feedback on productivity tool for Mac

macOS and Mac Apps

Hey guys,
we together with a friend want to create one utility program for Macbook and I want to validate this problem hypothesis before building something. This utility will help to switch between programs fast and smoothly. There are 10 questions I'd like to ask you to get feedback. Could you please help us with that? Just need 5-10 minutes of your time to know if there is any challenge :)

Would much appreciate that🙌🏻



Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

You mean, switching between programs . . . faster than command-tab?

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Thursday, July 1, 2021

i would not open too many apps, if i had any Mac.
10 or 15 are too many apps.
I can't imagine that the blind user will be able to work with so many apps.
I don't mean any daemons or services.
These system apps are functioning in the background.
But as for the GUI apps I can't imagine.
I understand three or four at least five apps, but ... 10 and more!!!!
Though I open two or three.
Not five and moreover ten.
But as for coding task switcher like jaws script or NVDA add-on, I don't know, if Mac OS is accessible to code deeply in system.
Again coding for coding.
And again a new bicycle.
Though it's the developer's choice not mine.

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Thursday, July 1, 2021

Okay dear future or present developer of task switcher.
You can use any commands which are connected with apps (jobs).
For example, fg (to switch app/job to the foreground),
bg (to switch app/job to the background),
jobs (to find out the neccessary job).
Or you can code a small script with GUI implementation.
I don't know if these commands are permitted in Mac OS.
And you can switch between 10000 or more apps on your Mac OS.
Best wishes!

Submitted by Grant on Thursday, July 1, 2021

I am going to assume that you are new to the Mac. If this is incorrect I do apologize. There are multiple ways to do what you were asking, there is no need for a script or program, they are very simple ways for us. If you have 15 apps open and the command tab doesn’t work, you can easily do The following.

Hold down VO double tap F1, brings up The applications chooser. Simply arrow down to the one we wish to open right now this brings up a list of windows that are open with an application at enter on the window US to open.

Alternatively, there is an app called launch bar, this allows you to hit it shortcut queue, type in any application or file name, and it will search your Mac for it. After you have selected the file name a few times it remembers what you’ve typed for one files and you can do this through for all apps. So simply hit your shortcut due to open lunch by typing set up and then hit enter. On the Mac it will open currently running application instead of opening a fresh application.

Not me a new one.
I don't use any Mac at all.
And I wouldn't code an unnecessary software.
I won't open 10 100 etc apps at all.
As for my needs, it is useless on mac or on windows.
I just suggested our nice developer not to code this app.
Only to use the available possibilities.
For example any script consisting of unix/linux commands.
Though it is the developer's choice, not mine.

Submitted by Cowboy on Friday, July 2, 2021

I started to write about VO F1 only to realize someone else had already done it. It would be really difficult, and kind of unnecessary, to make a switcher that worked any better.

I’m all for innovation, but maybe you should try taking a pole on what kind of third-party people think they need.

actually, I've asked people and some of the users do open 10 apps, so it happens. it's just you know different types of users and their needs.

Submitted by Anna on Friday, July 2, 2021

In reply to by zeirus-fr

thanks, that's a really interesting feedback! btw, what OS do use? and did you set up all those commands there by yourself? do you use any app that allows you to connect apps and commands?
Thank you!

You said:

10 or 15 are too many apps. I can't imagine that the blind user will be able to work with so many apps.

I personally find this extremely insulting and patronising. I might expect such ill-informed rubbish elsewhere, but not on a site which is specifically for blind iOS and Mac users.

Care to explain to me why as a blind Mac user I shouldn't be able to work with so many apps?

Submitted by Dalia on Friday, July 2, 2021

Happy to help if I can, but where are the 10 questions that you wanted to ask us?

In fact, I'm not truly clear of what you have in mind with this project which isn't already available. Care to provide some more detail on what you have in mind?

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Friday, July 2, 2021

In reply to by Dalia

No problem to open 10 or 15 apps.
You can and you will open.
As for me it isn't a good optimisation.
I am underlying as - for - me!!!
Not for you.
If you want, then open 100 apps.
But at the same time you cannot work in these GUI apps.
Though... it is your choice not mine.
Not daemons, not services, but GUI.

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Friday, July 2, 2021

In reply to by Anna

Look for the reference.
I am not a developer.
bg, fg, jobs are terminal commands.
You can use different ways.
You can build any GUI frontend.
And run these commands via any event like button_press or like that.
But certainly if Mac will permit you.
I think but i don't know exactly, that mac app chooser or app switcher is a simple frontend.
This GUI uses system commands.
Maybe i am wrong.
I am not a Mac user.
And how to code that app, I won't tell you.
It is you who is our dear developer, not me. <smile>

Hi Dalia,
sure, here is the list, thanks a lot for the help! We're considering with my friend to create a switcher for the apps, so that we'd like to know other users' opinions.

1. How many programs do you usually open during the ordinary work day? (we count 2 chrome windows with different tabs as 2 programs).Can you tell me what are these programs?
2. How do you usually switch between them? (please describe the steps)
3. Did it happen that you spent some time looking for a right program? Did it take long? Did that pause to find the right program irritate you? (rate your irritation from 0 to 5)
4. Do you use any utility program to switch between different screens? (if yes - which one? if no - why not?)
5. If you do use utility program to switch between screens: how much time did it take to set it up?
6. If you do use utility program to switch between screens: how does it work? (main steps)?
7. If you do use utility program to switch between screens: what is the most you like in this utility program?
8. If you do use utility program to switch between screens: did you consider other  utility programs and why you didn’t choose them?
9. If you don’t use any utility program to switch between screens (programs): Would you use the utility program that can switch between your screens (programs) very quickly avoiding loosing time to find right program?
10. Would you pay $10 for this utility program? (if no - write you suitable price for it)

You wrote:

10. Would you pay $10 for this utility program? (if no - write you suitable price for it)

I personally would pay maximum $1.00.
Only for supporting your job.

  1. 15-20 applications.
  2. I use the Launchbar application.
  3. I researched and tested several applications over a few hours. No irritation at having to do so.
  4. Launchbar.
  5. About an hour, but note that it is much more than an application switcher.
  6. All handled through keyboard shortcuts and arrow keys.
  7. Quick and easy access to applications, windows, files, folders, functions, settings, tools, and so so much more.
  8. Yes. Settled on Launchbar because of its ease of use and features. Alfred would have been another good choice for my use case. I use Keyboard Maestro for other tasks, but its application and windows switchers are not fully accessible with VoiceOver.
  9. N/A.
  10. I paid more than $10 for Launchbar. I wouldn't pay for a utility if all that it did was to switch applications, as macOS already has this covered.

Submitted by Jakob Rosin on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Imo there's a quick built in system to switch between apps when VoiceOver is running.
I've assigned keyboard shortcuts to commonly used apps like Safari, Drafts, Mail, Omnifocus, Messages, Logic ETC via the keyboard commander. Pressing option + corresponding letter opens, or if the app is already open, switches to that.
If the app is not assigned, I just use alfred. CMD+space to launch alfred, type CG and google chrome opens. Type ff, and firefox opens.