Launch Center Pro 2.2 Update

Today, Contrast releases an update to Launch Center Pro. The 2.2 update also acts as the first version of its iPad app. The new iPad version makes it possible to interact with iPad-only apps, such as Mr. Reader and Editorial.

This update brings several new features, such as multitouch support group and move action between groups. Now, you can launch actions from within a group by using two fingers: one finger to open the group and another to tap the action. You can also move action from one group to another, or to the home grids (and vice versa). This makes it easy to organise the actions without having to copy and paste the URLs.

Tweet a code snippet via Dropbox

Launch Center Pro 2.2 also brings a set of new Dropbox text actions. You can now create, append, and prepend text files in your Dropbox folder.

If you're familiar with Drafts, these actions are already available in Drafts. What makes the Launch Center Pro actions different is its ability to retrieve the shareable link to the Dropbox file. The link is copied to the clipboard and can be chained for other purpose.

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Launch iOS Actions from the Mac using Alfred and Command-C

In my first post about Command-C last week, I haven't really explored into the possibilities of sending data from Mac to iOS. After spending a few days learning AppleScript the hard (and maybe, wrong) way, I'm finally ready to share a few Alfred workflows that you can use to send data and trigger actions on your iOS apps.

The basic idea is pretty straightforward. On iOS, we store our custom URL actions in Drafts or Launch Center Pro. We need to find a similar place where we can store our custom URL actions. My choice is to go with Alfred. You are welcome to create similar approaches with other launcher Mac apps, such as Launch Bar, Quicksilver, and Keyboard Maestro.

Alfred 2 Power Pack allows users to create their own custom workflows.

Alfred 2 and its Power Pack

To install and run the actions in this post, you need to download Alfred 2, and purchase its Power Pack. You need the Power Pack to create and install custom workflows.

I have created a bundle where you can download all of the custom workflows I outline in this post. If this is the first time you install a custom Alfred workflow, simply double tap on the file in Finder, and it will automatically be added onto your copy of Alfred.

From Alfred to Drafts

By now, I'm sure you know that Command-C can send text/images from Mac to iOS. The problem with this built-in feature is the clipboard data still floats around the iOS pasteboard. What if we could put the clipboard data, assuming it's in text format, straight into Drafts instead?

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How Command-C Replaces Pastebot and Improves My Workflow

I have been using Pastebot as my preferred way to transfer text and images between my iPhone and my Macs. But, iOS 7 has brought changes to some policies, such as background process and shared pasteboards, that made Pastebot felt a bit outdated. As a reference, the last update for Pastebot was almost two years ago.

Fortunately, today Danito Torrisi releases Command-C that offers a more modern alternative to Pastebot. Similar to Pastebot, it comes as a pair of iOS and Mac apps that you can install to all your iOS/Mac devices. I'd recommend you read Federico Viticci's in-depth review on the app if you haven't.

Why Command-C is Better than Pastebot

Instead of rehashing what Federico Viticci has written, I will outline a few reasons why I consider Command-C as a better alternative to Pastebot.

  1. Command-C is iOS 7 native. It's not constrained by 10 minute limit of running in the background. It's also compatible with Launch Center Pro's image pasteboard - something that I can never get to work correctly.
  2. Command-C supports multiple pairs of iOS/Mac and iOS/iOS sharing. Instead of syncing only one iOS/Mac device pair at a time a la Pastebot, Command-C allows you to share the text/image with any device that you have registered.
  3. Command-C has an excellent support for x-callback-url and executable URLs. This allows you to send iOS/Mac URL Schemes over Wi-Fi and have it executed by the receiving Command-C copy. Danito Torrisi even sets up a dedicated website and an in-app form to easily generate your own bookmarklet and URL Scheme.
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