12 Posts of Christmas. An image of an iPad surrounded by presents. Text on the iPad says 5 gold things.

12 Posts of Christmas. An image of an iPad surrounded by presents. Text on the iPad says 5 gold things.

And this is the last post of the AppBonanza. I know it’s sad but you still have a few more days of apps, tech and other stuff to look forward to. This post will cover two apps: Alfred and Wox.

Who doesn’t want a butler? Helpful, honest, loyal and possessing a great sense of style. How would you feel if I told you that you could have a butler right now, on your computer?! I’ve had Alfred in the employment of my estate (read: laptop) for about 4 years now and the amount of functionality it brings to my computer really helps me every minute. The reason for two apps being in this session is the fact that Alfred is Mac iOS exclusive (sorry pc users), but there is a version for PC called Wox, it’s pretty new and currently not as established as Alfred but I honestly think it will eventually reach the level of Alfred’s panache and content. This session will mainly look at Alfred but most things will relate to Wox.

The basic idea of Alfred is as an app launcher for your system. Wait! Don’t go! I know that we have Spotlight on Mac and the search function in both windows 8.1 and 10 is pretty good. But where these apps stand up is the speed and customisability.

Impact on wallet:

Wox – currently FREE
Basic Alfred – FREE
Powerpacks – £17-32 (adds even more abilities to an already great app)

Where to find it

Go to either:

Key features:

The basic features will sound similar to anyone who has spent time with Spotlight. Search files on your computer and launch applications without reaching for your mouse. However, unlike Spotlight, Alfred comes with a bit of intelligence where it will remember recent and most used entries so that next time you can open your file/applications even faster! You can even create your own shortcuts for regularly used apps.

Search through contacts, write and reply to emails, empty trash, perform math calculations, search the entire web or a specific site. All these with your fingers on the keyboard! It does nearly everything apart from making the tea.

If you end up purchasing the Powerpack you can create complex workflows that can open multiple apps, windows and files, and even more, all without knowing a word of coding. It really is simple to use and create.

What can I do with it?

If the key features above aren’t enough to convince you then I have no idea. Every morning when I arrive at work I type “work” into Alfred and 10 seconds later my computer is up and ready with every app and window laid out in my own customised way. Computers without this app now feel slow and complex.

by Daryl Peel

All of the posts in this series

1 On the first day… a Post-it in a Plus app
2 What is Articulate Storyline?
3 Podcasting: Voice recorder Pro 7, Bossjock jr, Opinion
4 Padlet walls
5 AppBonanza
Office 365
PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat Pro
Dropbox, Google Drive, etc
Alfred and Wox
6 Active learning using Panopto recordings
7 7 easy post-processing steps to get your photos to stand out
8 Wirecast play for live streaming
9 Panopto for student presentations and assessment
10 On the 10th day, get organised to keep all your lords a-leaping
11 Hear those pipers piping!
12 TikiTokis

The 12 days of Christmas – AppBonanza – 5. Alfred and Wox

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