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Juggling open applications is a fact of our computery lives. But it doesn’t need to require hunting for windows, trips to the Dock, the Command-Tab switcher, or even Apple’s Exposé. Nikolay Kropachev’s cleverly designed alternative, AmbiLauncher, lets you switch applications and even launch AppleScripts with ease. It works by making use of your screen’s edges--just not the top one, since that would interfere with the menu bar.
When you launch AmbiLauncher, you’ll notice faint colored highlights over your screen’s left, right, and bottom edges. Move your cursor to one of those edges and quickly back out again to launch, or switch to, whichever app you’ve assigned to that zone. It may take you a couple of tries to get the hang of the gesture, since if you hover too long over the edge, nothing happens. This is by design, so you can still select an item on the edge of your screen without unwittingly jumping to a different app. Once you understand how it works, you zip between your regular programs without having to hunt their windows down.
The Preferences give you a lot of control.
The interface is fully customizable. You can add additional sections, resize them to suit your needs, and even select different colors for the highlights. To set which app gets launched from which area, simply drag its icon onto AmbiLauncher’s Sections window (accessed via the app’s menu bar icon). The app’s preferences let you alter the colored zones’ width and opacity, and specify the length of time your cursor needs to be over a zone for it to trigger its function.
The bottom line. If you’re not a fan of Exposé, AmbiLauncher is worth a look. You can also download the free AmbiLauncher Lite from the Mac App Store to get a feel for how it works, and if it’ll work for you.
64-bit processor, OS X 10.7 or later
Fully customizable. Can activate apps and Apple Scripts.
Default colors around the edges can be distracting. Gestures not immediately obvious at first. Can customize the app only from the menu bar.