Actually, Apple gives us plenty of ways to do the deed. The Dock. The Menubar. The Finder. Just remember that nothing improves without change and Apple hasn’t changed much about Dock, Menubar, or Finder since the early days of OS X. Here’s a shortcut launcher-like utility that’s truly in Think Different™ mode.
Put A Ring On It
One of the most unique app launcher and file finder utilities I’ve seen on the Mac is instantly familiar yet wildly different. It’s called Ring Menu, a shortcut app launcher, file and folder find utility.
The very name Ring Menu implies something different, and something circular, and if that’s what you though you’re spot on. Ring Menu mashes up elements from the Dock, the Menubar, and the Finder into a circular utility which acts as floating palace of file finding, folder navigating, and app launching.
Take a look.
That looks familiar, right? It’s as if the Dock was wrapped up into a fully customizable circular menu with options for keyboard shortcuts to invoke and bring to the screen. It handles trackpad gestures, and can be used to find files and navigate through a folder hierarchy.
Adding apps or folders to Ring Menu is as easy as drag and drop. The little dot below each app icon is reminiscent of the Mac’s Dock which displays currently running applications. Ring Menu gives you more screen real estate because the Dock doesn’t need to be visible. Making groups of apps or folders or files is easy, too. Just right-click on the Ring Menu background and select New Collection, then use drag and drop to add items.
Ring Menu is an odd duck, but only visually. The circle of apps remains instantly understandable and usable. The only negative I’ve run into is with a function that’s common with the Dock. Right-click the Dock icon to quit an app. Ring Menu doesn’t do that unless you install an add-on utility.
As we say, different strokes for different folks. If the Dock bores you to tears, and the Finder is like an SAT test that never ends, Ring Menu fits in the middle, with customizable functionality, and an easy way to bring it to the Mac’s screen.