When I first got my Mac, I was really impressed with Front Row and how easy it was to manage all of my media with an interface as sparse and simple as the Apple Remote. Yet, there was one thing that left me wanting -- "If only I could use it to check my email," I thought wistfully. "I'd never leave my couch!"
Finally, my ambition for laziness can now satisfied! Though lacks the shiny polish of Front Row, an application called iRed Lite allows mere mortals to customize the behavior of the Apple Remote. I've written what's called a "layer" in the iRed Lite parlance, which is basically a set of actions tailored for a specific application.
If this is something you're interested in trying out, a couple of caveats about my solution:
- It assumes you are running Firefox.
- It assumes you are always logged into Gmail (by checking "Remember me on this computer" at login).
- So far it seems that iRed Lite cannot save an entire layer at once; each action must be saved as a separate script. I've created an archive called iRedLite_Gmail.zip consisting of actions which I map in the following manner:
|Open - browse to Gmail||double-click play|
|Open conversation (o)||play|
|Back to conversation list (u)||left|
|Star conversation (s)||hold play|
|Previous conversation (k)||up|
|Next conversation (j)||down|
|Previous message (p)||right|
|Scroll down||double-click down|
|Scroll up||double-click up|
|Increase text size (cmd-=)||double-click right|
|Decrease text size (cmd--)||double-click left|
Of course you can easily remap them any way you wish. Beware that iRed Lite tends to crash here and there, though -- save early, save often.
3/15/08 update: Thanks everyone for your comments! To summarize:
- My actions have been grouped into one file here.
- You need to enable keyboard shortcuts in your Gmail Settings for this to work.
- This doesn't play well with Firefox Beta 3; I'll do what I can to tinker with this:
- You'll need to change the "increase font size" shortcut to send "cmd-+" instead of "cmd-=".
- "Open Gmail" doesn't work.
I will work on a Google Reader version at some point. I will incorporate everyone's suggestions and post updates here.