When you want to open a file, folder or application on your Mac, most people will open the ‘Applications’ folder, and open their application of choice. Apple has a solution for that built in, called Spotlight. You type something in, and it searches for it on your Mac. For me, Apple’s built in solution doesn’t cut it.
Most will go on and download Quicksilver from Blacktree Software. Unfortunately, Quicksilver hasn’t been updated in months, which has left a big gap for other developers to try to fill. One of those developers happens to be Running with Crayons. Running with Crayons makes an app called Alfred, which aims to save you time in searching your local computer and the web. Below, you’ll find my death-match between Quicksilver and Alfred.
Both Quicksilver and Alfred have inviting user experiences. One of the advantages of Quicksilver is the ability to install plugins to change the look of Quicksilver. With Alfred, it’s one interface, but it’s a very simple interface that’s easy to use.
When it comes to Quicksilver and Alfred, you measure the success of your input with the correct results that you’re looking for. When you type your search for an application, you expect the right results, and both apps give the right results, but Alfred packs more features into the results; you can search on the web for the result if you can’t find it on your computer (Google, Wikipedia and Amazon).
One of the big features of Alfred is the speed of which the results come up; in my tests, Alfred worked 3x faster then Quicksilver in returning results for applications, files, folders, and even results on the web. Alfred takes two steps out of any search process, which makes Alfred much easier to use then Quicksilver.
Overall, both Quicksilver and Alfred do their job very well, but Alfred does the job better with more features, updates, user experience, and speed. Alfred is even coming out with a “Powerpack” that includes features like; File System Navigation, Result Actions, iTunes Mini Player and much more.
Both Apps are free, so find out for yourself which works better for you.