Alfred 2.0 Will Have Powerful New “Workflows” For Creating Complex Searches On Your Mac

Alfred 2.0 Will Have Powerful New “Workflows” For Creating Complex Searches On Your Mac

Alfred is a beloved and widely-used keyboard shortcut utility for the Mac. It can do everything from launch an app in three keystrokes to quickly eject an attached disk.

Fans will be happy hear that Alfred 2.0 is in the works, and soon a completely new version of the app will be released with loads of shiny features. Private betas will be sent out in early 2013, and the folks at Alfred have already started teasing version 2.0.

Andrew Pepperrell of Alfred writes on the app’s official blog:

Alfred is now almost 3 years old and has been built from the top down, with many wonderful new features being added throughout his life. Over time, it has been getting harder and harder to keep Alfred’s preferences usable and approachable for new users.

Around a year ago, I decided it was time for some big changes… and by big changes, I mean, rethinking Alfred’s architecture from the ground up with a brand new foundation, on top of which all of his features are built – I started to plan Workflows.

The new Alfred will come with a robust feature called “Workflows.”  Pepperrell describes Workflows as “triggers, inputs, actions and outputs, which can be mashed together into really useful stuff.”

You will be able to create and mashup different Workflows together in Alfred 2.0’s preferences. If you want to decide on whether you should watch a certain movie, you will be able to type “movie dark knight rises” into Alfred and the app will automatically open a YouTube trailer, IMDB page, and Rotten Tomatoes search for that move in your browser. I can see myself creating a Workflow for opening all the Safari tabs I need to get work done at Cult of Mac. The possibilities are endless.

Alfred 2.0 Will Have Powerful New “Workflows” For Creating Complex Searches On Your Mac

Pepperrell also shows how Workflows can integrate with services like Google’s web search:

Using the keyword “suggest” feeds Google Suggest results back into Alfred using a script filter – This is a new and extremely powerful v2 feature, allowing developers to feed results dynamically back into Alfred. Once I’ve found the result I want, hitting return will search Google. And just because I can, it’ll also post a notification to Growl and copy the suggestion to Clipboard.

Alternatively, I can launch a Google web search using the “g” keyword. Holding the Cmd modifier when hitting return, or using the Cmd + Alt + G hotkey opens the web search in Chrome instead.

These are just a few examples of what can be created with the new Workflows, and they barely scratch the surface of what you’ll be able to do with them.

More sneak peaks of Alfred 2.0 will be posted on the app’s blog in the weeks to come. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new app when it’s ready.

The current version of Alfred is a free download, but you can purchase the Powerpack for £15 and unlock a ton of additional features. There’s also an online extension library for customizing the app to its full potential.

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About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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