


  • http://incredimike.com Mike Walker

    Thanks for the link to my extension! :]

  • Christian

    For the basic features of Alfred I use this thing called Spotlight. It does everything without the need to type extra words as find and define… And it’s a calculator too!

    As for the additional features provided when purchasing the powerpack, nice, but for me not worth the money.

    • Thiago A.

      You needn’t type “find”… just hit spacebar or single quote and you’re done. Plus your results get more specific. There are shortcuts for most keywords, and if there aren’t you can define them in the preferences.

  • http://tcelestino.com.br Tiago Celestino

    I like Alfred. This app was first the application installed in my first Mac (Macbook white).

    I’m finding the launcher for the using in Ubuntu 11.04

  • Crai

    Still no mention of being able to apply an action/extension to multiple finder items? That’s a pretty big, annoying oversight in my opinion. If you can work with the first selected finder item, why not the rest of them?

    • http://jdfwarrior.tumblr.com David Ferguson

      This feature is on the book for a future version.

  • http://www.afulki.com Gary

    Just checked neither the application knows about the update nor does the alfred site. What gives?

    • http://jdfwarrior.tumblr.com David Ferguson

      This is a dev release and typically aren’t available in the auto updates. Preleases and full releases are.

  • http://blog.airmio.com Amio

    Congratulation on shipping!

  • http://damonsharp.com Damon Sharp

    This app is stellar. Saves me tons of time. Love the power pack as well. I only wish it allowed for playing of iTunes music over my home network. I’m usually never on the machine that houses my iTunes library.

  • Scott Reyes

    How does there free version of Alfred compare to Spotlight? I can’t see the difference?

    • http://jdfwarrior.tumblr.com David Ferguson

      There a few different features that are not available in Spotlight.

      Check out the comparison chart available on the Alfred support site. http://support.alfredapp.com/comparison-chart

  • Cave Johnson

    Ummm, link?

    PS: I know where to get it, just saying. Might want to actually link to the product you’re gushing with praise about.

    • Don Parr

      The link is provided twice in the first two paragraphs, click on “Alfred’s” in the first paragraph or “Alfred” in the second. Voila :).

  • zxspectrum

    ★ Great app…but missing an option to Retype ⇥Autoreplace (erase and replace typed text with a delay..)? It’s such a time saver!

  • mikkle sticks

    The only thing holding me back from buying the powerpack is what I consider to be a relatively steep price. It’s not crazy or anything but coming from Linux it’s hard to dish out more than roughly $10 US for this. Maybe I’m just cheap!

    • Quine

      Yep, you are. You are paying for their time spent polishing the app and your time saved using it. If you save hours a month with this I’m sure you can see why it’d be worth the cost (unless you don’t think the time is worth saving for that price).

      • mikkle sticks

        Time saving arguments are never convincing when the time saved is in tens of minutes per month! The point is that spotlight is free and does pretty much everything unpaid Alfred does. So what I’m paying for in the end is a few features like being able to control iTunes from any space (a function offered for free from other apps), folder navigation from any space (which is provided a folder icon in the dock and other free apps), and some other stuff that is likely available freely. Now it’s nice to have all those features rolled into one interface, but, again, I don’t think THAT is worth 12 quid (or more when there’s no special offer)!

      • Luke

        Alfred is also free except for the powerpack, so I don’t understand your argument. It’s like you’re saying Spotlight is free but Alfred isn’t, when actually the most important features of Alfred are indeed, free.

    • Jamie

      ‘Maybe I’m just cheap!’

      Yup ;)

  • molecule-eye

    It’s not clear what new features are available in 1.0 that are not available in the current version. Would be REALLY helpful to state that clearly.

  • http://dataverse.me Jed

    I like Alfred and want to like it more than Quicksilver but it’s just not there yet. Does it have support yet for OpenMeta tagging of files, dynamically importing delicious bookmarks, custom actions, Remember the Milk plugin? If so, I’ll do switch!

    • http://jdfwarrior.tumblr.com David Ferguson

      Custom Actions are available in Alfred already and have been for some time. When creating an extension, you simply mark it as an action.

  • http://shall.myartsonline.com Steven Hall

    “If you want to open a specific web page, just type it into Alfred exactly like you would in Safari or any other browser. This will launch the site in your default browser.”

    This is 2011 and my default browser has been open all the time for 10 to 15 years now. Why do the makers of these types of launchers and the people who review them think that the capability described in the quote above is such a great leap forward? If I want to open an URL in my browser I’ll switch to my browser and do so.

    • NickPCK

      have you even tried Alfred?

  • Murray

    One Word – Quicksilver
    - Alfred is very cool, but for full functionality you need the power pack. Everything in the power pack is available in quicksilver for free, and the code and interface is tried and tested.
    These 2 are not in the same class.

  • anditsallgood

    For me this app is awesome – the clipboard I now find it difficult to do with out, especially when developing. Setting up custom searches is awesome too. If I want to search stackoverflow site for jquery. I open Alfred, type ‘stack jquery’ and it searches the site for me. Set up as many as you want.
    Maybe you can do this with other tools but the interface is sweet.
    + Quicksilver not being developed anymore right? This guy is releasing updates all the time.
    One of the best 10bucks I have spent on software for my mac…

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