Did you ever wonder why the Mac’s Dock hasn’t changed much through the years? It’s the same reason why Calendar, Contacts, and even Safari and Mail remain much the same apps they were in the beginning.
With the Mac, Apple needs to appeal to a broad and growing spectrum of customers, so OS X’s basic applications need to be usable by not only expert power users, but newbies fresh off the Windows Switcher boat. If you’re ready for more power and think you can handle it, this is the app to try.
Where’s The Interface?
One of the most difficult facets of becoming a Mac power user is simple. It’s just not easy. The road to Mac power user status begins with letting go. Letting go of the mouse and trackpad in favor of the keyboard.
That’s where Quicksilver, a Mac launcher, searcher, file browser utility is unlike anything resembling the Dock or Finder. It’s keyboard centric. Quicksilver works a bit like the Mac’s built-in app switcher. Command-Tab to view open apps and switch from one app to another.
But Quicksilver does more than open or switch apps. Hit the keyboard combo and Quicksilver smacks the screen with context sensitive options, based upon what you type.
Quicksilver is intuitive but only when you understand what goes on when you invoke Quicksilver to the screen, and realize that your fingers tell it what to do. No pointing. No clicking.
What you get in exchange for the discipline to use the keyboard is speed; instant access to apps, files, documents, Contacts, iTunes, Calendar, URLs, even files and folders which normally would be accessed using the Finder. All from the keyboard.
Wait a minute. Isn’t Spotlight in OS X kinda sorta maybe the same thing? The answer is yes. And no. Spotlight knows where everything is– files, folders, documents, apps– but isn’t very smart and treats every request like it’s the first request you’ve ever made.
Quicksilver is more focused and provides you with on-screen options tailored for how you work and is much faster as specific, user-centric tasks than Spotlight. It doesn’t just open Contacts. It finds the contact information you want. Spotlight finds. Quicksilver does.
What you end up with is an integrated utility that forces you off the trackpad or mouse, and makes you immediately more productive by keeping your hands on the keyboard. Based upon what you type Quicksilver displays just the right action items to improve your focus, improve efficiency, and avoid the stress and strain of constantly moving your hands and fingers from keyboard to mouse or trackpad and back again.
Keyboard usage is what separates the average Mac user from the power user, and Quicksilver is one powerful arrow in the quiver. Did I mention that Quicksilver is free? And, that it comes with a bunch of useful plugins to fully customize your workflow?
How forgetful of me.