Yes, the Mac’s Dock is built-in, priced right, and everyone knows how to use it, but there are problems with the Dock and a better, faster way to launch apps that won’t break the bank, your finger, or even dent your checkbook or credit card balance.
Love ’em or hate ’em, all app launchers have one thing in common. A one-click way to launch the app of your choice with a minimal amount of effort.
I love the Dock. I use the Dock. I want the Dock to be better, but Apple has to consider the great unwashed masses of Windows PC switchers who need simplicity, not complexity.
Still, there’s little that’s complex about the free app launch aLaunch.
This simple utility lives in the Mac’s Menubar so it’s instantly accessible from within any Mac app, yet doesn’t take up screen space the way the Dock usually does.
Once it’s setup and running, aLaunch is great to use, making it a simple click to open any app in the list. Therein lies the problem. Creating the list of apps to launch.
The setup takes some work, but you can customize aLaunch to displays only those apps you want, use, and need, vs. the Dock where icons get ever smaller as you add more apps, files, and folders.
aLaunch opens apps and files (which open their respective apps), but folders are opened in the Finder. You have to know what you want to open and organize aLaunch accordingly.
The learning curve and setup isn’t a steep effort, but it takes some initial organization to make it work for you. What I like best are the hotkey controls (to open aLaunch and a specific app or file). This is one of those apps that works well for some, but not for all. The Dock is easier to use and can be customized (app alias in folders attached to the Dock; plus folder navigation), but with some effort.