Release 0.5.6 Beta: Alfred Five Weeks On

It’s now just over a month since we first launched Alfred. The first thing we’d like to say is a huge thank you to the +13,000 people who have downloaded Alfred, tested it, reviewed it, commented about it on Twitter or otherwise helped spread the word.

Today, we are releasing version 0.5.6 beta, the fourth public release to date. It’s full of new features and improvements, as the lengthy change log shows since 0.5 two weeks ago.

A few highlights:

  • Performance: Pre-caching of apps & significant speed improvements
  • Basic update checker which pops up “Update available” message
  • Improved local search scope preferences
  • Improved relevancy and accuracy of results (This is just the start, there’s still a lot to do here)
  • Bit.ly shortcut creation (using “bitly” keyword)
  • UI design tweaks
  • Added new countries to locales
  • Advanced calculator (using ‘=’, still experimental)

The full change log is available here for the curious ones.

Email signup no longer required

When we first launched Alfred, we didn’t include a way to check for updates. For that reason, we required users to sign up with an email address so that we could email everyone with updates. As a result of adding an automatic update checker, we’re able to make email sign up optional.

We’ll be sharing news and tips on Twitter and via our newsletter, so be sure to sign up if you want to stay in touch.

What’s Next?

In the next release, we’ll be focusing on further improving relevancy of searches as well as adding/improving web searches. We have dozens of tickets lined up, taking into account nearly all of the feedback we’ve received from users in the past few weeks.

We’ll be slowing the pace down ever so slightly as we’ve been spending every spare hour on Alfred recently and need to catch our breath before tackling the next release.

In summary, we’ve loved every moment of developing Alfred and these past few weeks have reinforced our plans to continue developing great Mac software for the years to come.

Get the latest version on http://alfredapp.com, have a play and let us know on Twitter how you’re finding it!

21 thoughts on “Release 0.5.6 Beta: Alfred Five Weeks On

  1. Great app … congratulations.

    It would be nice to see in it the option to change size. Because it is a little too big (my opinion).

    Regards :)

  2. Awesome app, one think keeps me from using it though. The google quick search box gives the option to open by double tapping the cmd key instead of cmd + space, which is, at least for me, a lot more convenient.

    I am very impressed by the speed though, keep up the good work.

  3. Great app indeed, I can’t manage to get use to Quicksilver, therefore Alfred is a very good choice for me. I’m going to install this new version right now and check out everything you pinpoint in this message ! Cheers :)

  4. Please include the option for “New mail to…” when searching for a contact. Or a shortcut like “mailto” and then the contact search.

  5. Hi, your application is very nice. I am testing it right now. My goal is to replace Quicksilver that is no longer in development. But today I just find out that there is a major missing feature for me in Alfred: The ability to open a folder. With QS I was able to start typing the name of a folder and when selecting it it open the selected folder in the Finder. That feature is really really useful. Do you think you can implement that in Alfred?

  6. I don’t know if I read that this would happen before or if I’m thinking of something else, but you should try to add iTunes control to the next version of Alfred. For example, the option to type “play song” then type in the name of the song or “play artist” and etc. If you guys could pull that off, that’d be excellent. Either way, keep up the good work, I live off of Alfred!

  7. The new beta is awesome! The speed improvements and learning abilities have finally allowed me to switch full time over to Alfred over Quicksilver. Keep up the great work! Where can I submit bug reports / feature requests?

  8. Great app!
    Just tested it today, looking for a Launchbar replacement. Four things I’ve noticed or would like to suggest:

    – You can’t open Alfred with a double-tap of a key. Like pressing Control-Control or Command-Command or Shift-Shift or something. That’s super-convenient and would be a nice and pretty-easy-to-develop enhancement.

    – When using Alfred to open a search result or a webpage (like the reader abbreviation or the lucky one), if Firefox isn’t already open it will open two Firefox windows: one with the expected Alfred result (like the search results or the Google Reader page) and another one with your default home page. Not a deal-breaker, but a little annoying. Can reproduce it on two differnt Macs running Firefox 3.6.3, no special configurations.

    – A del.icio.us “extension” would be great. One that caches all the tags of a specified username would be awesome. Like, say: my username in del.icio.us is ‘karjona’. One of my tags is ‘art’. If I invoke Alfred and type art it would be pretty awesome if the app recognized it as one of my delicous tags and prompted to open that delicious page on the default browser.

    – And finally, my last suggestion: please, let us configure the “fallback” search engines. Living in Spain, for example, I have little use for the Amazon one, as it doesn’t ship most of their products here.

    All in all, a great launcher app. I don’t miss Launchbar at all ;)

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Thanks everyone for your excellent and insightful comments! Many of the suggestions made are already on the roadmap for the coming months, so keep an eye out on the next few beta releases.

    Mood: Yep, we’ll add Russia to the next round of countries :)

  10. The design and GUI is first rate. I dl’d the beta but could not find a way to send feedback. That’s intentional?

    But I’ll give my feedback here – while I’ve always wanted a launcher that’d start off with all the icons and trim that based on the the keyword I’m typing, my biggest problem is that there’s no drag and drop for opening documents with the filtered apps.

  11. The latest update, AMAZING SPEED! 10x faster then last version, searches are instant. Alfred got much better!

    I love you guys :D

  12. Very fast and ( more importantly ) very stable and has replaced the googlequicksearch box as my primary launcher. Please make some of the above ideas as plugins or switch-offable. I will be recommending this to my students.

  13. Loving Alfred and hoping it’s around and actively developed for a long time to come, BT issues notwithstanding :\. I sent a query (via Twitter) asking about the possibility of an Alfred user forum but haven’t seen a response? So thought I’d put that out there here :). So glad Alfred came round when it did, timing couldn’t have been better in my opinion, well, maybe a little earlier, about the time Alcor decided to abandon QS :).

  14. I’m really enjoying Alfred thus far, I like the simplicity of the interface and the size of it even. I eagerly await the custom search stuff – that’ll make Alfred almost perfect for me – most of the other stuff one would otherwise do with quicksilver can probably be done with a combination of alfred and applescripts, or even automator.

    I’m going to have a poke around and see what else I can find out about the app – but thus far, congrats on doing a fine job.

  15. Great app!

    Few suggestions:
    -remember last search option
    -when searching, allow to set current search term for specific result (e.g. rightclick the result and set as default result for that search term)
    -make it possible to match ‘ps’ to Photoshop (right now not possible, only though Spotlight, but that’s cumbersome to do for many apps)
    -allow ‘Get Info…’ on search result (e.g through right click option or shortcut key)

    I’m loving it, and from what I saw from the extended changelog, it’ll only get better!

  16. Wow, I’m impressed! Just threw out Butler and went for Alfred instead. Really fast. Be careful when adding new features, though… I would hate to see this wonderful, simple app get bloated.

  17. just found that if you save an apple script as an app then Alfred can see it.
    open applescript and type in :

    tell application “Finder”
    shut down
    end tell

    Then save it as a shutdown.app and alfred finds it. Was missing the immediate shutdown and restart options from googlequicksearch.

    restart is :
    tell application “Finder” to restart

    Probably could do the same with itunes ratings as well for the people who want that functionality. 1star.app and 2star.app etc.

  18. I think that you should think about the name before release. Concept-wise, it’s so close to Butler.

  19. I really like alfred! Mostly been using QS, but don’t really use the advanced stuff; I just like to launch things quickly.

    Something I miss from using Launchy back in my PC days though, was the ability to use bash-style tab completion to drill down through directories and open them. Is this possible to implement in Alfred? I.e. if I type a path string like “~/”, it would list the folders in my home folder, and I could type and tab-complete from there. Maybe this isn’t where you guys want to take the app, but I would love it ;)

  20. Hi. I’m really liking the simplicity and ease of Alfred. It’s a great start. I too am looking to replace Quicksilver (may it rest peace), as it’s beginning to do weird things. My question is, is it your goal to create a Quicksilver replacement or simply a search/launch tool? Forgive me if I missed it, but I’m really interested in where you plan to take Alfred in the future.

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