How do you launch apps or open files on your Mac? For most, the Dock works just fine. Move the screen pointer to the app icon in the Dock and click. That’s Apple’s default app launcher, of course, and while it’s simple to use, it’s not very efficient. To launch an app the hand must move from the keyboard to the mouse or trackpad, then move the pointer to the app, then click.
If nothing improves without change, then there must be a better way. By my count, I’ve tried a few dozen different app launchers with the sole intent of finding a better way.
My longtime favorite is DragThing, a relic from the last century that still gets plenty of use, but isn’t as efficient as I’d like. The Tab Launcher has promise, but it, too, needs extra movement to find and launch apps and files.
Mac power users swear by Quicksilver, which is keyboard driven. Your hands don’t have to hit the mouse or trackpad to launch an app.
For Mac users who want to move beyond the Dock, there’s AppLauncher— a free, keyboard driven launcher that’s about as simple to use as the Dock itself.
Assign a hotkey combo to AppLauncher and launch it at any time without removing your hands from the keyboard.
Once on the screen, type in the name of the app you want to launch, and it gets displayed by AppLauncher.
That’s it. AppLauncher doesn’t do much of anything else. It launches apps. The latest version also launches web pages in Safari’s bookmarks, but that just clutters up the process.
Preferences are straightforward and start with the global hotkey used to invoke AppLauncher.
The Preferences even acts as a tutorial for the steps needed to use AppLauncher. There’s also a hotkey which opens a new Finder window and brings it to the front so you can find files and apps the old fashioned way.
You might want AppLauncher to do more. It doesn’t. It’s simple, elegant, and works a little like the more powerful Quicksilver, but without all the complexity and add ons.