Alfred vs Spotlight?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DramaLLama, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. DramaLLama macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    I've used Alfred the past few days to see why everyone loves it (do people still love it?) but I can't see any advantages over what Spotlight has already offered me.. spotlight always gets whatever I'm trying to get to with the first result..

    I just try to keep a minimum amount of programs that serve a duplicated purpose on my machine, what do you guys prefer?
     
  2. whiteonline macrumors 6502

    whiteonline

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    California, USA
    #2
    Alfred does a lot more than just find files/programs. It integrates with web search, email, and other intelligent things. It's highly customizable.
    I don't use it, mainly because I don't have the patience to force myself into a new workflow.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    #3
    If all you are using Alfred for is to launch apps, you are correct it offers nothing much over Spotlight. The real benefit is the added features with the paid Powerpack and the Workflows you can add.

    I have attached a list of Workflows I use. Some I got from the site I linked above and some I made myself. Just about anything you can think of that your regularly do on your machine, you can make into a Workflow and automate the function with Alfred.

    I would never be without Alfred.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I notice that there is a 1.2 version available in the MAS, but 2.0 available online. Is there a significant difference? I really dislike getting apps directly from the supplier. I much prefer the MAS because updates happen asynchronously from app usage. It totally bugs me when I open an app, and the first thing that happens is that it alerts me that an update is available. It is the worst possible time to update... exactly when I want to use it.

    /Jim
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    The V2 version is a complete rewrite. Here is a feature list. The biggest addition is the Workflows I mentioned in my post above.

    V2 will never hit the App Store because it has features and OS tie ins that would not meet Apple's App Store requirement with Sandboxing etc.

    I agree with you... I prefer everything in the App Store for the reasons you said, but it is not going to happen with Alfred. That said, the dev. actually wrote his own, built in update mechanism that is very quick.
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    I was very happy with Spotlight for years but recently switched to Alfred. I bought the Powerpack, but even without it it works better than Spotlight because it sorts the search results putting previous selections first. So it basically quickly learns what you often select. Alfred will do a lot more than Spotlight and there is nothing that Spotlight will do that Alfred won't. Switching was a "no brainer".
     
  7. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

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    Nov 24, 2009
    #7
    Alfred wont show dev files and most plists unless you make a workflow which requires buying the powerpack.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
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    Portland, OR
    #8
    Do you know if it will search inside of Microsoft Outlook email folders... especially those "on my computer"?

    /Jim
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    There is an Alfred Workflow here that would appear to do what you want.
     
  10. Sital macrumors 68000

    Sital

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    You definitely need the PowerPack to take advantage of Alfred. Besides launching apps I use it as a calculator, to resize windows, open specific folders, generate passwords, search Amazon, search for iTunes lyrics, etc....

    When I'm on a computer that doesn't have Alfred, I still press alt-space and when nothing happens I'm momentarily confused and don't know what to do! :p
     
  11. Murgatroyd macrumors member

    Murgatroyd

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    Can an Alfred workflow be created to …

    … cause any and all key bindings for programs other than the one I'm active with to be ignored?

    I work with Logic Pro X, and 9 in the past, and certain key presses bring up menus and windows for other unrelated apps, e.g. Text Expander. I have LPX dedicated to a specific desktop, and I'm not into programming anymore but thought of the idea to, while it's in a specific desktop and active, to also have a program that would "sandbox" all keystrokes to LPX and disregard the calling of other apps. The program reverts keystrokes back to the previous state once the specific desktop pertaining to a specific app is switched or the app quit.

    If there are any programmers reading this and want an idea, here's one.****:apple:
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Oregon
    #12
    It shows my dev files (programming source files and html files).
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

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    Nov 24, 2009
    #13
    Yes, but only because it's in your user directory. it won't show it in /system and probably not /library as well.
     
  14. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #14
    Nope, but Spotlight doesn't seem to search there either. Luckily it's never been an issue for me.
     
  15. Ddyracer, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

    Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #15
    It does for me. I will double check this tomorrow. I think you need to enable everything in spotlight.

    Just checked: Yep, Spotlight shows /system/ and /library files i was right :)
     
  16. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    I bought the powerpack today. I got the mega-powerpack based on the feedback that this is a good app, and I like to support good software.

    I am having a problem however. Prior to creating an account, I was able to search the forums. Now I am logged in... but I continuously get error messages that I am not allowed to view the forum. It is to the point that I cannot even log out of my account or make any account changes... so I cannot view the forum at all.

    I sent an email to their webmaster. I hope they fix this quickly, since I want to try some of the feature, but I can't check out any of them at this time.

    /Jim
     
  17. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #17
    Files at such locations require you to explicitly tell Spotlight to search there. You need to search via a Finder window and have the option "system files" set to "include". I wonder if Alfred has something similar.

    Personally I don't use Alfred since it doesn't offer anything I can do already in OS X by default. What I do is either covered by specific features in applications, Spotlight or the commandline. I don't need an app that only offers more functionality than Spotlight after getting the powerpack which you have to pay for. But that is just my workflow and I think that's pretty much the entire point: Alfred can be a great help if your workflow allows for it. From what I've seen you can custom design some workflows from within Alfred which I think is very useful.
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #18
    Alfred actually uses the Spotlight index. So if you can't see something (as far as files/folders) in Spotlight you won't see it in Alfred.
     
  19. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #19
    No you don't. Just check the dev check box in spotlight and it will search there. Yes, alfred does, I said this earlier, I can actually give you the workflow I made thanks from a tipster over at Alfred forums and it will search everything spotlight finds.

    I agree its pretty silly that alfred doesn't have this feature built in but the dev really is pushing workflows in any way he can.
     
  20. dyn macrumors 68030

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    .nl
    #20
    Which is exactly one of the main reasons why I'm not using Alfred. However, using the index is one thing, manipulating the data in the index is a whole different story. Spotlight itself searches the index but will filter it (system files are not shown for example). Alfred might do that differently and indeed search the entire index and not filter the results. That can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing (same applies to Spotlight).

    It only searches it partially. I still need to use the one in Finder with the option "system files" set to "included" for it to find ALL files. That's the difference between the Spotlight window from the menu bar and the one in Finder and the cli. The difference on my Mac is having 385 without the system files and 401 with it included. Results are filtered.
     

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