Meet Rocket, another app switcher for the 2016 MacBook Touch Bar that runs as its own app and, unlike TouchSwitcher, does not need to be launched repeatedly.

When we told you about TouchSwitcher very recently, it struck us as a very good idea indeed. After all, if the 2016 MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is there to replace buttons, it might as well make it easier and quicker to switch between apps, right? TouchSwitcher does that just fine, but it has one drawback in that it runs in the Touch Bar’s Control Strip, limiting its usefulness because it replaces media controls, and needs to be closed to access media controls again and then constantly re-opened in order to function.

Rocket-for-2016-MacBook-Pro-Touch-Bar

Enter Rocket, a very similar alternative to TouchSwitcher, but vitally, it runs as its own app in Mac’s menu bar and as a result, is afforded more power within the Touch Bar.

Take the way Rocket is invoked as a prime example. Once launched for the first time and running happily in the Mac’s menu bar, invoking Rocket in Touch Bar is a case of pressing a shortcut on keyboard. Once that combination is pressed, Rocket displays a list of the most recent apps used, with beautiful icons displayed on the Touch Bar.

While TouchSwitcher can be replaced as soon as something like the macOS media controls are displayed, Rocket is treated as a first-class citizen just like any other app and once that magic incantation is pressed again, the app takes control of the Touch Bar just as any other would, displaying app shortcuts just ready to be tapped.

Rocket

Whilst quickly switching between apps is great, Rocket can also be used to launch any app that is in the macOS Dock. It can’t be used to fire up any app installed on the Mac unfortunately, but if there’s an icon for your favorite app within the Dock, then Rocket can launch it just fine. How about that for mixing a touch-based interface with macOS?

Rocket can be downloaded for free from the developer’s website over at julianthayn.com/rocket. Perhaps predictably, there is no place on the Mac App Store for it.

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