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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Workflow: Adding Quotes from Chrome to Quotebook using Launch Center Pro

One of the great new features in Launch Center Pro 2.0 is the ability to use Launch Center Pro tags from a URL that's launched from outside of the app. In my previous post, I have shown three use cases where launchpro://?url= can do things that were not possible previously. But, there's still one use case that I hadn't explored yet: using the launchpro://?url= from a Javascript bookmarklet.

Ben Whiting asked me over Twitter whether I had tried it or not. Until an hour ago, I was not able to get anything working from the bookmarklet. Thankfully Justin Youens, a member of Contrast, showed us how to do it - with an example of grabbing the page URL and put it on the Tweetbot's compose window.

Apparently, we need to encode everything behind the launchpro://?url= using Javacript's encodeURIComponent function. I tried encoding it using the in-app text encoding function from Launch Center Pro, but could never get it to work.

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