How many ways can you launch apps, find files, search for information, collect snippets of this or that, use Contacts, check Dictionary, run Calculator, and listen to iTunes or send email, or look for a password?
If there were such a thing as twenty eleven ways that number wouldn’t cover all the ways we can do the above. Is there a way to mash all that capability into a single, simple to use, elegant Mac app that’s also free? Yes. And no.
Alfred is the most clever launcher and file finder and digital butler you’re likely to find for the Mac and it’s free. Almost.
Keep your hands on the keyboard and Alfred brings all the above launching and searching and finding and using right to your fingertips. Launch an app by typing Alfred’s keyboard shortcut and simply type.
See? Simple enough, right?
That’s just the easy way to find apps and files. But Alfred also searches the web when you insert words like wiki or twitter or youtube.
And Alfred has a setting to remember clipboard items and snippets of information. Again, your hands stay on the keyboard while Alfred works.
Within Alfred’s window you can check spelling, calculate a little math, check Contacts, look at a file using Quick Look, navigate through folders for files, check recent documents used, attach a file to an email, get passwords, sync files to Dropbox, and even play music in iTunes.
And Alfred is clever enough to know you get bored from time to time so comes with a few different floating window themes to keep your attention.
I know what you’re thinking.
‘Mister Mincey, are you saying that all of this luscious goodness and professional level productivity enhancements are free in Alfred.’
I wish. Alfred is free and does basic searches and file and app launches, but the big long list of functionality above comes with the Alfred Powerpack which has a price tag. Fortunately, it’s not much of a price tag, but at least you get to try Alfred first, and if you like how it works, the purchase gives you all the rest of the functions. It’s kind of a try before you buy, though I’d rather have a chance to use all of the features before buying.