Microsoft has improved the Windows taskbar a lot. The latest taskbar in Windows 10 enables a user to interact with the apps and also perform actions like opening a new tab or window, pin to taskbar, and also speed dials in case of a browser. But the dock functionality of macOS is still superior to the Windows taskbar. “Switch” is a Windows dock that functions as an addon to the existing Windows taskbar. It does not replace the taskbar.
“Switch” is a free and open-source tool for opening our favorite programs quickly using keyboard shortcuts as well as a combination of mouse and keyboard. The doc can auto-hide after use and if you want to make it appear again, just press the Alt key and the dock will appear at the top.
Similarly, you can easily open the programs using Alt + Number keys. For example, if I have Firefox in the first position, I will need to press Alt + 1 to open Firefox. This key works universally so even if you are using any other application, just pressing Alt + 1 will open Firefox for me.
Switch is a vertical taskbar. It doesn’t seem to work horizontally. Another interesting downside is that the settings of Switch app are in the system tray instead of the dock bar. This is annoying and the developer should place a button or link to settings in the taskbar itself.
To start with, you can click on the Plus button and a file selection menu will open. Select the program which you want to place in that particular space. The same number (vertically from up to down) will be assigned to the app as a shortcut for opening. For example, if you place Firefox on the third row, it will open with Alt + 3. I wish we could drag and drop the application shortcuts to the taskbar instead of browsing it using the file browser.
The settings of the app are pretty basic and there are only a few options. You can enable or disable the auto-hide feature. Enabling this feature will let Switch automatically hide when not in use. You can press the Alt button to make it appear again. For me, the auto-hide feature is a little annoying as the app auto-hides itself even when I have a mouse cursor over the app window.
The second option, maximize the app on switch, will do exactly the same. The third option lets you specify where to keep the taskbar, either on the right-hand side or over to the left. This setting is not very useful as we can move Switch taskbar window anywhere we want.
Overall, Switch is a very useful concept and I have installed it even with the basic setup where there are so many shortcomings. But it fulfills its purpose well. I would give it more time to improve before I start using it in a production environment.
You can download Switch from github.
What are your experiences with the Switch app? Please share them with us in the comments below.
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