Tell me the truth. What do you use to launch apps on your Mac? With as many apps that reside on my Mac, I still use the Dock. Sometimes. Most of the time I use DragThing, which is infinitely more customizable, utilitarian, and useful. And expensive.
Here are five free Mac app launchers that go beyond the Dock, but are not loaded up with bloatware features or difficult to use (in other words, you get what you pay for).
Launcher: Duh. It launches. But it also searches. Launcher is a pop up which is keyboard driven. Type in part of a name, use a custom command, or add an abbreviation.
AppLauncher: It’s the most descriptive launcher available on the Mac, and billed as the fastest app launcher. AppLauncher works similar to Launcher. Type into the pop up window or click on the icon or name of most frequently used apps, and you’re good to go.
Alfred: There’s more than meets the eye with Alfred. It’s also a pop up launcher and file finder, and kinda sorta free. Assign apps to specific hotkeys and launch from the keyboard. It’s the add on functions that take Alfred from free to expensive.
Tab Launcher Lite: One thing I like about DragThing is the option to mouse the screen pointer to a hotspot and have the launchpad appear. No click. Tab Launcher Lite works mostly the same way. It’s like having another Dock on the side of the Mac’s screen.
Chuck: If Alfred is too much, there’s always Chuck. This is a bare bones pop up with nothing beyond the basics. Set a hotkey combo to launch Chuck, type in a user assignable alias, and the connected app launches.
Those are five free and easy app launchers. On the not so free side of things, is DragThing, and 5 Reasons You Need And Love The Best Mac App Launcher And File Finder.