Alfred is one of my favorite launchers available for OS X. It serves as a replacement for Spotlight search, and can do a whole bunch of other cool things using custom workflows, searches, etc.
I could write a whole series about Alfred, because it’s just that deep. But first things first. To start, I’m going to show you how to perform a custom search on iDownloadBlog. I’ve included a downloadable custom search in this post that you can import directly into Alfred. Have a look inside to see how it works.
Before you can proceed with any of this, you’ll need to have Alfred installed on your system. Alfred is a free download, but custom searches can only be added by Powerpack users, which is a paid addon. If you consider yourself to be a power user, the Powerpack is worth the price of admission.
By the way, be sure to download Alfred from the official website only. Do not download the Mac App Store version, as it’s stuck on version 1.2, and at this point it doesn’t seem as if it will ever be updated. The web download is on version 2, and contains many more features than the outdated Mac App Store version.
You can download the custom search and import it directly into Alfred by clicking here while in the Safari browser. Again, you must have Alfred installed to take advantage of the install link.
Once you have the custom search installed, invoke Alfred, and press ‘i’ on your keyboard for iDownloadBlog. Next, press the space bar and begin typing your search query. After pressing return to submit your search, your system’s default browser should open iDownloadBlog with the custom search results.
Since our search is based on Google search, you can include all of the normal search operators right from within your Alfred search. For instance, if I want to pull up all posts including the word jailbreak, but not tweak, I could type something like “i Jailbreak -tweak” inside of the Alfred window.
With iDB’s absolute wealth of information, this is a fairly powerful search tool to have at your fingertips. I use it often when doing research for new posts, (like this one) and I bet you will find it just as useful.
I do recommend that you add an iDB icon to the newly installed custom search to make it easily identifiable during searches. You can do so by dragging the iDB icon to your custom search’s icon window. I’ve shown how to do this in the video walkthrough above. You can download the iDB icon below:
As stated, Alfred contains a boatload of other possibilities and features, and we plan to bring showcase many of them in a series of new walkthroughs. If you’re still using Spotlight as a Lock screen launcher, then I highly recommend that you check out Alfred. It’s much more powerful than Spotlight, and it can do some downright amazing things with workflows and the like. Let me know what you think in the comments section.