Quicksilver, the donation-ware utility app that aims to speed up a wide range of the things you do on your Mac, has finally made it out of beta—some 10 years after it was first made available. The app is compatible with OS X 10.6 onward.

Quicksilver is best thought of as auto-complete for the Finder. Just as Google will suggest auto-completions when you start to type a search-term, Quicksilver also aims to predict what you are trying to do and offer shortcuts. There are also plugins for many apps that offer the same benefits within an app.

Although Spotlight does some of the same things, Quicksilver is much more flexible and personalized. For example, if you type PS, it might open Photoshop, as that’s something you do a lot. If someone else types PS, it might start an email to Phil Smith…

This Google talk is 5 years old and rather long, but it is an excellent introduction:

Software developers typically launch beta versions of their apps once they think an app is more-or-less ready for use but with some likely glitches that will only be identified by letting people play with it. Most apps spend a relatively short time in beta before being officially launched. Quicksilver went through a longer development cycle, starting as a conventional app that turned into an open-source project, with other apps then adding plugins to expand its functionality.

In an interview on the Quicksilver blog, developers Patrick Robertson and Rob McBroom said the move out of beta is more than a symbolic one.

Stability is what v1.0 boasts, but accessibility should not be forgotten. We’ve worked to simplify Quicksilver and add great documentation (a new manual is coming out!), meaning Quicksilver can be picked up by anyone much more easily than before …

We need to make it as easy as possible for developers and users to create plugins and AppleScript extensions for Quicksilver. The true power of Quicksilver comes from our plugin developers, so I’ll be happy once we have a strong dev community back on our side creating great plugins, and over the coming months I’m going to be working hard to try and achieve this.

The app is available for free download for Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion—with beta versions still available for Panther(!!), Tiger and Leopard.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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