Searching App Store from Launchbar

Most of my sparse moments of writing happen in front of my Macbook and after I dismissed Text Expander – due to the changes in its business model, I’ve reconsidered my writing workflow. Rather than moving my snippets to Keyboard Maestro, I started over and detached myself from most of the shortcuts, yet one group niggled me: links to apps.

I had snippets to frequent apps, such as Drafts or Workflow, and they were a contrivance to my work, now the appalling linkmaker page demotivates me from any writing.

While I was spoiled by Blink on iOS I wrote a replacement that uses Launchbar to search the App Store. It looks for Mac and iOS apps and loads their name, developer, price and icon. The action may be slow in a first run since the script has to download all the icons, but it speeds up afterwards since the images are stored in cache.

You can download this action here.

At the moment, you can’t change the affiliate token without getting your hands dirty: open the Action Editor; select this Search App Store custom action you installed; go to the Scripts tab; the first line should point to the Default Script, look for the Edit button in the top-right. The script should open in your default text editor for Python files. You’re looking for the variable affiliate_token on line 12, just change its value (the code between quotes after the equal sign) and you’re set. You can also use the StretchLink and Affiliate combo to clean links and set your own affiliate tokens automatically as they’re copied to the clipboard.

Besides an easier setup for your tokens, on the current to-do list is also a way to filter for only iPad or Mac apps, probably using exclamation marks, and change the default behavior of opening the links when a option or command is pressed, like inserting the link without the pasteboard. Meanwhile, you can consult the App Store from Launchbar and get your apps on the spot.