This is the fastest way to launch apps on your Mac

This is the fastest way to launch apps on your Mac

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Photo: The crisis (Shutterstock)

There are many ways to launch apps on the Mac—to begin with, yyou can pin apps to your dock or use Spotlight to search for and open apps. There is an even faster way to launch apps, but: using a floating dock.

There are a couple of apps that let you quickly open a dock wherever the mouse pointer is. If you use a large screen or if you use the trackpad to navigate your MacBook, these floating dock apps will save you time by using a hotkey to launch apps. You may appreciate this especially if you are among users who have complained about Spotlight search slowing down over time: Even if you replace it with a better alternativetyping in app names manually takes more time than using a floating dock app.

If this sounds appealing, try to download Charmstone or Orbital. These apps have a similar feature set, and they are equally good at letting you launch apps quickly.

Charmstone

Image for article titled This is the fastest way to launch apps on your Mac

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Charmstone is available on the Mac App Store, and the free version lets you attach up to four apps to your floating dock. You can unlock multiple tracks (up to 16 apps) by paying a one-time fee of $10. Launch the floating dock by typing Command + Option and moving the cursor in any direction. You don’t need to click again to launch apps. Move the cursor to the right and release it to launch the app pinned in that direction. Similarly, you can quickly launch apps that are pinned in any direction.

You will only see eight apps the first time you start Charmstone because the app has two modes – near and far. Use activation keyboard shortcut and move the cursor slightly to open the apps pinned to close mode. To see the remaining “far” apps, use the key combination and drag the cursor slightly fafurther away.

Yyou can also change the keyboard combination required to activate the app—any combination involving command, option, shift, function, and controlpaired with the movement of the mouse pointer.

Orbital

Image for article titled This is the fastest way to launch apps on your Mac

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Orbital requires less configuration to be useful because it mimics your dock; It fetches the apps in your dock in the same order. If you configure Orbital to display eight apps, for example it will pick the first eight apps from the dock.

You can also launch Orbital a bit faster because it can be launched using a keyboard shortcut (Alt + X) and does not require you to move the mouse pointer. Orbital allows you to attach up to six apps for free and costs around $12 to unlock all 20 tracks. You can also change the size of the icons.

Orbital isn’t as customizable as advanced users would like, but that’s also part of its appeal. It’s literally a floating dock, while Charmstone is more of a customizable app launcher. Since both apps have a decent free version available, you should give both a chance before you decide which works better for you.

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