We've loved Spotlight ever since it released with OS X 10.4 (Tiger); the feature is great for finding a file when you can't remember where it's located.
With OS X Yosemite, Apple added more functions to Spotlight such as movie suggestions and website search results. And by installing a small utility called Flashlight, you can improve Spotlight even more with new commands.
Let's take a look at how to install this extension:
- Visit http://flashlight.nateparrott.com and click the "Download" button.
- Unzip the download, then drag and drop the .app file into your Applications folder in the Finder.
- Launch the Flashlight app from the Applications folder in Finder.
- Click "Enable Spotlight Plugins" when the window appears.
Once you enable the Spotlight plugins, you can immediately use Flashlight within Spotlight. Here are just a few of the commands you can use:
- "weather [city, state]"
- "shutdown" "restart" or "screen saver"
- "add an event "title of event" at [time]"
- "iMessage [contact] "message body""
This app adds a lot of additional functionality very easily to Spotlight, mimicking some of what Siri can do on iOS. The Flashlight website contains a list of plugins and what their commands are.
If you wish to uninstall this functionality in the future, perform these steps:
- Open the Flashlight app in the Applications folder in Finder
- Select Flashlight > Uninstall Flashlight
When you do this, Flashlight will quit, and the commands will be uninstalled from the Spotlight feature in OS X.