Quick Search Box or Quicksilver?

For years I (along with the rest of TheAppleBlog) have championed the launcher known as Quicksilver. Its versatility solidified it as a must-have utility on any Mac (s aapl). But as OS X matured, the developer’s attention to Quicksilver waned, and he was eventually hired on at Google (s goog). Known for encouraging employee pet projects, Google soon announced Quick Search Box, which from all indications appeared to be the evolution of Quicksilver.

The story doesn’t end there. Quick Search Box started life as a fairly dumbed-down, albeit OS X-compatible, alternative to Quicksilver. It seemed that this new offering had the support of Google and would go far. In the meantime, Quicksilver’s code was open-sourced, and the community started slowly hacking away at it.

Now today, we have access to a community-supported version of Quicksilver that runs smoothly on OS X 10.6, as well as the Google-backed Quick Search Box which also works well enough. So which is the better choice for daily use?

I dumped Quicksilver a year or so ago in favor of Quick Search Box. The replacement was good enough for launching and finding files, and since that’s mostly what I used it for, things were good. However, as time passed, the functionality of Google’s product hasn’t closed the gap nearly as much as I’d like to see. Neither has the developer support really exploded in the form of plugins, as we’ve seen over the years for Quicksilver. Worst of all, Quick Search Box isn’t as responsive as I’d like.

So not too long ago, I went to Blacktree and downloaded the latest Quicksilver release. I found it to be much faster than the Google solution right away. Further use has shown it to be nowhere near as buggy as it once was (I have yet to experience a Quicksilver crash after a couple months’ use). But the best part is, all of the old functionality I knew and loved — both native (oh, how I missed complex triggers) as well as plugin support (let’s hear it for text and image manipulation) — is there and better than ever.

Whether you’re a current user of Google’s Quick Search Box, a past user of Quicksilver or new to both, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the latest build of Quicksilver. It’s been a happy homecoming for me, and I’m confident that the great functionality, speed, and extensibility that the app offers will make it of great use to you, too.

If you’ve found bliss with either program, please share your tale, and what it was that was the make or break feature for you.

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