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Application Launchers

Are Windows desktop shortcuts not versatile enough? Is the Dock in macOS not functioning the way you want it to? That’s where the custom program launchers on this page come in. From Linux-based launchers such as Docky, to keystroke-based launches for Windows like Keypirinha, there are several program launching options for you regardless of what type of operating system you prefer.

  1. PortableApps.com is a website offering many free, commonly used Windows applications that have been specially packaged for portability. These portable applications can be used from removable media such as USB flash drives.
  2. A lightning fast and flexible keystroke launcher for Windows. No installation required (portable). Extensible with Python3 plugins.


  3. Wox is a full-featured plugin-powered launcher that supports file and web searching.

    Discontinued

    Few updates in the last four years according to the github page.

  4. Alfred is a productivity application for macOS, which boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords and text expansion. Search your Mac and the web, and control your Mac using custom actions with the Powerpack.
  5. Free, Open Source and Cross Platform messaging and emailing app that combines common web applications into one.
  6. Station is the first open-source smart browser for busy people. A single place for all of your web applications.

    Discontinued

    From the GitHub repository: “This project is not actively maintained.”

  7. Nova Launcher is an highly customizable, performance driven, home screen replacement for Android 4.0+
  8. Launchy is a free Windows and Linux utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.

    Discontinued

    The project seems to be no longer maintained: last stable version, 2.5, and beta version, 2.6 beta2, were released in 2010. The program works anyway and can be still downloaded from the official website.

  9. Developed with the Electron framework, ueli is the type of tool that adopts simplicity, leaving out any unnecessary options and configuration settings.
  10. Access everything with virtually zero effort. Run applications, open files or their paths, open bookmarks in your browser, search the web, calculate things and a lot more. See wiki for more information.
  11. RocketDock is a Mac OS X dock clone. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. With each item completely customizable there is no end to what you can add and launch from the dock.

    Discontinued

    The program is no longer updated, but last version, 1.3.5, released in September 2008, can be still downloaded from the official website. "It is true, RocketDock has been discontinued. [...] The app remains available on https://rocketdock.com, but is unsupported."

  12. * Ulauncher provides instant search results. It also remembers your previous choices and automatically selects the best option for you.
  13. Franz is a free messaging app / former Emperor of Austria and combines chat & messaging services into one application. Franz currently supports Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat and many more. You can download Franz for Mac, Windows & Linux.
  14. Lawnchair is a free, open-source home app for Android. Taking Launcher3 — Android’s default home app — as a starting point, it ports Pixel Launcher features and introduces rich options for customization.
  15. KISS is a fast launcher for your Android. Search through your apps, contacts and settings lightning fast.