Way back in the day, around the turn of the century, there was a popular Mac app known as Watson.
Watson was useful because it allowed users easy ways to search for content on the internet and it was a vast improvement on Apple’s own Sherlock Finder and web search tool. Unfortunately for the developer of Watson, Apple improved Sherlock and added so many features that Watson became redundant and was retired. What’s the moral of the story?
Sherlocked For Fun And Games
That episode introduced the world to what became known as Sherlocking, whereby Apple adds features to match or exceed those already available in a third party application.
Not all that long ago, back a few years when Mac pundits hated the Finder, and clever app developers added modern features to make it work better, there was XtraFinder.
XtraFinder’s claims to fame were a sub-1.0 version number, Finder tabs, dual panels and windows in the Finder, and a few other non-Finder-like features we came to love.
With OS X 10.9.x Mavericks and the huge Finder upgrade, Apple essentially Sherlocked XtraFinder by stuffing the most used features into the Mac’s Finder.
Amazingly, XtraFinder didn’t just wither away and die the standard Sherlocked death. Why not?
XtraFinder still has tabs, still has ducal panel and windows, but it has a few other useful features Apple didn’t bother to Sherlock. Yet.
First of all, not every Mac user has upgraded to OS X Mavericks. That makes XtraFinder especially valuable to Macs running earlier versions of OS X.
Second, some of XtraFinders more unique features are more than useful; they’re essential. XtraFinder brings back color to apps in the Finder’s Sidebar. Column widths are automatically adjusted in size.
Instead of double-clicking, press the Return button to open an app. Setup your own global hotkey combos to launch apps or perform other functions. I love XtraFinder’s light text on a dark background. There’s an option to display the number of folders in List View, and that’s just the beginning.
XtraFinder has been Sherlocked, yes, but not destroyed completely because the features keep getting added– features Mac users want and need; and features Apple hasn’t bothered to implement into the Finder.
From the perspective of a long time Mac user, it appears that the way keep Apple from Sherlocking an app is to keep making it better.