Introducing Cato — the command launcher for your web browser

Cato featured image — extension download link

What is Cato?

Cato is a browser extension which adds a command launcher to your web browser! Actions you’d normally do with your mouse or keyboard shortcuts can now be done by typing simple keywords.The days of remembering keyboard shortcuts in your browser are over.

Origin Story

Cato was born out of a need and necessity.

One weekend I’d forgotten to pack my computer while on a visit to my cousins house. He had a backup chromebook laptop, but I was left without the apps and experience that my laptop offered.

After years of being a Mac user who used several command driven apps (Alfred, Atom Editor) to control my computer, I had become accustomed to simply typing the name of an action, executing it and getting what I wanted, without needing to remember keyboard shortcuts or click around my computer much.

Who is Cato for?

  • People who have lots of tabs open
  • People who bookmark things often
  • People who watch videos online
  • People who are used to command driven interfaces already through apps like Alfred/Spotlight or the command palette features that text editors have
  • Anyone who uses their browser on a daily basis

Cato Features in Action

One of the great things about Cato, is that it does the work of dozens of browser extensions that already exist BUT it just one extension!

Closing Thoughts

Working on Cato in my free time has been a joy and rollercoaster ride!

There were moments where I wondered if certain features I wanted were even feasible to implement provided the API’s that were available to me. Encountering constraints during this project made more resourceful as I had to think about work arounds for the problems I intended to solve.

There were moments where I had to exercise patience and just rest for a day or two to come back with a refreshed mind to create the user experience and design that I felt would best benefit the user.

There were moments where I had to redo entire features and restructure my codebase to make thinking about the problem I was trying to easier. The aforementioned may seem trivial to lots of folks, BUT when you’re developing an app that you’re excited about getting out to people, the last thing you want to be thinking about is tasks like folder organization and naming conventions , among other things, when your code already works. BUT the aforementioned is very important for the longevity and maintainability of your project.

Future App Updates

Cato is free and open source. If you have any feedback or would like to contribute to the underlying code you can visit the links below: