How many ways can you use the Dock? Love it or leave it, the Dock has been around since the turn of the century. It’s an easy way to find and launch apps or files without much of a learning curve. Point and click is your friend.
Here’s the problem with the Dock. That’s about all it does. Some apps add a few tools to the popup or right-click option, but otherwise, it’s a no-brainer utility. Point and click. Is there anything better? Or, something different that does more? Yes. This one is called Station.
Not. The. Dock.
To be fair and frank about Mac app launchers, the absolute best is one you don’t see often, but those who use it, love it. DragThing. Yeah, it’s still available, still works on macOS High Sierra, but the plentiful configuration options can be daunting to Mac users who just want to point and click or drag and drop to make things happen.
That’s Station. Think of it as a highly customizable, totally personalized Dock.
The first thing you’ll notice when installing, setting up, and using Station is that it’s a multi-level launch with nested folder options. Click on an icon and get more icons. The advantage here is obvious. Screen real estate is valuable but we Mac users have more applications than ever and that takes up valuable space in the Dock, which shrinks in size as more apps are added.
Station lets you organize apps into launch folders so the Dock-like interface is smaller, more compact, more efficient, yet easy to use. With a little setup effort.
- Up to ten levels of folders can be shown.
- The size of the icons can range from 24 to 64 points.
- An alias folder can be created from any existing folder.
- Display panels can be justified to the left, center, or right.
- Icons can be assigned to folders to give them a more distinctive feel.
- All applications and documents in a folder can be launched all at once.
- Station can be displayed on the left, right or bottom side of the screen.
- Folders automatically open after a short delay when you drag items over them.
- Station can be displayed statically (always shown) or automatically hidden when not needed.
- The display name of a folder can be renamed (e.g. “untitled” to “Graphics”).
- Scrollbar support for launch panels that exceed screen dimensions.
- Embedded open folder icon can now be either blue or red.
- Auto collapse of folders after launch of an item.
- Select any color for the panel background color.
- You can automatically populate all folder icons.
- Station will automatically launch at login.
- Fullscreen and multiscreen support.
Unlike the Dock itself, Station is a multi-tasking utility that does more than the basic point and click. You can adapt it to your workflow and Mac organization habits.
Alert! Promo copy ahead!
Station is a multilevel (hierarchical) launcher that promotes a more natural organization of applications and documents into folders. With nested folders, you can arrange items in Station in a way that fits your workflow with an uncluttered look and feel. Scalability is greatly increased through logical groupings thus increasing the sheer number of items that can be added to Station without having to shrink the launcher size.
Station is familiar but extends on the Dock’s simplicity to a greater degree. Some of what Station does can be done in the Dock but it requires far more effort than the value it provides to even a basic workflow. Station’s icons can change in size, folder alias is drop-dead simple to implement, and even files can be dragged over a Station folder which then pops up so you know exactly where the drop goes.
This is one of those Mac app replacements that simply extends what you already know about using the Dock but gives you more options to make accessing files, folders, and apps more of an integrated but logical approach. Nicely done, easy to set up and use, and it avoids the typical caveat with Mac App Store apps. There’s a try-before-you-buy option.