Apple has greatly improved Spotlight search in OS X Yosemite, making it accessible front and center on the desktop with more intelligent search results from Wikipedia and other sources. In doing so, it essentially brought most of the functionality of the popular third-party productivity app Alfred to stock OS X. But while the general consensus among the Apple community yesterday was “poor Alfred,” the creators of the app remain optimistic…
The team behind Alfred addressed the update in a recent blog post:
What you have to remember is that Spotlight’s primary objective is to search your files and a small handful of pre-determined web sources. Meanwhile, Alfred’s primary objective is to make you more productive on your Mac with exceptional and powerful features like Clipboard History, System commands, iTunes Mini Player, 1Password bookmarks, Terminal integration, fully bespoke and customizable user-created workflows and much, much more. These features allow you to mould Alfred to your unique needs, and this isn’t going to change whether you use the free version of Alfred or the Powerpack.
The takeaway from that is that while Spotlight might have a similar design to Alfred, its functionality is primary still for file discovery and limited search across a shortlist of web sources. Alfred, on the other hand, has several productivity features that are ideal for Mac power users: clipboard history, system commands, an iTunes mini player, 1Password bookmarks, Terminal integration, customizable workflows and more.
Alfred developer Andrew Peppernell and product development lead Vero Peppernell are working on what they call exciting new features for the productivity app, which will be announced over the next few months. The duo appears confident that Alfred can still have a future on OS X Yosemite, even in light of the all-new Spotlight search. We’ll find out for sure when the software update is publicly released in the Fall.
Keep it locked for more extensive coverage of Spotlight on OS X Yosemite.