The concept of an app launcher or a dock on a Windows desktop might seem redundant to some. This is especially true for Windows 10. Yet, app launchers or MacOS like docks have been quite in demand over the years on Windows. This, in turn, has led to many developers to take on the challenge and deliver a good experience to users on Windows. While MacOS like docs doesn’t offer a lot to the Windows desktop in terms of features, they do add a layer of convenience. Not to mention they look much fancier than a start menu.
A dock also manages to allow you to add many apps folders or files on your desktop without making it look cluttered. There’s also the added functionality that you can access these usually from anywhere without having to minimize currently open windows. There are quite a few docks available on Windows, and some of them are quite good. Good, but if your needs are limited to looks or simply an app launcher that complements the Windows taskbar. Here are two MacOS like docs that should satisfy your needs.
Rocket dock – Simple and elegant
Rocket dock has been one of the most popular dock options for Windows. The development on Rocket dock seemingly ceased years ago and there are no new features added. To be honest, it could actually use some more features. But there’s a good side to this apparent lack of features. It makes Rocket dock one of the simplest docks available for Windows. It does still have some of the basic features you might want in your dock. These include the ability to change individual icons, change the position of the dock, place it behind open windows or on top of them, etc. You can also adjust the quality of icons depending upon your hardware.
I’d suggest not to change a lot in the icon settings though since the default animation and zoom settings are quite ideal. The animations are so smooth with Rocket dock that it often feels like an integrated part of the system. It also has themes and the internet is full of them, the dock being so popular. The best place to find these is the dock’s very own website. You can also extend the functionality using docklets, also available on the website. You can also let minimized windows appear on the dock if you wish to use it like the MacOS dock. This functionality seems broken and is often not reliable though especially as long as there is a taskbar.
Also, Rocket dock will always overlap with open windows. That is, Windows will either slide over or under it, depending on your preferences. Unlike some other docks or the taskbar, Rocket dock cannot allocate a dedicated space for itself.
Winstep Nexus Dock – Feature packed, not so simple
There’s a distance between the land and the sky, as you may have noticed. I’m not getting philosophical here, but that’s exactly the distance, or difference between Nexus dock and Rocket dock. Although both of these are essentially docks, Nexus dock is perhaps the best there is for Windows. It has so many features that you’d just skip over many of them even if I did type them all out. As a result, though, it is not the easiest, most user-friendly dock around. Launching apps and adding them to the dock still works pretty much the same as any other dock. There is a bit of a learning curve if you wish to customize the dock to look and behave like you want.
Don’t miss: Best Free Icon Packs for Windows 7, 8 and 10
It has everything Rocket dock has, such as themes and docklets, and in greater numbers even. It also has numerous features and fancy animations that Rocket dock does not have. Appearance settings such as icon reflections, icon launch animations, close animations, delete animations, the duration of these animations, you can micromanage everything. All of this does come at a price though. While there is a free version too, you’d have to shell out a few bucks for the Ultimate version which has all the features. I’ve used Nexus dock for a long long time before Windows 10 came along, and I’ve customized it to my heart’s desire. It even has a start menu button!
In case you’re wondering, minimizing Windows to the dock is not reliable on this one either but it works sometimes at least. To wrap up, if you wanted to replace the taskbar entirely, you can depend on Nexus dock.