Why Alfred is our Best App Friend

Why Alfred is our Best App Friend

Julienne Lin
Jan 11, 2012

We all know Alfred as Batman/Bruce Wayne's loyal and helpful butler. Probably the same reason why two of our favorite apps are named Alfred: one is a productivity app for Mac OS X and the other is an iOS app that works as a personal assistant for finding restaurants, bars and entertainment tailored to your personal preferences.

Alfred for Mac OS X
When it comes to searching efficiently on the computer, Alfred is one of the best apps to have. It's the perfect shortcut when you want to access apps like PhotoShop or iPhoto without having to go through Finder. It also helps keep your Dashboard menu clean because you don't have to place all your apps on there to access them quickly.

You can customize Alfred so he knows where to look and what type of results you want when he searches through your Mac. Check all the boxes that you want Alfred to look through during a search. You can also be more specific when entering your search field. For example, if you are looking for something in your Finder specifically, you can type in "find" and it will reveal cleaner search results specifically from your Finder.

Alfred's very easy to use and has a clean search box interface. Install the app and set up your hotkey to call Alfred and you're ready to go. Let him know your location so he can detect the type of websites you visit the most based on what part of the world you're in.

Alfred iPhone App
A friend introduced me to the Alfred iPhone app and said it has been referred to as "Pandora for the real world." We love Pandora so we decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised with how helpful Alfred became on our phones.

The initial setting up of Alfred can become a little tedious because he asks what your favorite spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner and nightlife are. However, he has to have something to go off of to make recommendations, right? It's similar to Pandora and how you create stations of artists you like to hear similar artists and potentially discover new ones. Alfred works just like that except in regards to local spots to eat and drink instead.

The best part about Alfred is he provides information that we usually search for on Yelp. We want to know what others have said about a place and he summarizes comments from Yahoo!, CitySearch TripAdvisor and Bing to give an overall grade to a place and a count of how many people gave it a thumbs up through the app. You also get the address, hours, menu, photos and what other fans of this restaurant like.

The design of the app is easy to use and more interactive because Alfred propels himself above each restaurant he recommends and a the grade it gets pops up as you scroll over it.

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