It seems like we've recently been seeing a ton of new ideas, clever tricks and tools for making users who are willing to dive into the deep-end more productive on our iOS devices through automation, seamless app communication and some really great shortcuts. This is a collection of bookmarklets, scripts and custom URL scheme actions that help bridge apps and manipulate the data you can send between them.
There are a lot of things to love about our iOS devices. They're more portable and therefore more ubiquitous than our full size computers. They provide us with apps that do a broad number of fairly simple things really well (such as Drafts or Launch Center Pro) as well as apps that do very specific things exceptionally (such as Bang On or Nebulous Notes). They help force us to single-task, to take things one at a time and to recover some of the focus we so often lose when we're on our desktop operating system. And they do it with such style.
Unfortunately, until recently our iOS apps felt like lots of little black holes where we dump our information and our work into; we can retrieve our information from them but they're all isolated, they don't talk to each other, at least not easily. Yes, we can copy & paste between apps, we can save our information into tools like Dropbox and if we're lucky they'll be in a semi-universal format like Markdown — but it still feels like we're fenced in.
That was, until apps like the aforementioned Launch Center Pro and more recently Drafts, Mr. Reader, Pythonista and others started exposing URL schemes — something designed for developers — to users for use in unique and powerful new ways.
Like many of us who follow Apple related news and interact in Apple communities I stared using Launch Center when it was released; it was nice, but I was still in the shallow-end. Then Federico Viticci wrote his MacStories article Automating iOS: How Pythonista Changed My Workflow. This was my first exposure to the more complicated uses for URL schemes and I was hooked. I also hadn't realized Apple was allowing apps like Pythonista to run non-compiled scripts that could actually do useful things outside of the browser.
Second, while I'm trying to document things as I go I'm hoping you are familiar with how URL schemes work and that you can figure out how to do things like creating a bookmarklet. I will continue adding to and improving the guide as quickly as possible, in the meantime if you run into trouble please add an issue or contact me and I'll be happy to help!
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Want to get involved? Let me know!