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Expand the possibilities of the Dock with this app for macOS

Despite being one of the most iconic tools on Macs, the Dock it is not the favorite ally of users who value productivity. For years, it has fulfilled its goal of being simple and intuitive, however, those who wish to have more resources and customization options should resort to other software that gives this extra autonomy to the application ActiveDock.

ActiveDock is basically an option to replace or complement the native Mac Dock. The app has several customization options that go from the Dock itself to icons / folders. In addition, it has tools for faster switching between applications / windows, viewing options and task management. Other ActiveDock features include:

  • Work with multiple applications at once;
  • Quickly access applications and documents;
  • Open the menu of apps / settings and folders from a customizable button;
  • Create groups / folders of applications and documents for quick access;
  • Hide or delete application cones from the Dock.

Although the interface is not as flashy and does not start as smoothly as the native Dock, ActiveDock does, in fact, allow for a range of customizations. All adjustments can be made in the software preferences, which can be accessed through the app icon in the menu or through the ?Start Menu? of the software itself.

In the settings of customization of icons, you can choose between one of the available options or send an image of your choice that will be used to represent the ?Start menu?, the ?Trash? and the ?Show Desktop? feature. In addition, you can choose which of these tools you want to add to the Dock by checking (or not) the checkbox in each option.

ActiveDock: icon customization

For those who want to get out of the sameness of the native macOS Dock, ActiveDock has a rich selection of presets ranging from themes (including the appearance of the late Mac OS X Snow Leopard Dock), background colors, transparency and borders . In addition, you can choose the color or shape of the open application indicator in the Dock.

ActiveDock: Dock customization

In the ?Groups / Folders? tab of ActiveDock preferences, you can create groups of applications and folders with related documents that you want to access quickly through the Dock. After creating it, it is necessary to name the folder according to its purpose, add as many applications / files as you want and define the best way to display its content.

ActiveDock: creating folders

When installing ActiveDock, it natively displays the ?Start? button on the Dock, in the same location where the Finder is normally located. When accessed, the menu displays options for system and app preferences, folders, users and accounts in the very retro style of Windows. Finally, it is possible to access all folders without actually opening windows and more windows as in the Finder.

ActiveDock: Start menu in the Dock

Some features offered are really welcome for Mac owners who need to manage and work with multiple windows at the same time. However, other aesthetic features may disturb or even hinder devotees of the ?macOS standard?, such as shadows, sizes, borders (bezels) of the Dock, among others. As I said, the aesthetic features may not represent something very serious for the user, however, some performance and performance problems have been noted and these may, however, upset some people.

When using the app, when performing a task that requires a multifunction (be it previewing a window and closing it), the software will not respond at first, and you may even notice the colored ball of the Mac spinning for a few seconds on my In this case, when trying to open a new app and preview a window, the app crashed and closed unexpectedly. In addition, when creating a folder, inserted applications are not displayed immediately, and it may be necessary to readjust the configuration of folders and groups to view their content in the Dock.

Finally, a detail worth considering when adopting ActiveDock is the interaction with the native macOS Dock. Sometimes, the app's Dock ends up ?fighting? with the native to open or close a task or another app. To avoid this being a barrier when using ActiveDock, it is necessary to adjust, in the app's preferences, to never display the Dock if ActiveDock is active or, alternatively, change its position on the screen.

Whether or not in the face of these failures, the developer Sergey Gerasimenko said the app is in constant development and that a complementary rewritten version of the software should be released soon.

Unfortunately for some, ActiveDock works with the subscription method in addition to a single payment option. Thus, after the trial period, the user can choose one of three payment methods: R $ 20 / month for up to two Macs, R $ 80 / year for up to two Macs or a single purchase of R $ 200 with a license for up to five Macs and vital updates.

To test it, just download the application (ZIP) and install it remembering that it is necessary to be running at least macOS Sierra 10.12.