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Apple sometimes introduces features that look awesome during a keynote, only to wind up being “meh” in real life. One such example is Launchpad, the new OS X Lion feature that brings iOS-style folder management for your Mac apps, but no way to manage all the extraneous stuff hiding in your Applications folder -- until now.
The project of an iOS developer named Andreas Ganske, Launchpad-Control is a System Preferences pane that promises to take the hassle out of setting up your OS X Lion Launchpad. The premise is simple: Hide and unhide apps or groups that you don’t want to show up in Launchpad.
“A huge disadvantage of the Launchpad is that every app that is located in your /Applications folder is shown,” Ganske explains on his blog. “That means you will see little helper programs like uninstallers or updaters. These apps can’t be hidden easily from Launchpad because there are no such preferences.”
That’s where Launchpad-Control comes in, the developer’s first Cocoa project. Launch it and you’ll see a list of all apps in your Applications folder. Uncheck the ones you want to hide, click Apply and you’ll see the screen flash grey as Launchpad resets. Now you’ll hide the clutter and show only those apps you really want to be able to access from Launchpad.
Best of all, Launchpad-Control is absolutely free, although the developer is accepting donations from his website as well as a Donate button within the app. Launchpad-Control also comes in handy if you’re overwhelmed with too many icons and just want to turn some of them off in order to organize Launchpad into folders. The System Preference pane can be downloaded direct from the developer’s website and of course, requires OS X Lion.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter