It’s time for take-off with this great app that has plenty to give
Free/€24 (about £19) Developer Objective Development, obdev.at/products/launchbar
OS OS X 10.9 or later Requires 64-bit Mac
LaunchBar is essentially ‘Spotlight Pro’, enabling you to search your Mac and perform actions on found objects. This update sees a larger, more readable default theme that aesthetically matches rival Alfred and the forthcoming OS X Yosemite Spotlight revamp. However, the strengths aren’t only skin-deep.
Along with improved file indexing, more rules exist, providing access to Reminders lists, Emoji, Finder tags, and Safari’s iCloud tabs, Top Sites and Reading List. The Reminders functionality is strong, to the extent you can avoid Apple’s app entirely.
The other big win is in the new live results. These occur as you add to Calendar and Reminders, but also when searching Google and Wikipedia, which means you can spend more time in the app rather than fiddling around in a browser.
Power users also get excellent new toys. Selected items offer all kinds of details when browsed – for example, an app shows its version number and an image lists its dimensions and colour space. Elsewhere, custom actions can be created and installed. There’s no built-in workflow creation, but plenty of readymades exist online.
Alfred still has the edge on usability, but LaunchBar remains faster and excellent for category-oriented searches. And both obliterate Spotlight. Craig Grannell
LaunchBar provides quick keyboard-based access to your Mac’s files – and more.