Alfred Is About To Get A Whole Lot Better

In the past number of months, Alfred has been my side project and I have managed to squeeze it into every spare moment I have. This includes writing the software, replying to many support emails, being really active on Twitter and listening to quite a considerable amount of feedback and feature requests. Alfred has had tens of thousands of downloads and we estimate that we have thousands of ‘regular’ day to day users, which is amazing considering the software is still in beta and has grown entirely from your word of mouth.

I can tell you now that I have LOVED every moment of it to date – The sense of community has been overwhelming and extremely motivating. It has also been good to see that many of the popular feature requests are in our existing long term road map. In other words, you guys have really helped focus what is important.

The future of Alfred

As we approach 1.0 and the end of beta test period, the sense of community and love has made me think long and hard about the best way to make Alfred sustainable into the long term. It has also made me realise that I didn’t want to just draw a line and take away what people use daily by making 1.0 a paid-only product.

I want to continue to grow the Alfred user base and its evangelists as much as possible, giving people the choice to support future development. I also want to start taking Alfred more seriously rather than it being just a side project. Therefore today, I am excited to tell you about the future of Alfred (I feel like I should be wearing a black polo neck shirt with a keynote presentation up on a big screen).

Announcing the Alfred Powerpack

Alfred Powerpack IconThe Powerpack will be a paid set of incredibly powerful new features sitting on top of the stable and robust core of Alfred.

These features will have the same simplicity, speed and usability of Alfred but have much deeper integration into OS X, allowing you to use Alfred for much more than just launching apps and finding files – ALL from quick keyboard actions.

By offering a paid add-on to Alfred, we can keep the core of Alfred FREE and give the choice to you, our wonderful users, to both support the development of Alfred and get WAY more awesomesauce!

Here is a sneak peek just a few Powerpack features I am currently working on:

  • iTunes mini player / music navigator
  • File system navigation and file operations
  • Much better and faster access to Contacts
  • Much more control over how Alfred looks
  • An integrated AppleScript studio allowing for easy AppleScript addons

The list of features I have planned is actually really rather large and definitely exciting, so you will have to stay tuned. I would also like to make it very clear that the Powerpack will never bloat Alfred or get in the way of people who simply want to use Alfred as a launcher :)

What you can expect in the next few months

  • The Powerpack is still in the works, I am hoping to start giving early access within 6 weeks.
  • In the next release you will most likely see a Powerpack tab in the preferences but won’t be able to use it yet.
  • Ollie (@olliekav) has created a new website – it’s almost ready and it’s gooorgeous!
  • Basically, continue to use and enjoy Alfred!

… Oh, and one more thing

When the Powerpack is first made available, it will have a special pre-release price  to thank you, the early adopters, for saying such great stuff about Alfred: http://twitter.com/alfredapp/favorites

[Update 20th July: The early bird price for Alfred will be £12, available for purchase in a few weeks]

Note: The people who have already donated to Alfred will be getting a license as soon as they are available.

Sign up for updates

Sign up to our newsletter on alfredapp.com or from the About tab of the Alfred preferences to get announcements and newsletters hot off the press! Also, follow @alfredapp to join our growing community :)

Cheers,
Andrew (@preppeller)

55 thoughts on “Alfred Is About To Get A Whole Lot Better

  1. I got Alfred back when you had to email in to get a download link. It replaced Quicksilver immediately despite lacking features then. It is now at a point where I use it all the time for so any things and for a free tool it is amazing.

    However I am glad you are bringing the Power Pack out, and the features sound great. I would also love to support the project by buying it.

    I can’t wait to start using it!

  2. Take nothing away, offer something extra. This is a fantastic approach to balancing adoption and financial viability. You’ve alienated exactly no one in the process of profiting from your work. Well done.

    I first picked up Alfred very early in its evolution and found it too limiting. I’ve since picked it up and put it down several more times because it just wasn’t where I needed it to be, but I appreciate the rapid development cycle, the constant communication and the clear progress that was being made. Yesterday I picked it up once again–v0.6.6–and I think this one’s a keeper for me. I’m looking forward to seeing what Powerpack has to offer.

  3. I’m looking forward it too, I’m sure it’ll be awesome!

    Any hint anyway on how much is it going to cost?

    • Thanks for the comment Diego. We will announce the pricing soon, there are still a few things to work out first.

  4. I hope it’s free for the ppl who donated first to get the beta wich was later public.

    • Hi Jasper, as mentioned in the post above, all past donators will receive a license code very early on and at no additional cost. As you’ve been supporting Alfred since the early days, it’s the least we can do to say thank you.

  5. I’m really excited! iTunes controller – that’s a big claim, coversutra does a really good job of that at the moment – but I would love to see your attempt at it!
    Happy to beta / alpha test anything for you, I’m @cgarmstrong on twitter.
    Cheers

  6. I love Alfred and will probably be buying your extensions in a snap.

    One thing that I would love for the itunes miniplayer feature is to also support “tagging” of songs. Specifically right now I am using the unfortunately unmaintained “Quick Tags” apps for this purpose.

    • We’ll be supporting music management in more than one way – tagging will be just one of them! :)

  7. I’ve been using alfred for a little while now, both at home and work. I’m definitely in for the Powerpack!
    Thanks for such a fantastic product, as always, I look forward to the next release.

  8. Using Alfred since day one and i can’t live without it now!
    Smart move on the paid pack. Count me in!

  9. I hope “File system navigation and file operations” means, for example, I could type “yojimbo apple pie recipe” and it will bring Yojimbo to the forefront displaying my selected apple pie recipe. Is that what that means? I know I can just hit the F6 key to activate Yojimbo, but that involves looking down at my keyboard to find the F6 key. Lazy, you say? Indeed I am, and I want my good friend Alfred to do these things for me.

  10. You know what I’m thinking. Waiting for the Powerpack as well. Me wants to haz!
    I would be interested building some “crazy pre-bundled” AppleScripts.

  11. AlfredApp has been my go to launcher app since it was released. Love the development of the app and love where it is heading.

    The Power Pack idea is the best of both worlds. Continue the development of the free version and need more advanced features then the Power Pack is the way to go.

    Every little thing about this app is great. From development of features, to support and to design.

    Just a GREAT APP and should be on every Mac on the planet.

    • “…should be on every Mac on the planet.”

      We wouldn’t mind that at all! ;)

      Thanks for the good words, Scott.

  12. For me, personally, I’ll have to wait & see. I simply LOVE the current simplicity of Alfred–adding MORE may not be up my alley(?) …

    I think you’re doing a great thing, though–keeping what’s here already FREE, and charging for add-ons. Smart, too.

    Thanks for your intelligent & hard work on this amazing little app. Keep it up!

  13. Ever since I heard about Alfred, its replaced Quicksilver and I tell everyone about it. Will happily buy the power pack. Just need some terminal integration and I’ll be all set. Excellent work.

  14. Core stuff for free and the option to pay for “power” features if I really want them?

    Brilliant!

    This is a model I’d like to see on other products. For that matter, I’d like to see other products with core functionality that really works as it does in Alfred, instead of burying it under bloat until the whole product is just “so so” at best (e.g. Launchbar).

  15. Not sure that i understand..so you need to pay for alfredapp and Powerpack separately???

    • Hi Ron, as mentioned in the post above, Alfred as you know it remains completely free. The Powerpack is an additional boost for those who want more advanced features, better integration with OS X and want to support Alfred.

      • Sure, we’ll support it;)

        *Also, are you planning in offering an option for Retype(erases my typed text with a delay..)? AKA LaunchBar.app? it’s the onlt thing that stop me from swiching;)

        thanks.

        Btw, a Clipboard will be super!

  16. Brilliant, i love alfred like i love my feet, and i love my feet oh so much. This is a very nice move, you just add extra on top of the goodness that is alfred and let people decide if it is something they want or not.

  17. I think It woluld be great to have something like an app store to buy this Powerpack things separately. Because you can release 20 Powerpack features but may be I just need or want 10 of them…

    Just an idea…

    Great Work!

  18. So glad to see some additional features coming to Alfred! I know you’re working hard on it, and I use it every now and then. Right now Quicksilver still does what I need it do, but with development stalled on that that Launchbar being more than I need, I’m excited to see Alfred potentially filling the gap!

    The main reason I keep going back to Quicksilver is because of the integration with Address Book, so I’m especially excited to know that there’s something for that in the future. Thanks again, and I’m looking forward to seeing more!

  19. This sounds exciting, but… What will happen to the core as the power pack is being developed? i.e., will bugs found and fixed in the add-on be propagated to the the core? I like the planned features, I could see myself buying the powerpack, but performance is a must for me. If the addons mean Alfred’s performance will be impacted, then that may be a deal breaker for me — I hope your statement that add-on != bloat will hold true, it will have to be tested :). 6 weeks seem so far away…

    • Hi verboze, the powerpack is being developed along side core, so you will see the core of Alfred improving over the next few months too. In fact, I have a number of tickets regarding core performance still in progress :)

  20. This sounds really cool. I’ve been interested in Alfred but, quite frankly, it hasn’t had the features I’ve needed. Are you going to post a complete roadmap for power pack shortly? I’m just curious to see if Alfred is going to become a suitable replacement for Quicksilver or Launchbar. Both have functionality I can’t live without any more which is what was kept me from moving to Alfred ( or Google’s QSB for that matter )…

  21. Great news!

    Could you consider Skype integration for the Powerpack?

    I love using Alfred and I’d be more than glad to support its development and purchase a Powerpack license if I e.g. could launch Skype chat windows by typing “skype Steve”.

    Currently, I could only get it working by means of adding Skype as a web search provider (using a skype: link in conjunction with the other contact’s Skype name). However, usually I can’t remember their nick names. ;)

  22. It sounds like Alfred has some kind of extension API. Does this mean you will allow third parties to write extensions. I sort of like the idea but I also remember how extensions often made Quicksilver so unstable.

  23. So proud of you folks! That was very interesting!

    (but I’ll never get to use Alfred, in this PC world…)

  24. good job, awesome software, I have a suggestion ,can you add a thumbnail in the result when seaching image? like spotlight.

  25. This is perfect! Alfred has been my go-to launcher since it was released, but I missed a lot of features from QuickSilver… Especially iTunes navigation/control. If you need any alpha testing, I’d be more than happy to help you out. The concept of this Powerpack is just so… Intelligent. I wish more software companies would adopt this philosophy.

  26. Been using Alfred for a long time now, recommended it to all my Mac friends who weren’t using a quick launcher and to those who were using Quicksilver. All of them are now Alfred users.

    Definitely going to support this project, thanks guys!

  27. I absolutely love Alfred and I’m looking forward to the Powerpack. It sounds like a great way to go forward and I’ll definately buy it.

    The ONLY thing that I keep Quicksilver for is listing people’s contacts and putting their phone numbers in large type (my eyes are rubbish). If you could do that, then bye bye Quicksilver.

    • Hi Bernie,

      Thanks for the positive comments! You’ll be pleased to hear that Address Book contacts is on the list of features we’ll be working on after releasing the first version of the Powerpack.

      Thanks again,
      Vero

  28. Have used Quicksilver for some years but has now totally switched to Alfred. Alfred is “nice and easy” – as it should be

    I reckon I have started using things in Alfred that also were there in QS – someway Alfred is easier to understand than QS (really only used QS for app launching)

    The ONLY thing that I am missing from QS is the “Reset search after x seconds”: Just hesitate if you do a typo. I would definitely vote for that facility in Alfred

    And it’s nice you are communicating so much about what’s going on with Alfred. QS has felt a bit abandoned the last couple of years

      • Sorry I wasn’t clear enough about this:

        When you are typing a search string in QS and type a wrong letter you can hesitate for x seconds (.5 seconds < x < 3 seconds – configurable) and the search field is cleared and you can start typing again. This is instead of and much easier than using backspace to delete the wrong letter.

        (This is definitely not a complaint – just a feature request)

      • +1

        it’s the only thing that’s keeping me from switching to Alfred!

      • I’d just like to say that for the love of god please don’t do this, at least by default anyway. It’s the one thing that drove me completely barmy in Quicksilver. I’m used to text fields behaving a certain way, and when I make a typo I automatically hit backspace and correct it. Most of the problems I encountered with Quicksilver had to do with the auto reset breaking my search term up half way through.

    • Yes, that’s really not implement at the moment. What about pressing ⌘A and then just write the new search?

  29. I made the switch from Spotlight to Quicksilver back to Spotlight, and finally to Alfred several months back, and couldn’t be happier. I’m definitely looking forward to the power packs, and greatly appreciate the time and effort (and sense of ethics) that you put into your product, like so many others.

    Good luck and keep up the fantastic work!

    Cheers!

  30. I just purchased a powerpack license sight unseen. I think Alfred is the best OS X launcher I have ever used, including QuickSilver and LaunchBar. Even if I never use a single advanced feature, $18US was well worth supporting your continued development of this great little tool. Thanks!

  31. Thanks for making such a great product! I absolutely love how lightning fast Alfred is, it runs loops around Spotlight and QuickSilver. I’d really like to support its development, but honestly the Powerpack doesn’t appeal to me at all. I understand that there’s a lot of productivity-types out there that want to be able to do everything under the sun using just their keyboard, but for me I value the simplicity of something that can do just one thing (lauching applications) really really well. By the same token, 12 pounds seems kinda steep. For 1 or 2 pounds, I wouldn’t think twice about purchasing what’s now the “free” Alfred.

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