We talk up the file launcher and manipulator Quicksilver quite a bit here at TUAW, but there is a solid batch of similar productivity-enhancing utilities that offer different things for different users. Whether you're looking for a simple utility that lets you launch your applications faster than Spotlight can find them, or you're prepared to step up to vast amounts of power and flexibility with what you find and how you use it, chances are I covered an app in this screencast that will fit the bill for you. From the power of Butler to the simplicity of Namely, I wanted to give you at least some of the basics and a visual on how 5 different launchers work, as well as their pros and cons and how they differ from each other. However, since I am a Quicksilver lover at heart, it is very likely that I missed a key feature or two in these apps, so feel free to highlight your favorite features and what you think new users can truly benefit from in the comments. Also, for anyone interested in what I'm using to create these screencasts, I include a very short blurb at the beginning which highlights a few of the tools I use to record the screencast and create some of the effects I use.
This time around I've decided to try something different, and I've created two versions of the screencast. In our podcast feed is an iPod-friendly version of the podcast that's 640 x 400, 17 minute and 40 MB - that's the one you can get by subscribing to our iTunes Store podcast feed or our direct TUAW podcast feed. I've also created an HD version for those who want something with a little more detail (sorry, we don't have an RSS feed for HD podcasts yet; this is a new thing so we'll see how it goes). That one will look better on larger displays and should play mighty fine on the Apple TV.
To make sure we're all on the same page and that you can run out and grab demos of these launchers, here is a list of links to all the apps I mention in the screencast, including the ones I use to create and record it:
- Quicksilver - donationware
- LaunchBar - commercial: $19.95
- Butler - donationware
- Overflow - commercial: $14.95
- Namely - donationware
- Desktopple Pro - hiding the desktop icons, custom wallpaper and more (which we've mentioned before)
- Mouseposé - spotlight effects, keystroke overlays (which I didn't use in this specific screencast) and other presentation highlighting tools (mentioned here)
- iShowU - excellent and customizable app for recording screencasts (mentioned a couple times here)