Command-line fans will be happy today, as Nate Parrot’s Flashlight utility comes out of beta. Flashlight is a utility that enables you to carry out more than 160 different tasks just by typing commands into Spotlight – a kind of command-line Siri for the Mac. Functions include checking the weather, creating notes, adding calendar appointments, translating words, emailing files, sending messages, moving files, ejecting drives and performing image searches.

Apple seems impressed too: it has hired Parrot as an intern on its Spotlight team … 

OS X might be all about making a visual user-interface as efficient and pleasurable as possible, but oftentimes there’s nothing quite as fast as typing a command. It’s why many of us open apps by CMD-space to open Spotlight followed by typing the first few letters of the app’s name – and Flashlight aims to extend that efficiency to other tasks.

Flashlight is an open-source project which allows anyone to create their own plugins to extend the capabilities of the utility. Many of the 160+ plugins available today were created by third-party developers.

You’ll be able to download Flashlight from flashlight.nateparrott.com, at around 1pm EDT/ 10am PDT today. If you can’t wait that long, the beta is available at the same site now.

Parrot said that while Apple hired him because the company found Flashlight “interesting,” the company is “definitely not hiring me to build Flashlight into OS X.”

Thanks, Greg

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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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