I’m so excited about this app I don’t care if there is no affiliate program, I just had to share. First off hats off to Andrea over a so over
debt this who turned me on to it. I’m all for things that save me either A. Time or B. money or C. Makes smoothies, well this little app does two of the three, but first a little history…
The Old Busted
Ok it’s not really that, as I still use it and like it. What is it? Well it’s called X-Keys and its a special aux USB keyboard. Through software you can program the keys to do just about anything. In Photoshop anything that takes more than one keystroke I’ve programmed to a X-key. I’ve even set up long macros and keystrokes that do things such as determining an images orientation, selecting the proper crop (for a print size), cropping, renaming with print size, saving and closing the file (Whew). Another does the same for web images and drops the proper logo into corner as well. This has lead to saving lots of time and speeding up my workflow.
The New Hotness
Of course there is now ‘an app for that’ in the form of Actions for iPad. This cool app provides you with hot keys programmed in much the same way to do tasks on your computer, but better!
I’m not limited to the 30 odd keys on my X-Keys set, in fact there is no limit that I can see. You can create multiple Sets, and each set can have multiple pages, and each page can have up to 15 or 20 buttons on it. Also each button can be nested to other choices. For instance the sort button for Finder when pressed gives you more buttons for how to sort.
Creating new buttons is a breeze. Just name it and assign the keyboard strokes (cmd, alt, shift and key) then your target software (it actually reads your computer to see all the programs you have installed, finally your color and icon label. There is one more step that makes it very cool, magnetize the button set. You are probably saying “wait magnets are bad for computers”. Yes they are but this is different. When you magnetize a set you are assigning that set to a particular program or app on your computer. Now every time you switch to that program on your desktop the app will automatically switch to that set, making it much easier to use!
Ok now you’re saying “but I dont want to take all the time programing buttons”, well quit your whining. It already has 11 predefined sets for basic apps like Finder, iTunes, Numbers and more. Not good enough? Well you can create your own sets and the load preset buttons for 34 popular programs, load just the ones you need. Still not satisfied? Well then yes you need to start creating your own buttons.
Just like your iPad’s ‘desktops’ you can rearrange the buttons anyway you wish to make it easy for you. It also uses iPad’s Multi-Touch commands to switch between screens and sets.
Ok next question, How does this work? Wifi baby! You download and install a little app to your desktop which the app senses then connects and yes you can use it on multiple computers.
Well I wouldn’t call it a downside but it is a current limit. Right now you can only assign single keystroke command to a button. Like “cmd-shift-K” which does something with a particular program. Which is why I still have my X-Keys (maybe I should do another post on them later). With the X-Keys software I can program much more complex strings, like entering my user name then passcode for a website (yes I’m that lazy at times). But this is a newly released app coming out on Oct 21st, so I foresee some improvements coming down the line and it may surpass X-Keys.
You can get it now in the app store for only .99 so hurray before they raise the price, its worth so much more!
Ok now ill wait for them to hire me as their PR rep 🙂
What apps do you love for increasing your productivity?