Alfred app review: A digital butler

There is no feature so basic that it cannot be built upon and made more deep by an app. Case in point: Alfred is an app for MacOS that replaces and greatly expands upon the native Spotlight app. While simple enough on the surface, Alfred has a surprising amount of depth to it and takes the basic function of searching your computer to a whole new level.

Once you’ve downloaded Alfred, you can assign it a hotkey for quick access. It also gets added to the menu bar. In addition to allowing you to open applications like Spotlight, it has several more advanced features. For instance, while you can pull up sites like YouTube, for instance, directly from Spotlight, on Alfred you can search videos directly on YouTube, saving several clicks on the way.

Alfred also allows you to open files, search for text within files and run several other basic functions on your Mac. For instance, you can empty the trash, lock your screen, or restart your computer all from within Alfred. It’s extremely customizable too, even in the free version, so there’s a lot of potential in the app to automate whole systems and workflows all from within Alfred.

With the premium version, Alfred Powerpack, the application gets a whole suite of powerful functions. One of these is clipboard history. This allows you to go back and access text or images that you’ve copied to your clipboard in the past all from within Alfred.

More importantly, it unlocks the Workflows feature that allows Alfred to run scripts in the terminal with just a few hotkeys. There’s a lot of preset ones that Alfred users have developed that allow you to integrate Alfred with tons of different websites and other applications. This is where the app really stands out as more than just a curiosity.

Bottomline, in you’re a MacOS power-user, then Alfred can save you a lot of time. The workflows in particular have a ton of potential. For more casual users, the free version is just a bit smoother and more capable than Spotlight and well worth the download.

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