Launchy is one of the best application launchers available, and it is about to get a lot better with version 2 that is right around the corner. Just today Launchy 2.0 Alpha 8 was quietly released in the Launchy forum, and I’ve been using previous Alpha’s for over a week. Despite being early in the development process it is incredibly stable.
So what’s new? I’ve found the biggest thing to be the revamped Options dialog, which I’ve included screenshots of below. Aside from that the whole program has been rewritten in a programming language called QT, and I think there are a lot of rewards for making the switch from MFC. Overall the Launchy 2.0 Alpha interface seems more responsive than the older stable versions.
- Fade in and fade out special effects
- User adjustable opaqueness and fade times
- Adjustable dropdown length
- Completes folders (e.g. my documents) into paths
- Can now edit directories by double clicking them
- Can use environment variables in directories (e.g. %USERPROFILE%)
- Skin selection now shows previews of skins
- No longer have to restart Launchy to use a new plugin or skin
- Plugin options are integrated into the options dialog
- Launchy can automatically hide when it loses focus
- Launchy can now shallow scan a directory (customizable depth)
- Launchy index/options/exit now work, try typing “launchy” tab “options”
- Much better plugin customization
The best thing that has happened to this version of Launchy is the unified Options screen. Everything is now placed in a nice tabbed interface instead of having several different windows for skins, plugins, and settings (click thumbnail for fullsize version):