Hello Alfred, and Farewell Quicksilver


Quicksilver has been moribund for a while, and it was only a matter of time before I switched to Alfred. The switch was much simpler than I anticipated - I had the two apps running side by side until I was satisfied I could do the same things with both. Didn’t take long at all.

Quicksilver is no more

The main developer behind Quicksilver was hired by Google ages ago to work on what proved to be a pointless app (it had too much Google Search and too little Quicksilver). I was quite surprised nobody else took up the slack - there are people who create patches when a new version of OS X come out, but that’s about it. Eventually somebody told me about Alfred, and before long I got around trying it. It wasn’t long before I bought the Power Pack and removed Quicksilver from my system.

So what’s Alfred good for?

Alfred is much simpler and better organized. At first the simplicity was off putting, but I soon realized it wasn’t missing any of the features I use all the time, it’s simply a better focused app. And functionality is implemented much better - for example ‘Lock screen’ and ‘Shutdown’ are there, no need to install silly extras (or create AppleScripts to interface with shell scripts if you are not aware the extras exist). The calculator is also an improvement as are Terminal and Dict integration. And everything is easier to find in the preferences - it’s all listed in the ‘features’ panel. One list instead of a bazaar of extras and plugins all over the place.

And ‘bye ‘bye to Jumpcut too!

Another useful feature is the clipboard history - I used to use Jumpcut for that, but now I get it as part of Alfred. This allows you to remember the last 9 items you copied, useful for coders as we are forever typing the same words.

Try them side by side

Well that’s enough praise - give Alfred a spin and see for yourself. As I said, I had both Alfred and Quicksilver running side by side, no ill side effects, and slowly started learning how to use the new tool. It was quite quick and painless.