Alfred 3 Is Here!

After months of intense development, polishing and testing, Alfred 3 is here and ready for you!

It's been a thrill to add new features to Alfred, and improve existing ones. We already can't live without these new features, which add so much to our workday productivity; Amazingly flexible workflows, snippet expansion, multimedia clipboard and more.

You can download Alfred 3 to get started right away.

We've highlighted a few of the new features below. We also published a post answering some of the commonly asked questions for Alfred 3; upgrading your Powerpack, migrating your preferences and more, so take a look for details.

Workflows: More flexibility and new objects

Workflows are now more flexible than ever; Lay out objects anywhere and chain objects of all types to do exactly what you want!

Add notes to your workflow objects and assign colours to add clarity when revisiting your own workflows or when sharing workflows with fellow Alfred users.

To-do list example

We've added a whole new category of super useful utility objects, including Filter, Transform, Replace and more. We've also made it easier to configure objects dynamically using JSON, and arguments and variables.

You'll find Getting Started and Example workflows built into Alfred 3's Workflows preferences, and tons of documentation on our help site, allowing you to start playing with workflows right away.

Workflow objects

Multimedia Clipboard

We gave the Clipboard feature lots of love in this release; As well as text clips, you can now also copy images, file lists and hex colours to the Clipboard History for quick access when you need them.

You can either search for saved clips by typing a few characters, or scroll back through your history until you find the right one.

New Multimedia clipboard

Snippet Auto-Expansion

Type less, say more; With Alfred's new text expansion feature, type a keyword and a whole text snippet will appear in its place. It has become an essential part of our work day instantly!

Save your snippets directly from your Clipboard History with Cmd + S, and organise your snippets into handy collections you can share with friends and colleagues.

Flip the table

Overhauled Theming

We've also overhauled Alfred's theme editor; Theming is now quicker to use, with a simple dragging system to set sizes and the ability to use any fonts from your Mac.

Once you're done, share your theme to alfredapp.com and send the link to friends to show your true colours!

New Theming

And so much more...

There are stacks of new features for you to discover; Improved file navigation, system commands, better support for accessibility and keyboard layouts, as well as huge performance improvements.

You'll find a more complete list of features in Alfred's Update preferences, and we'll be featuring tutorials and tips in the coming weeks to help you make the most of each and every feature.

A huge thank you to our beta testers for their help over the past few weeks, and to you, our wonderful and enthusiastic community. Your excitement and kind words are making the hard work totally worth it!

Cheers, Andrew & Vero

Alfred 3: Getting Started

Alfred 3 is now available for you to download, so here's a guide to getting started with this new version.

We've also published a post highlighting the fantastic new features and improvements to Alfred 3 so if you'd like to find out what's new, go take a look!

Where can I download Alfred 3?

You can download Alfred 3 from our homepage, so grab the free version to get started.

Do I need to upgrade my Powerpack License?

If you'd like to use the Powerpack and don't yet have a license, grab buy a Powerpack license to join in the fun!

If you're an existing Powerpack user, you'll either be eligible for a discounted upgrade to Alfred 3 if you bought a license before 2016, or for a free upgrade (if you're a Mega Supporter or have purchased since 1 January 2016). Eligible Single User and Family license holders who purchased in 2016 will have received an email today containing their new license details.

Enter your license to activate the Powerpack features, or get in touch if you need a hand recovering your license. (Please bear with us during this busy week, we'll respond as quickly as we can!)

Can I import my Alfred 2 preferences?

Yes, as soon as you launch Alfred 3, you'll see the Migration Assistant, allowing you to import your preferences to Alfred 3. We've ensured your upgrade experience is as smooth as possibly, and all your preferences should be migrated.

Alfred 3 Migration Assistant

Your workflows will be imported into Alfred 3, and should work perfectly smoothly right away. If you find a workflow that needs an update to work in Alfred 3, you may need to contact the workflow creator or pop a post on the forum.

Please note that we don't recommend using app cleaners to remove Alfred 2 from your Mac, as these apps can be over-zealous and delete files that are also essential to Alfred 3. Once you're confident that all your workflows work smoothly in Alfred 3, you can simply drag Alfred 2 from your Applications folder to Trash.

Take a look at our migration guide if you need help migrating your preferences.

Let's get started!

Time to have some fun with Alfred's new features; Take a look at our post highlighting the new features to jump in.

Between the new workflow objects, the brand new snippet auto-expansion feature, the much improved theming, the multimedia clipboard and more, there's plenty to discover.

We'll be posting guides and tips to make the most of each feature in the next few weeks, so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@alfredapp) and pop by the blog often!

Alfred 3 Beta Begins Today!

It's with great excitement that we started rolling out the Alfred 3 beta today. The feedback so far has been fantastic!

Thousands upon thousands of you signed up to take part in the beta, and while we'd love to give everyone access at once, we need to do it in a way where we can manage the feedback.

The only way to do this fairly was to send to a random subset of users; The first wave was a random subset of our Mega Supporters. We'll be sending new waves of invites every day, so keep an eye on your inbox as the next wave will be going out around lunchtime tomorrow.

If everything goes smoothly with the beta, we hope to make Alfred 3 generally available within the next few weeks. Exciting times ahead!

Alfred 3 Sneak Peek: Snippets Expansion

Yesterday, we shared one of the upcoming Alfred 3 features on Twitter (Follow @alfredapp if you don't want to miss these!). Today, we want to give you more details on this exciting new addition.

For a long time, the Snippets feature has been incredibly popular, allowing you to save your most frequently used text clips for quick access from the Snippets Viewer.

In Alfred 3, you'll boost your productivity to new heights; You can now expand your snippets automatically in any app by typing your keyword, without popping up Alfred's Snippets window!

Snippets Expansion in Alfred 3

Of course, you can still pop up the Snippets list if you can't remember your keyword or want to preview the text before it's expanded.

We've added Snippets collections, making it easier to organise and group your snippets. You can also share these collections with friends and colleagues. And of course, if you sync your Alfred preferences (via Dropbox, for example), all your snippets are available on your multiple Macs!

Snippets Preferences

If there are snippets you don't want to auto-expand, you can select which ones to exclude. You can also include dynamic placeholders into your snippets to insert the current date and time.

The Million Dollar Question: When will Alfred 3 be ready?

We're thrilled about how v3 is shaping up and we can see that you are too! We can feel your excitement with every tweet we see, and can't wait to share Alfred 3 with you.

As with all significant updates - and this is a very significant one - there needs to be quite a bit of testing and verification before release, to ensure you can seamlessly update from Alfred 2 with all your settings, and carry on being productive without interruption.

We're already deep in the process of refining and testing Alfred 3, and we hope to have the first public beta available to all eligible Powerpack users by the end of this month.

Don't forget that if you buy an Alfred Powerpack license or upgrade now, you get your Alfred 2 Powerpack instantly AND you'll receive a free upgrade to Alfred 3 as soon as it's available.

Testing Alfred 3 Using Alfred's Own Workflows

We have another little sneak peek at Alfred 3's workflows for you today!

For version 3, numerous aspects of Alfred's workflows have been updated, improved and tons of new features have been added. As a result, every facet of workflows need to be tested thoroughly to ensure the features work exactly as expected.

Anyone with programming experience will appreciate that this can be a laborious process. Automation can help speed things up, as well as avoid human error (and human distraction - oh look, new tweets!)

So how are we doing this? Workflows have become so powerful that we're now using workflows to test workflows! (You wouldn't believe the number of Inception jokes this has led to...)

Creating a "Pass/Fail Test" workflow

Without any scripting, we've created some great unit tests for the new "Transform" utility object, which takes the input and performs one of the following transforms: Trim Whitespace, Upper Case, Lower Case, Camel Case, Reverse String, Strip Diacritics and Strip Non-Alphanumeric.

Let's take a look at the workflow in more details. The keyword "utest" launches the workflow; a new unit-tests.txt file is created in a specified location (overwriting if a previous one exists), so that the results of each test can be appended to the file.

Alfred 3 workflows - Unit Testing

The JSON utility object (in yellow) allows you to modify the workflow stream dynamically; argument, configuration and variables. The string we want to test is set as the JSON's output argument, the test name and the expected result are added as variables. In this workflow, each yellow object sets up the test for its connected Transform object:

Alfred 3 workflows - Unit Testing

Has the test passed? Each Transform object is connected to two Filter objects, one for pass (green) and one for fail (red). The green filter is configured to only continue if the input is equal to the expected value, the red filter is configured to only continue if the input is not equal to the expected value.

We have used the variables we set earlier to configure the Filters:

Alfred 3 workflows - Unit Testing

To tidy up the results, we use an Argument utility, where we output whether the test has passed or failed (depending on which filter they are connected to), the name of the test (variable), and the processed text from the Transform utility being tested:

Alfred 3 workflows - Unit Testing

Each result is appended to the file created earlier.

When the test finishes, a Notification pops up to let me know, and the unit-tests.txt file opens for me to look at the results. Wonderful, every object has passed!

Alfred 3 workflows - Unit Testing

Another advantage of creating these tests now is that we can run them during testing of future releases, as part of regression testing, making it a huge time saver!

In a future post, we'll show you how we could simplify this workflow even further by dynamically configuring the Transform objects in the yellow JSON utility, so that we can connect them to a single Transform object, instead of multiple ones.

With every day that passes - and every test that passes with flying colours - we get a step closer to Alfred 3 being ready. We can't wait to see what amazing things you'll create with the infinitely more flexible workflow objects in Alfred 3!

Stay tuned for more news and sneak peeks. Follow us on Twitter (@alfredapp).

Latest Blog Post: Alfred 3.0.3 and 2.8.6 Released: Ready for macOS Sierra
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