Indie productivity app Alfred refuses to let Apple steal its thunder

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Photo :Alfred
Photo :Alfred

Well, there goes Alfred.

That’s the first thought I had when I saw the new Spotlight in OS X Yosemite. I feared Apple had basically made my favorite little app launcher obsolete (we nerds call it “sherlocked”).

I was wrong.

It’s six months later, and Alfred is doing just fine, thanks largely to a vibrant community built around its power features, or workflows. Spotlight may be able to quickly launch an app from anywhere, but Alfred can tell the weather, eject attached hard drives, and control your Nest thermostat.

And now, after five years on the Mac, Alfred is making the leap to iOS with a new companion app called Alfred Remote. Released today, it’s not going to be useful for most people, but serious Alfred users will love it. If anything, it’s evidence that you can still build a great app and community around core features offered by Apple.

New LaunchBar proves Apple hasn’t killed app launchers yet

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wwdc_2014_258

App launchers on the Mac have always been geared toward power users, and lately tools like Alfred have become even more sophisticated, with user-created scripts and extensions. When Apple debuted the new Spotlight in OS X Yosemite at WWDC, it took many of the best features from existing launchers, like the ability to find any app you have installed with a couple keystrokes.

LaunchBar was the original app launcher on the Mac, and today a brand new version was released with a themable interface and new features.

Will tools like LaunchBar and Alfred live on when millions of Mac owners start using the new Spotlight this fall? Now that Apple has capitalized on the more consumer-friendly aspects of what makes a good launcher, third-party alternatives are going after power users like never before.

How To Easily Change The File Type Of A Folder Full Of Images [OS X Tips]

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Batch Processing Pixelmator

One of the things we get a lot here at Cult of Mac, especially in our coverage of games, is folders full of promotional images. Now, for a variety of reasons, we often need to change the type of those images from, say, PNG to JPG files.

You can use Preview, of course, opening them all at once, and then selecting them all, then exporting them all to a new folder with a new image type. It’s workable, but it’s tedious.

Using Pixelmator, an affordable image editing program for the Mac, Automator (no relation), a scripting app bundled in Mac OS X, and Alfred, a pretty slick app launching application, you can make these changes much faster.

Here’s how.

Escape Screen Sharing Via Alfred Or Quicksilver Using Command-Tab [OS X Tips]

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Alfred Screen Sharing

I use Apple’s built-in Screen Sharing app all the time to connect from my Macbook Air to my Mac Mini. It’s a great way to just quickly log in from the Air and restart a Minecraft server, for example, or get a screenshot of the latest OS X Mavericks beta feature.

I also use Command-Tab a lot on my Macbook Air to switch between running apps. However, I was never able to Command-Tab my way out of Screen Share, as the keyboard combination gets sent to the remote Mac Mini, keeping me fully in Screen Share Mode.

Until now.

Master Alfred 2.0 On Your Mac With These Five Tips And Tricks [Feature]

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Nice hat, Alfred!
Nice hat, Alfred!

If you haven’t been using Alfred, the amazing app launcher (and much more) on your Mac, you’ve been missing out. It started out as an app launcher, a la Quicksilver, but continued to get improvements and additions over time until now, version 2.0 can do a ton of things on your Mac, all with a quick hotkey press on the keyboard, including launching apps, issuing system commands, and more.

Here are five tips and tricks to getting the most out of Alfred 2.0, one of the best apps you can have on your Mac.