A new take on cmd+tab & dock in macOS

Ryan Hanson
Apr 26 · 2 min read

When it comes to switching applications, there is no shortage of options to get the one you want in front of you. Before creating Hookshot, I would have never thought about trying to add another solution to the mix. Using Hookshot has dramatically improved my window management experience, so I decided to try out the same concept with launching applications in Charmstone.

Here’s a screenshot of the initial UI for it:

In Charmstone, the flow is as follows:

  1. Press modifier key(s).
  2. Move the cursor in a direction to select an app.
  3. Release modifier key(s) to launch the app.

During step 2, the icons for your configured apps will be displayed for your selection:

This is basically just having a dock/cmd-tab-switcher that appears around your cursor when you press a key and move your cursor, except that the apps will be in the same location every time and there is minimal cursor travel distance for selecting an app. The result is dramatically faster app switching due to accessing spatial memory and ultimately not having to look for the app that you want (once you’ve got it down, and as long as it’s configured in Charmstone).

This might be a pretty small niche to fill with this app, but so far it’s fit in really nicely with my workflow — especially since I keep my dock hidden. I have plans for additional features like allowing it to be configured to do more than just launch apps, show apps on hover, and more.

Feel free to give it a try! The up, down, left, and right positions are free, and you can unlock the corners for a small one time price. Also, it works nicely with Hyperkey.