App Pier is a keyboard-friendly app launcher with both running and your favorite apps together. With its Touch Bar support for new Macbook Pro, your favorite apps are one tap away.
You can get the app from Mac App Store.
App Pier Support
App Pier can be opened with a keyboard shortcut (Default shortcut is Cmd + Option + Tab, it can be changed to a custom shortcut). It lets you save screen estate by hiding dock. In addition, you can reach App Pier even in another app is in fullscreen mode.
When the App Pier window is open, you can start typing the name of the app you want and even after first letter, the desired app is selected. Then
- Return will launch the selected app
- Command + H will toggle hide / unhide
- Command + K will toggle keep / remove the app in / from the Touch Dock
- Command + O will hide all other windows and bring selected app to focus
- Command + U will show all windows of running apps
- Right-arrow key opens right-click (context) menu.
When an app is running, it is denoted with a small dash in front of the app icon, similar to MacOS dock.
You can launch any app from Applications Folder (including first-order subfolders) using search. Space key or search button will activate app search.
Touch Bar items update simultaneously as search text changes. Space key activates search even “Shortcut Activates Menu Window” option is disabled in settings menu. When space key is pressed, search window appears and pressing Cancel button or Escape key hides the window again.
Right-click menu for an item displays options for that app. You can open right-click menu with
- Right-click on item
- Click on arrow button on item
- Press right-arrow key on keyboard when item is selected.
You can keep an app in App Pier by
- Command + K when the app is selected or
- Keep in App Pier option on right-click menu
Similar option is valid when removing from the pier.
- Activate brings selected app to focus.
- Hide hides windows of selected app
- Hide Others hides all windows but selected app’s
- Unhide All shows all windows of all running apps
Hide / Unhide, Hide Others and Show All options are also available on Touch Bar. To view the options, long press on a running app icon for less than 1 sec. Options popover will appear. Options on not-running apps and apps from search result will are only “Open” and “Show All”
With Favorite Folders feature you can define up to 5 favorite folders from “Change Favorite Folders” setting in settings menu. As it belongs to, you can reach your favorite folders from “Finder” icon and item. To reach it from menubar window, right-click on “Finder” item or click on the arrow button next to “Finder” item. Arrow on Finder item is double to notify favorite folders.
If no favorite folder is present, menubar window context menu will appear when right-clicked on “Finder” item. Clicking “Add Favorite Folder” will open Favorite Folder Settings window explained in Change Favorite Folders Window section.
You can easily access your favorite folders from Touch Bar too. Long-pressing “Finder” icon on Touch Bar will display your Favorite folders together with window behavior options.
If no favorite folder is present, touch bar below will appear when long-pressed on “Finder” icon. Pressing “Add Fav. Folder” will open Favorite Folder Settings window explained in Change Favorite Folders Window section.
And of course you can reach favorite folders via keyboard shortcuts too. Option + 1 to 5 will open corresponding favorite folder. For example, for above figures, Option + 1 will open “Downloads” folder.
Reorder & Remove App Pier Items
You can use drag & drop on an item using mouse or trackpad to
- reorder App Pier Items
- remove from App Pier when the app is not running
App Pier is designed such that when kept and reordered, an app stays in the same place in both App Pier, window and Touch Bar, so that muscle memory can be developed for apps.
Running apps in Touch Bar is denoted with a brighter button. Finder icon is denoted with a blue tone to denote favorite folders.
Settings menu has following options:
- Launch on Startup: You can enable to launch the app on every login
- Shortcut Activates Menu Window: When disabled, keyboard shortcut does not activate menubar window, only touch bar items are viewed on Touch Bar.
- Change Keyboard Shortcut: Displays a window where you can change keyboard shortcut.
- Change Favorite Folders: Displays the window for adding / removing / reordering favorite folders.
- Rate us: Your reviews are invaluable for us. Please make a review and share in Mac App Store.
- Send Feedback: It opens a mail window to send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help: Opens this page
- Quit: Quit the app
Custom keyboard shortcut window:
By clicking on the view next to “Set Shortcut” you can record a new keyboard shortcut.
Cmd + button above Tab Key (” or § depending on the keyboard layout) is a good alternative keyboard shortcut too.
Closing the window saves the new shortcut.
“Reset to Default” button resets the custom keyboard shortcut to Cmd + Alt + Tab
Change Favorite Folders Window:
You can add a favorite folder by clicking on “+” sign. It will open an Open Dialog and choosing a folder will add that folder to Favorite Folders.
To remove a favorite folder, select that folder and click “-” sign.
To reorder, similar to reordering favorite apps, drag a folder and move to desired position.
App Pier is available in both normal and dark mode. Dark mode is automatically activated when you enable dark mode in operating system from System Preferences -> General ->Use dark menu bar and Dock.
You can download the app from Mac App Store.
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