LaunchBar 6

It’s time for take-off with this great app that has plenty to give

Mac Format - - RATED | MAC APPS -

Free/€24 (about £19) De­vel­oper Ob­jec­tive Devel­op­ment,­ucts/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.

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