Quicksilver vs Alfred vs Launchbar vs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by PoseidonMac, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. PoseidonMac macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    Which do you use, suggest, and why?

    I use Quicksilver because that is what I have always used and know it well, however, there are now a few more options and I was wondering what you think.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I tried QS several times the past five, six years, and while I admire its features, it was just not for me.
    I simply use Alfred, that is enough for my application start up needs, and it looks a bit nicer.
  3. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
  4. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    Spotlight doesn't even compare to any of the utilities mentioned..its nice to have but Alfred dominates it!

    Alfred with PowerPack is awesome..use it all day, every day on all my Macs :)
  5. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    +1 For Alfred. I also have Launchbar6 but prefer Alfred for the myriad of options and for the UI.
  6. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    Oh and this is their current twitter post:

    alfredapp: One more day to take advantage of Alfred's 2nd birthday celebration 10% off: http://alfredapp.com/birthday go go go!! :)

    Every little helps...
  7. xizar macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2009
    I tried Quicksilver a little and didn't care for it. I feel that's a personal taste issue, rather than any fault of QS itself, though.

    I have Alfred (with powerpack), and love it. Spotlight is fine for freshly installed OSs that have little on it, but it doesn't learn. Alfred does.
    And while I have dabbled with the powerpack, I paid for it mostly to support the dev. Even by itself, Alfred is an awesome help to me.

    It even tracks it's own usage. :)

    "Since Aug 14, 2011, Alfred has been used 2804 times. Average 13.9 times per day."

    That gives it extra points in my book. :)
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I gave up on Quicksilver after installing it years ago, looking on their website for how to use it and only finding stuff saying "Quicksilver is so powerful that no one even knows what its fully capable of!"

    Worthless IMO and promptly uninstalled. (Information on how to use it would have been much better).

    Now to get to my real point I've heard its been abandoned so you may want to check in to that if you are still using it.
  9. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Agreed. Also, Alfred is being actively developed/improved. The Alfred dev. is very responsive to users requests.
  10. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    I can't even express how amazingly dependent I've become on Alfred.
  11. Sixth Street macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2007
    I use QS because it's free. Alfred is free but to come close to similar functionality you need to buy the powerpack. But for paid products, both Alfred and Launchbar are very very good.

    Everyone should have one of the three installed on their machine.
  12. Xe89 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2009
    I use Quicksilver because it can search applications' menu items (I know you can do this from the Help menu but in my view Quicksilver's way of doing it is much better).

    I also love that Quicksilver with the help of a plugin can search your 1Password logins. That way I not only can search by typing but also assign keyboard shortcuts to a login. Like cmd alt G for Gmail or whatever. It is also possible to choose which browser to open the login in, and login to multiple sites at the same time.

    Also, the Quicksilver default interface is kinda ugly. I recommend changing it to BezelHUD.
  13. Shredder- macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2012
    Can anyone please explain to me what Alfred does that Spotlight doesn't? Except for the design... I feel like you can do everything in spotlight, am i wrong?
  14. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It's faster, more accurate and it remembers your preferred choices. As an application launcher it is just more efficient than Spotlight.
    You can try it and see for yourself.
  15. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    It's also far easier to get to what you want. For instance to get to the prefpane for Displays, in spotlight I have to type out "displays" before it comes as the top hit. Alfred when fresh was "disp" and is now "di".

    I also find that Alfred's built in Shutdown, Sleep & Restart commands are soooo useful! easier to type "sh" enter than point and click 3 times. This comes without the PowerPack
  16. Xe89 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2009
    Or you can use ctrl + eject ;)
  17. baller1308 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2009
    I've used all 3 of them separately at one point in time, but recently I've just started using Spotlight. I only use Spotlight for launching applications and I find it sufficient enough for my needs. If I were to fall back on one of them, I did like Alfred the best.
  18. PoseidonMac thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    Wow thanks so much to everyone for their input. I am strongly considering going to Alfred, I love quicksilver and all but I would rather pay a little money and know that it will continue to be developed. I guess Apple will improve on Spotlight to make it better but for now I do not see Apple ingraining their OS with anything nearly as powerful as one of these application launchers. Should I get Alfred from the app store or buy it through their site? Pros / Cons?
  19. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    Doesn't work on a MBA ;) that's only useful for shutdown
  20. PoseidonMac thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    Ok I made the switch to Alfred. Thanks jamesr19 for the heads up on the discount package. Also, fyi to anyone who wants to download it, right now it is best to get it from the developer website if you are interested in buying the powerpack. I downloaded it from the app store but had to re-download it to get the powerpack.

    Loving the speed of it so far.

    Next question. What extensions do people have for Alfred? Is there a good place to find some? Shell scripts, etc.
  21. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Here are some extensions. You can also run Applescripts directly in Alfred, and I find that very useful.
  22. Warhawk15 macrumors regular


    Feb 1, 2012
    +1 for Alfred.
    My bro told me about QS and Alfred, but said he preferred Alfred since its cleaner and faster.
    From what I remember, QS has more features.

    Since Nov 7, 2011, @alfredapp has been used 4,489 times. Average 37.7 times per day

    Not sure if thats a lot or not, but I love Alfred, my favorite app! :)
  23. rjames86 macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2007
    San Francisco
    I use Alfred SO much at home and at work. I'm pretty certain that I couldn't do my job as efficiently without it.

    The Alfred guys are really good about adding good extensions on their site here:


    You'll find that I've written a few on there, mostly related to Dropbox. You can find the ones I've written posted here:

  24. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    I've used QS for years, but I updated it recently and it just crashed continuously in Snow Leopard - even reverting back to an older version didn't solve it.

    After about 3 days of troubleshooting, I gave up on it and I'm using Alfred now.

    The only thing I miss is file system browsing - I know the powerpack for Alfred will give me this, but the only software I pay for is my OS's, and I don't pirate. :)

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