You’re in luck. It just so happens that many Mac app launchers are in the dime-a-dozen category. In other words, they don’t cost much, they’re easy to use, but not exactly candidates for power user status. Here’s a look at the Mac’s best app launcher and why it’s so 1999 in a 21st century world.
Drag Or Click?
Way back in the last century I began using DragThing as my official go-to apps launcher on a Mac PowerBook running Classic Mac OS, and even with OS X haven’t looked back.
No app launcher to that date was as easy to setup, despite an extensive list of configurations and preferences.
DragThing is probably named such because all that was required to use it as an app launcher was to drag and app by its icon and drop it on the floating DragThing palette.
Dragging is also the nature of rearranging app icons on a palette to suit your particular needs. DragThing is smart enough that even dragging a folder or disk volume gave you a one click way to open and traverse the file hierarchy beneath the icon.
One click. One click is also all that’s needed to open an app in DragThing. I set it up with a corner hotspot. Move the onscreen pointer to a hot corner and the DragThing palette appears, otherwise it’s out of the way.
After having tried hundreds of Mac apps and a few dozen app launchers, DragThing still gets the first spot on my Mac’s Dock, and is used every day because it’s just so easy.
Click on a folder dropped onto a DragThing palette and you get a hierarchy dialog of all the files and folders inside.
DragThing may be the single most customizable app launcher available, so you’re not limited to the pre-set styles– every element can be customized to taste through extensive preferences– for each palette dock.
DragThing is simple enough to setup and use for Mac newbies, but contains so many features, functions, and settings that it can be customized for the most ardent Mac power user, even those who demand keyboard shortcuts for everything.
So, what’s wrong with DragThing?
Functionally, not much. It’s comfortable and elegant but powerful. On the downside, visually, DragThing is so 1999, and still looks and feels like an early OS X app, a precursor of sorts to Apple’s Launchpad on recent versions of OS X, as well as the iOS launchpad.
The crisp and clean look represented in iOS 7 is absent, making DragThing look more relic than modern. Worse, it’s been stuck at the 5.9.x level for nearly a dozen versions, so, either something is brewing for the better, or DragThing is languishing in the past.
It’s a true try-before-you-buy Mac app, though, and I don’t know of an easier way a Mac user can become a power user with a single click than through DragThing. It’s highly recommended and worth every penny, but definitely in need of a coat of paint.