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Extending Automator: Running Workflows with a Remote

Some commercial applications are now making it possible to run your Automator workflows using an Apple Remote or other remote control.

Some commercial applications are now making it possible to run your Automator workflows using an Apple Remote or other remote control.

Sofa Control

This application is available from Gravity Applications, LLC.  As advertised, it allows you to use your Apple Remote to control your Mac from the sofa.  Not only can you control your applications, movies, and music, but you can also run Automator workflows.  You can download a time-limited demonstration version of Sofa Control today here.


Remote Buddy

This application, available from IOSPIRIT GmbH, will also allow you to control virtually any aspect of your Mac from your Apple Remote, as well as a wide variety of other remotes.  You can even configure it for use with a Wii remote!  With Remote Buddy, you can quickly and easily browse through the files on your Mac, find Automator workflows, and run them without ever physically touching your machine.


Remote Buddy's interface is quite slick, and its feature set is quite impressive.  It even has a built-in AJAX server, allowing you to access it and control it from Mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch.



You can download a free 30-day trial of Remote Buddy here.

Although I haven't tried it myself yet, a native iPhone application called Keyboard Maestro, is also available, and will allow you to remotely trigger Automator workflows on your Mac.  Like the other remote software discussed above, this application requires that you first install some software on your Mac.  You can learn more about Keyboard Maestro here.

For more on Automator, check out my book Automator for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide, as well as my video podcast series Mac Automation Made Simple.