Dr. Drang compares Alfred and LaunchBar, eventually deciding to return to LaunchBar. I also use LaunchBar; I’ve never seen a reason to switch and I appreciate LaunchBar’s pedigree as the original launcher dating back to NeXTSTEP. I’m surprised he doesn’t consider using Spotlight as a LaunchBar replacement, which has been possible ever since Spotlight co-opted LaunchBar’s design in OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite. For me, Spotlight is too slow to replace LaunchBar as a launcher1 (its algorithm for learning from past searches also feels rudimentary in comparison to LaunchBar’s) but I use it all the time for searching. That division makes sense to me: LaunchBar is a smaller, faster index for things I access all the time, and Spotlight indexes my whole hard drive for things I access less often.
On the subject of Spotlight being slow, something that drives me up the wall is when Spotlight on iOS shows the keyboard before it’s actually ready to accept input (this seems to happen more often when Spotlight hasn’t been used in awhile, like for the first time in a day). So if you start typing too soon, those characters get lost and have to be retyped after Spotlight catches its breath. One of the problems with iOS is that there’s no way to replace system utilities with third-party applications. On macOS, I would simply replace Spotlight with another application that’s faster, but on iOS I’m stuck with this problem until Apple decides to fix it (if ever). ↩︎