The Mac360 team reviews hundreds of new utilities and applications each year.
As you would expect, some are good, some not. We have a few unanimous favorites, though, including the Mac’s Best. File. Launcher. Ever.
Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. The worth of a Mac application or utility may vary person to person, but some of the best are favorites for the whole Mac360 staff.
For example, among full backup applications, it’s been hard for anyone to top the reliability, dependability of SuperDuper!
Likewise, we all use ChronoSync to copy files from one Mac to another across a network. If there’s a better utility, we haven’t found it yet.
The Mac is loaded with excellent applications and utilities that make our Mac’s digital iLife a better life. What about file launchers? You know, those utilities that do more than the Dock, more handy than the Finder?
There must be a dozen superbly crafted utilities that let you launch applications and files, let you navigate through folders and volumes. For the Mac360 staff, there’s only one that’s unanimous and at the top of the list.
DragThing takes top honors.
A file or application launcher works like the Dock in Mac OS X. It’s a shortcut to open a file, a document, a folder, a utility, an application, whatever.
Do I have a simple criteria for a launcher? It must be easy to setup, easy to learn and use, simple to customize for personal use, mostly out of the way and unobtrusive, but always there.
So it is with DragThing. Yes, I’m aware that the Mac has many good launcher utilities, most quite capable, and most extend well beyond the Dock’s capabilities, or the Finder’s features.
Sorry, folks. They all pale compared to DragThing. Why?
Simple. Elegant. Customizable. A snap to set up and use for Mac newbies, yet powerful for any Mac power user.
The metaphor is simple. A dock. It can be big, small, colorful, plain, always float on top or not, available with a single keystroke or no keystroke at all.
If you don’t want to configure anything and just need a simple palette of dock icons that works much better than Apple’s Dock, then DragThing delivers.
If you love configuration and personal customization right down to the nth detail, with special hot keys, multiple docks and palettes, DragThing delivers.
Most of the Mac360 staff has been using DragThing since the Mac OS Classic days. Carol converted Jack. Tera converted Bambi who converted me and Kate. Jeffrey and Nat found DragThing on their own, as did Ron. That’s unanimous.
Using DragThing is as simple as dragging an icon from the Finder to a box on a DragThing dock, a floating palette, if you will. Click the icon, and the application launches. That’s easy. But DragThing does much, much more.
Drag a file to an appropriate icon on a DragThing dock and it opens. Drag a folder to a dock on Drag Thing and you can click the folder and get a heirarchical menu of everything inside the folder. Ditto with a hard disk icon.
DragThing’s newest feature, besides full compatibility with Intel Macs, is special themes. DragThing has always been customizable, but now comes with special, pre-designed themes.
On my Mac I keep a huge applications dock, a documents and files dock, an open applications dock, and a disk dock (for hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and disk images).
You gotta love the try-before-you-buy process of using great Mac applications. What’s not to like? Not much.
If there’s an issue at all with trying out a new Mac utility or application such as DragThing, it’s giving yourself the necessary time to make it work for you. We all have our favorite ways of doing things, right? Change can be hard.
Remember what Tera always said, “nothing improves without change.” DragThing may be the most popular Mac launcher utility of all time. If so, it’s Number One for a reason.
What’s on your Mac? Do you use Mac OS X’s Dock or do you have a replacement? Why and how does it work for you? As always, share your experience and know-how with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.