It’s been over six months since we first took a look at Alfred, a fantastic application launcher for the Mac. Since then, I’ve heard about many of you switching to this system from Quicksilver, Google Quick Search Box, and various other launchers.
I’ve become a devoted fan of Alfred, and it’s probably now one of the most oft-used apps on my Mac. A recent update to the app comes in the form of the Alfred Powerpack, bringing a set of fantastic new features and significantly broadening the scope of what Alfred is capable of. He’s turning into a pretty handy butler!
I’ll be taking a look at some of these new “Powerpack features” after the break.
File System Navigation
Taking Alfred to the next level, this feature removes the limitation of acting as a simple “launcher”, and makes Alfred far more useful for actually browsing your Mac’s filesystem. It’s incredibly fast, looks great, offers file previews, and is generally pretty fantastic all-round!
I never really fell in love with Quicksilver, finding that it took a little too much time to become familiar with. A good application shouldn’t have a learning curve, or else it’s audience is limited only to those who have the time to tinker, explore, and generally geek out over how everything works. Alfred is a tool for the rest of us, who simply want to hit a shortcut key and get to work!
Once you’ve found that file you were looking for, you can – of course – launch it. But what if you want to do something more? Maybe it needs to be copied, deleted, emailed, moved, or something else altogether? Thankfully, Alfred has added “Result Actions” letting you do just this.
It’s fairly self explanatory, and works just as you would expect. Frill-free, and beautifully designed to appeal to those with something of an interface obsession.
The final new “headline feature” provided through the Powerpack is integration with iTunes. This allows you to ditch another menu bar or desktop app for quickly interacting with iTunes, and adds another string to Alfred’s bow. You can search your library, rate tracks, and quickly see what’s currently playing.
More to Come
The Alfred team have plenty more in the pipeline – address book integration, AppleScript actions, third party app integration, clipboard history, and plenty more!
I’m a fan of the pricing model that Alfred have taken here. £12 isn’t a great deal to ask for these extra features, and you’re guaranteed to reap the benefit of the new additions as and when they become available. Application launchers are undervalued. We’ve all become accustomed to using Quicksilver and similar tools for free, but I would be more than happy to pay for a tool that saves me so much time every day!
Head over to the Alfred Powerpack page for more information, and to get your license code.
What do you think? Is the new Powerpack worth the money, or are you happy with just the basic features?