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Flashlight puts OS X Yosemite's Spotlight feature on steroids

Looking to get more out of Spotlight on your Mac? This free app is your answer.

Computers
Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple added a lot of new features to Spotlight in OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The list of new capabilities includes searching the App Store, Wikipedia pages and quick calculations. For some, however, Spotlight would benefit from additional features and capabilities.

For example, wouldn't it be nice to search Google or Amazon directly from Spotlight? What about getting current weather conditions along with a forecast for the next few days? Or running Terminal commands without actually launching Terminal? All would be welcome additions, right?

You can add that functionality to Spotlight by downloading a free app called Flashlight.

The app is currently in what amounts to an alpha stage. By installing Flashlight and activating its various plugins, you are able to add extra features to Spotlight with little effort on your part.

And for the motivated developer who has an idea to he or she would like to see in Spotlight, you can create your own plugins for Flashlight.

Plugins in Flashlight can be enabled or disabled with a click. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Download the free app here, open the ZIP file and place it in your Applications folder. Double-click the app icon and enable the plugins you want to use. Hints on how to use each search query and plugin are listed in each plugin's description.

The next time you launch Spotlight, take advantage of its new functionality.

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