Windows: Most application launchers take a minimal approach, but MadAppLauncher shows you what applications you can launch and then lets you open them with a keystroke. You can still launch apps entirely with keyboard commands, but you’ll have the benefit of a full UI to see what you’re doing.We love application launchers like Launchy and appreciate their minimal design, but sometimes visuals are better, especially if you’re trying to get the hang of using an application launcher in the first place. MadAppLauncher is designed to give you a customisable UI that lets you see what you’re doing, but also stays out of the way so you can use keystrokes to launch the applications you need. Plus, it’s a snap to customise and create hotkeys for your commonly used applications.
To assign an application to a hotkey in the launcher, open MadAppLauncher. The interface has rows of buttons that correspond to the keys on your keyboard. Then drag an application on top of the button that represents the key you want to use to launch it. If you run out of buttons or keys, you can assign entire tabs of keys by clicking through the tabs at the top of the configuration window.
Then, as long as MadAppLauncher is running and you see its icon in the taskbar, you can start programs with two or three keystrokes. When you want to start a program, simply tap the hotkey you have assigned to MadAppLauncher (the default is “Ctrl+~” but you can change this in the options) and then press the button you have assigned to the application.
MadAppLauncher isn’t the most minimal launcher we’ve seen, but it gets serious points for being flexible and customisable in an intuitive way. The app gives users the ability to drag and drop apps onto it, customise tabs full of shortcuts, and tweak all of its settings easily: it’s a great way to go from never using a launcher before to never wasting time launching an app with the mouse again. Best of all, it’s free.