As 0.8 draws closer to being ready (1st dev release likely within the next week), I thought I would go over some of the motivations behind this release and give a bit of a sneak peek at some features between now and 1.0.
The focus of the 0.8 Release
Initially, 0.8 was supposed to primarily be just a "quality" release, improving usability of all the current features and trying to remove as many outstanding bugs as possible. Any long term user of Alfred will know that this is not how I like to work ;) so naturally, I have added a number of new features too.
Almost 100 improvements and minor bug fixes including:
- Overhaul of the knowledge / result sorting making the results much more predictable
- The fuzzy matching option for Applications now works as expected
- Instant pasting from the Clipboard History (using low level system events); also change hotkeys to return for paste and cmd+c to copy item back to Clipboard
- Define keyword now shows a preview of the word definition in Alfred itself
- Better URL detection when typing just a URL directly into Alfred (e.g. alfredapp.com)
- Added a number of new locales and better keyboard / language support
- A detailed performance and memory analysis, Alfred is even faster and lower memory!
... and many many more things!
The following NEW features have been added:
- Persistent Clipboard Snippets with assignable keyword
- Ability to select the fallback web searches (e.g. use Bing instead of Google)
- Usage graph for the stats nerds (ahem... me)
- Eject command to eject any mounted drive (USB, DVD, dmg, etc)
...and maybe some more stuff if I finish it this weekend ;)
And then what?
The list of things I want to add before we hit the big 1.0 milestone is way too large to post in here. I need to reassure you that I am fully aware of feature bloat and am absolutely committed to only adding features when they will not introduce bloat or complexity of any kind to Alfred :)
With that in mind, here are just a few of the major Powerpack features which will be part of Alfred between now and 1.x:
- Significantly improved bookmark support (both browser and online)
- Full Address Book and iCal integration
- Plugin architecture allowing for users to introduce their own results into Alfred
- Integration with a few of our (and your) favourite 3rd party applications
- Improved hotkey support, i.e. assigning a hotkey to Applications
- Shell integration (run shell commands from inside Alfred)
- Improvements to the file system navigation and actions
It's just a (beta) label
One final note: Alfred has been labelled as a beta for probably too long. The reason I have kept the label is because I am still actively developing it and like people to know that it is not finished yet. It has become apparent over the last few months that some people may perceive beta products differently to this, so from the next release we will be dropping the beta label.
All this means is that Alfred is now (and has been for quite a while) high enough quality to be considered a released product.
Before people ask, we will keep the 'early-bird' price of £12 for the Powerpack for a little longer while we are adding more features, but buy now to avoid disappointment! :)