Open iOS Tab on a Mac

Posted by on Monday 11th of May 9:54 PM

This is going to be a quickie, since I've posted it so often in the post. Let me describe the problem, and then the solution.

Do you also have those moments where you quickly want to open a specific link/page/tab/whathaveyou on your Mac? Without iCloud? Something that works?

Well, then. This is for you.

I took this idea from Federicco Viticci's Send To Dropbox and other implementations. I'm sorry for the lack of links, but these sources are highly outdated, or are not available anymore. Basically the idea is to use a service like Send to Dropbox (similar solutions below) to create a text file in Dropbox. Hazel sees this textfile, and when it contains a URL, Hazel opens it with the default browser.

That's the basic gist. I'm using this now for about three years and it works incredibly well, because it only relies on Dropbox and is otherwise free from dependencies. Essentially everything that is able to create a text file in Dropbox, can be used to open a link on your Mac with this. For instance:


With Zapier and IFTTT it's relatively straight forward. All you need is "something" that is able to send an email -- and that's basically everything, which makes this workflow so powerful. It works with nearly everything. I would recommend you add the email address(es) to your Contacts app and then you don't even need to know the address itself.

With Drafts I have created a small Dropbox action (Import into Drafts):



The beauty here is that URL's on the clipboard will be used, as well as a URL in the Draft itself. This makes this also work as quick off-the-cuff action.

Workflow is a little bit more complicated, but I setup something that works as action extension with almost everything. I'm using this with Downcast and Safari. Get Workflow.


For convenience I'm using the Attachments folder Send to Dropbox created. I added this to Hazel.

This is how you can catch the URL with a token (download images for full view):

{% img center /images/2015-05-11-open-ios-tab-on-mac-1.png 700 'Catch URL with Token' %}

This is the AppleScript and its inputAttributes configuration that parses the token and opens it in the default browser:

{% img center /images/2015-05-11-open-ios-tab-on-mac-2.png 700 'Open URL' %}

For your convenience, here's the entire AppleScript:

repeat with thisItem in inputAttributes
    open location (thisItem as string)
end repeat

Food for Thought

The URL token could also be used to trigger something else instead. youtube-dl, anyone?