Welcoming David Ferguson (jdfwarrior) to our team!

As many of you know, the v2 beta is in full swing. Many Mega Supporters have already started creating their own workflows, tinkering with new appearance themes and enjoying the new features.

Needless to say, all this enthusiasm leads to lots of questions, suggestions and ideas, so we’ve roped in the help of long-time friend of Alfred and amazing extension/workflow developer David Ferguson. Also known as jdfwarrior, David was one of the earliest and keenest extension developers, and has since become an authority on developing extensions and workflows. You’ll find some of his v1 extensions and early v2 workflows on his Tumblr.

He joins the team to help us manage the buzzing forum and give a hand to developers who are creating their own workflows. Those who have joined our forum (currently Mega Supporters-only membership until the v2 general release) will have seen how helpful he is already, but for those who don’t know David yet, you’ll most likely come across him in the Alfred forum over the coming months.

It’s also worth noting that David helps us in his spare time, evenings and weekends, so please be patient when asking questions on the forum.

Join us in welcoming David to the team! :)

V2 Beta: A Few Workflows to Get You Started

As promised in the blog post earlier tonight announcing the first Alfred v2 beta, here are a few workflows Mega Supporters can import to get started.

Google Searches

Search Google with a keyword or a hotkey, and launch in various browsers. This is a great starting point for creating your own alternative searches.

Download this workflow

Open Folders in TextMate

Use the “folders” keyword to perform a filtered search on folders only, then open then automatically with TextMate. Change what file types you search or choose a different “open with” application for a really useful quick filter to your files.

Download this workflow

Paste as Plain Text

Use a hotkey to paste the current contents of your clipboard as plain text.

Download this workflow

Should I watch this movie?

Type “movie” and the name of the movie you want to watch to search for trailers on YouTube (using Chrome – handy if you don’t otherwise have Flash installed on your Mac), open IMDB for more details and open Rotten Tomatoes to find out how bad that movie really is.

Download this workflow

jdfwarrior’s Alfred v2 workflows

If you still want more, check out David’s Tumblr for a few more useful workflows. He has created a Chrome Bookmarks search which presents results in Alfred, a Google Auto-complete workflow, a fantastic-looking Rdio search and a Mail.app search. He’s been working hard!

Looking forward to seeing what users will create over the coming months! :)

Cheers,
Vero

alfred_logo_beta_final_128x128

First Alfred v2 Beta Now Available for Mega Supporters

After many months of hard work, we can finally share the first Alfred v2 beta. As you’ve seen from the recent sneak peeks, there are huge improvements and some great new features, like workflows, that will make Alfred more powerful than ever before.

Rather than waffle on about v2, I’ll re-iterate a few things below then let Mega Supporters download the beta and have a play. :)

This is a beta release: While it has been tested and Andrew & I have been using it as our day-to-day Alfred version, you may still encounter unexpected behaviour or bugs. Some features may also change between now and the final release, so be flexible, especially when it comes to workflows.

To help us keep track of bug reports, please email us or join our forum, rather than tweeting us.

Beta is limited to Mega Supporters: To help us limit the volume of feedback for the beta, only Mega Supporters can take part at this time. If you have a single user license from v1, you can choose to upgrade to Mega Supporter to join the beta. If you prefer to wait until it’s fully tested, hold off until v2 goes to general release to upgrade to a v2 single user license. Questions about licensing? Have a look at the FAQ.

Keep version 1 handy: Some features are not yet complete in this beta; for example, there is no iTunes Mini Player yet. You can keep versions 1 & 2 running concurrently by choosing different hotkeys, and we don’t recommend deleting v1 just yet.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing new builds when they’re ready, will publishing documentation and help pages, and prepare for the general release.

Without further ado, Mega Supporters can download the beta here to get started. Once you’re up and running, come back and we’ll post some workflows you can import today!

Cheers,
Andrew and Vero

V2 Sneak Peek: Advanced Workflows for Rdio, Twitter and Chrome

As we prepare for the imminent first v2 beta release, a few close friends of Alfred have been helping test during the early stages and have started creating workflows. One of them is David Ferguson, a proficient extension developer since Alfred’s early days.

Love Rdio? You’ll be blown away by the way David has integrated it. Prefer to use Chrome as your everyday browser? You’ll now be able to get to your bookmarks easily. He will also be updating his highly popular AlfredTweet extension for v2.

We can’t wait to see these first workflows take shape, and look forward to the ones you’ll create.

Rdio workflow

Rdio workflow in action in v2

Rdio workflow in action in v2


Chrome Bookmarks

Chrome bookmarks found in Alfred v2

Chrome bookmarks found in Alfred v2


AlfredTweet

It’s great to see the workflow canvas put to good use; here is part of the workflow for the much-anticipated AlfredTweet update.

AlfredTweet Workflow in v2

AlfredTweet Workflow in v2


Exciting stuff, isn’t it?

Cheers,
Vero

V2 Sneak Peek: Attention to Detail

One of the joys of writing a new version from scratch is the ability to improve and re-think many of the small imperfections from the previous version. You’ll find that v2 is full of clever little touches that will make your experience more pleasant.

Andrew took great pleasure in improving this particular aspect of the user experience; Users with external screens would occasionally find that Alfred was confused about where to appear on screen after disconnecting from the second screen. The preferences for v2 resolve that, as you can position Alfred’s window on your screen and, regardless of your resolution, he’ll remember it next time.

v2 Appearance: Set Alfred's relative position (Click for full preference view)

v2 Appearance: Set Alfred’s relative position (Click for full preference view)


This is one of the many areas that have received attention and polish to make using Alfred as pleasant and easy as possible. You can look forward to discovering the rest for yourself during the beta!

Alfred v2 theme editor

V2 Sneak Peek: Theming

In v2, you’ll be able to theme Alfred to match your desktop or your mood. The theme editor has been overhauled completely so not only will you now be able to change colours, but also fonts, sizes, width and height of Alfred’s window, and even the roundness of corners.

v2 Default Theme: Standard sizes & fonts

v2 Default Theme: Standard sizes & fonts


v2 Tiny Theme: Squarer corners, small Menlo font, thinner window and Terminal colours

v2 Tiny Theme: Squarer corners, small Menlo font and Terminal colours


v2 Avatar theme: Large Papyrus font, wide window, rounded corners and blue colour scheme.

v2 Avatar theme: Large Papyrus font, wide window, rounded corners and blue colour scheme.


We’re still on track for a first beta release to Mega Supporters in the first half of January, so keep your eyes peeled! If you currently have a v1 single user license and want to take part in the beta, you can upgrade your license to a Mega Supporter to join the fun!

V2 Sneak Peek: Refining the Preferences

One of the big benefits of doing a major release and, in fact, a thorough rewrite of Alfred is that it has allowed us to rethink many of the basic aspects of the software. In version 2, a great example of this is the reorganisation of the Features preferences.

Finding features more easily

As v1 grew organically over three years, with features added over time, we’d often get users asking “Where can I find feature option x?”, even though the feature options were there. Let’s face it, the features preferences had become a bit messy.

With a clear view of what v2 would contain, Andrew was able to restructure the preferences to make the grouping much more logical and approachable for a new user, while keeping the advanced preferences that suit many of Alfred’s current users. One of the many examples of this reorganisation is visible in how web and custom searches are now merged together.

Web searches and Custom searches

V2 Preferences reorganised

Previously, the web searches and custom searches were split between two tabs. They essentially serve the same purpose; launch a search with a keyword and open your most used websites, with or without a query.

They’re now consolidated into a single tab which can be both searched and filtered. You can hide the default web searches you’ve disabled or type to find the searches you’re interested in.

Every preference pane is receiving the same careful love and attention to ensure that using v2 is as natural to use as possible.

Time to relax and have a mince pie

Over Christmas, we’ll be spending less time online and more with family and friends. This means that it may take us a little longer than usual to respond to your tweets and emails – but we’ll keep an eye out for any urgent emails, of course!

2012 has been a brilliant year, and 2013 promises to be even more exciting. Have a great Christmas, take a break so that we can all start the new year with renewed energy!

Cheers,
Vero