Automating Mac From iOS

I have Keyboard Maestro, Better Touch Tool and Remote Pro, plus an SSH client or two…

… I would like to automate some actions on the Mac, particularly as part of a workflow of some sort on the iPad.

Can we discuss options and experiences?

I’m concerned about (at least) two issues:

  1. The above mentioned tools are slow and unreliable, well KM and BTT are in my experience.

  2. I’d want any automation to use e.g. x-callback-url or some similar scripting mechanism.

Thoughts? Experiences?

I have not tried, but I would probably build a Rube Goldberg machine.

Create a web server in the cloud, I would go with gcloud personally, but any will do.
Have the Mac constantly ping the server to check for a new action.
Write an app for iOS with x-callback-urls to trigger.

Another different way would be to make a workflow that saves a file with a trigger name into something like Dropbox then have a tool like hazel, looking for the file, triggering the action then deleting the file. Could probably use the contents of the text file to server as parameters.

Edit: I found a guy with a blog who did my hazel / Dropbox suggestion Here

Edit 2: So i Installed Hazel and its stupid easy to do


(Authors note, always good to see another IBMer, even if I did finish up with them some time ago)


I was a heavy user of Quadro, which does exactly what you need. But they stopped. So I have been looking for an alternative and last week I found one. I bought TouchOSC in the app store (more info on That is an app that sends MIDI signals to your mac (you need to install the free bridge application on your mac). In Keyboard Maestro you can add MIDI signals as triggers for your macro’s.
You will also need to install the free TouchOSC editor. With that application you can build screens with buttons that fire the MIDI signals.
You will need some time to set it all up but it’s so worth it. You will actually make your own screens on your iOS device that trigger KM macro’s. So powerfull!

Thanks on two fronts:

  1. IBMer recognition. :slight_smile:
  2. Your suggestions.

Ye Old Hazel Trigger File Method :slight_smile: Looks like a goody but I’ll have to experiment to see if

  1. I can get parameters either from the filename or its contents.
  2. If the latency is good enough.

So the Drafts/Dropbox/Hazel trigger method worked just fine.

But in the end I backed off to creating an action that takes the current Drafts draft and saves it to a Dropbox file that Hazel detects and opens in Sublime Text.

I’m sure that’ll prove useful somewhere along the line. :slight_smile:

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If you were a heavy user of Quadro, you may want to check out MetaGrid. Like TouchOSC it is designed primarily for musicians, but they have some workspaces for applications other than recording software.

Tx for the tip. Looks interesting (and a lot more beautiful) :grinning: