Printing from your iOS-Device wirelessly

For Mac users:

I love this kind of tip. I have an app on my iPhone where I can print webpages or whatever I last copied to my clipboard, but this solution is much better.

This tip is from a Lifehacker article by Aaron Ladage (@aladage). It uses Automator, an easy to use application for creating automated workflows. It’s also pre-installed on every Mac.

First things first, if you don't have a Dropbox account, create one here (Dropbox referral link), it’s free. Next, here are the steps directly from the article:

  1. Create a folder in Dropbox (mine’s called “Printing”), and within that folder make two more folders: “todo” and “completed.” Then, fire up Automator. In 10.6, a box pops up asking you what type of template you want to use for your workflow. Choose “Folder Actions.”

  2. At the top of the workflow, where it says “Folder Action receives files and folders added to…” choose the “todo” folder you created in your Dropbox. Then, in Automator’s search box, type “print” and you'll see an item called “Print Finder Items.” Drag that into your workflow and select your printer (I left mine as default). Go back to Automator’s search box and type “move”. You'll see an item called “Move Finder items.” Add it to your workflow and choose the “completed” folder you created at the beginning. Choose “Save as…” and give your workflow a name.

  3. That’s it! Anything you drop in the “todo” folder (Ed. note: Which you can do from any phone or computer with Dropbox installed and connected to your home computer) will now automatically open its respective app, print it and file it for you.

I tested it out last night, works as advertised. Very cool stuff using Automator.

Here is a similar concept for Windows users, although I haven't tried that one out.


Do just about anything on your Mac with your iPhone

Air Mouse Home Screen

I used Air Mouse Pro [iTunes  Link] quite often back in the day. In my opinion it is  one of the best mouse/trackpad applications for the iPhone. The setup is  quick, and it not only allows you to use it as a trackpad but also as a  gestures based pointer. You use it like a remote control for a TV,  flick your wrist and the cursor flies up, down, left, right, etc. Before I  had my Roku, I was using it everyday to watch movies on my Mac via  Netflix.

R.P.A. Tech, the makers of Air Mouse Pro, released a  significant update earlier this year. Now not only is it a mouse, but also an application launcher. It syncs with your dock  giving you the ability to launch, switch to and quit any application  sitting in your dock. Air Mouse gives you a visual of your current dock right on  your phone. Toggling the applications is very similar to the command +  tab [⌘+tab], command + Q [⌘+Q] shortcuts.

But what if you  want to launch and application that’s not in your dock? I have been  using Google’s Quick Search Box (gQSB). Right away the gQSB became my  default app launcher. I press [⌘+⌘] to activate the box, type any  application’s name and hit return. So how do we tie the two together to launch any application or command? Well, Air Mouse Pro has a separate  module controlling the the function keys F1-F12 as well as four shortcut  buttons you could use for assigning applications or scripts.

But the  gQSB is set to run in the background so it’s already open, it needs  activating not opening.

Here’s the steps:

Google Quick Search Box Preference Screen

1. Under the QSB  prefs make sure ‘open at log in’ is checked, then assign an obscure  keyboard shortcut to activate.

gQSB Preferences Window

-I used control+grave accent (tilde)  [⌃+~], making sure it was not already assigned to  the system.

Keyboard Shortcut’s

OS Keyboard

-You  may notice ⌘+⌘ is already assigned, but Air Mouse Pro only allows one  modifier key so you must create a new shortcut.

2. In the  Air Mouse server settings go to the ‘Hot Key Setup’, for the name I  chose gQSB, and the action is control+tilde [⌃+~], click apply with Air  Mouse open on your phone.

Air Mouse Hot Key Preferences

Air Mouse Pro Hot Keys Setup

You should now see one of the four buttons on top in the functions  module as gQSB. If everything went as planned tapping it will activate  the box.

Air Mouse Pro Function and Shortcut Module

Air Mouse Fn Screen

From there you can do anything from launching any app, opening  files, Google queries. Best of all QSB can control system commands. Type  trash to empty the trash, shutdown, etc, a couple good article on all the  functionality can be found here and here.

The combination of Air  Mouse Pro [iTunes Link] and the Google Quick Search Box allow’s  you to do just about anything with your Mac from your phone.