OS X Yosemite brought some great new features to Spotlight, the operating system’s built-in search tool. However, there’s always room for improvement. Enter Flashlight.
Flashlight, which is still in alpha, is an app that extends Spotlight’s search capabilities to include more plugins and richer functionality while searching.
For example, when searching for ‘weather in Auckland’, Flashlight shows a rich animated weather widget with the forecast almost instantly.
Flashlight also allows users to do full web searches via Google and Wolfram Alpha, without the need to open a browser.
Flashlight also includes a number of other plugins, including “I’m feeling lucky” searches, the ability to run Terminal commands directly in Spotlight, and even Pig Latin translations.
Nate Parrot, who developed the tool, said he wanted to make a weather widget, but “discovered Spotlight didn’t have an API. So I made one, by injecting code into the Spotlight process.”
The abilities of Flashlight can easily be expanded by others, via an unofficial API for Spotlight which will allow other developers to integrate plugins easily.
For those of you who would like to try out Flashlight, please be advised that it is in the early stages, and you might not want to run it on your daily duty Mac.