Pimp Your iPad Safari With Quix

Quix lets you create and manage bookmarklets for doing all sorts of cool things from within the browser. Want to find text within the current page, send the current page to services like Pinboard or Tumblr, search the current domain with Google (s goog), load Firebug lite to peek at a sites markup, shorten an URL with Bitly, or do anything else you can imagine? Quix is the answer.

I first heard about Quix a few months back when Merlin Mann was talking about some clever stuff he was doing with it. I remember having a look, but at the time it didn’t make much sense to me. Partly because when I’m on my Mac I already have established systems for quickly activating the type of functions Quix would be useful for. Add to that the fact that my main use of mobile Safari on the iPhone was pretty much limited to sending pages to Instapaper for later use and the whole notion of Quix left me unimpressed.

Now that I’ve got the iPad though, it’s making a lot more sense. At the moment it’s more iPhone than it is Mac, but that won’t stop folks from trying to push it towards the more fully functional Mac side of things. Quix is a good step in that direction, giving you access to the same type of in-browser functionality that you’re used to having on your desktop.

Quix works through the use of a “meta bookmarklet” which when activated launches a command prompt allowing you to initiate any other commands stored in the quix.txt file. The easiest way to get started is to just add the bookmarklet to the Safari Bookmarks bar on your Mac and then sync it to your iPad. Tweak the settings for mobile Safari to display the bookmarks bar, and now Quix will always just be a tap away. With almost 100 commands included by default, you’re well on your way to being able to do just about anything you want from within mobile Safari.

No need to stop there though, you can also host your own quix.txt file and fill it up with your own set of cool commands. The syntax is pretty straight forward, each line being made up of a command, the executable, and a short description. For some inspiration have a look at Merlin’s custom list to see the kind of tricks he’s come up with. If you have some of your own custom bookmarklets please share them in the comments.