One of our directives at Mac360 is to search out and use valuable new Mac tools that work better, work easier, and let you have fun.
Fun? Yes, like the fun you see when kids jump up and down on a trampoline. OK, you won’t have that kind of fun at work or on your Mac, but it’s a good way to introduce the new Bullseye.
Maybe it’s something about the term “bull” in bullseye that just sounds negative. Whatever it is, the makers of Bullseye upgraded their nifty Mac launcher and now call it Trampoline.
Hmmm. Let’s not even approach the “tramp” in trampoline. It’s Friday, so I’m given a bit of lattitude, no?
Trampoline is a Mac launcher that looks a bit like an onscreen trampline that holds your favorite Mac applications, without the bouncing you see in the Dock.
Trampoline provides a quick way to get within a click, or, rather, within a jump of often used Mac applications and utilities. Click the hot key and this silver blue trampoline pops up on screen, right under your mouse point.
You can pre-load Trampoline with a bunch of your most frequently used Mac icons, arranged neatly in a circle around the edges of the on-screen trampoline. The mouse pointer is already there, so it’s just a quick move to the right icon, and click—the application or utility opens up.
The reason for a launcher on the Mac that goes beyond the Dock is because of the Docks inherent shortcomings. Yes, as launchers go, it does a decent job.
There’s visual representation of what’s running at the moment. Arranged appropriately and many of your Mac applications and documents are easily found. Magnification helps. You can hide the Dock.
You can lead it to water but you can’t make it drink.
The Dock is limited. Physically, it’s limited to the size of one side of your screen. Sorry, I’ve got waaaay too many Mac applications and utilities and documents for OS X’s Dock.
It’s easy enough to create a folder on your Mac, and insert aliases for your most frequently used applications, drop them inside the folder, and drag the folder to the Dock. Presto. Instant launcher. Click the folder, wait a few seconds, scroll through all the applictions, utilities, and document aliases, and open what you want.
See the problem? There’s maintenance required, and the list of alias icons grows every day. It’s a cheap solution, but frought with overhead.
Trampoline streamlines in a way that’s similar to DragThing. Put your Documents folder onto Trampoline, and simply click to reveal what’s inside. It’s quick, simple, intuitive.
Preferences are many but the whole focus is ease of use, quick access to what you use the most. Oddities? A few.
Like DragThing, Trampoline stays off screen until you need it (hotkey), and then it pops on screen below your mouse pointer. If your mouse pointer is near the edge of the screen, Trampoline may actually pop up with a portion of the trampoline and icons off your screen, which requires an additional mouse movement to bring it back onscreen.
If you have plenty of applications and documents, their icons can be rather small on the edge of the trampoline. There’s lots, and I mean lots. of wasted space in the middle of the trampoline.
Trampoline can be invoked with the mouse (assuming you have a Mighty Mouse or multi-button mouse), such as the third mouse button on Mighty Mouse. The keystroke combination can be modified to suit your needs.
Overall, Trampoline is a handy tool that aids in a quick launch of your favorite Mac applications and utilities, and works well as an adjunct to the Dock. It doesn’t have the flexibility or capability of DragThing, the elegance of OverFlow, or the difficult learning curve of Quicksilver, but works well.
What’s your favorite Mac application launcher? Are you a Dock fan? What do you use to add to the Dock’s ease-of-use? Share your experience in the Comments section below.