I understand and appreciate the concept behind OS X’s built-in Spotlight app. It indexes files to make the search faster. The problem here is simple. There are too many files and narrowing down the search criteria in Spotlight is cumbersome at best. Is there a better way?
The Search For Search
Color me cynical but I think search is fundamentally flawed; whether online or on a Mac. Here’s a perfect example of what could be good but isn’t.
Digging around on the various sites I visit every few days I found an app called SpotFiles. Ostensibly, this is an easier way to spot– or find– files on your Mac.
Click on SpotFiles’ icon in the Menubar and what do you get?
A mini-search engine which is already more friendly than Spotlight. SpotFiles starts with search criteria first, such as Name Contains, or Modified Date, or file Size Greater Than.
That search methodology requires a few extra steps up front, but it’s a big time saver later. Search results are instantly display with file name, file location, file size, and last date modified.
This is all well and good and the only thing to complain about is the lack of information about SpotFiles, what it does, how it does it, how it should be used, and what it costs.
The developer’s website has almost no information about SpotFiles, which is an app used to search files. Maybe that’s all you need to know.
Think about that omission. I’m looking for apps that can search and find files and I find one that does but can’t find information about the app itself. Not even basic information.
So, I downloaded SpotFiles and installed it on my Mac. You get to try-before-you-buy for seven days, then you must purchase SpotFiles. It’s not expensive, but not a bargain, either. It competes against Spotlight, which is built-in to OS X, provides faster searches but in a clumsier interface.
This is all too common on the Mac web these days. Look at the hundreds of apps on the Mac App Store which have little to no description of what the app does or how to use it. For many such apps, developer contact for support is handled via Twitter.
Mac developers go to a lot of work to create an application and get it approved by Apple on the Mac App Store, so why not spend a few hours more, create a decent website, and give the app a useful description?
End of rant.