If you have a profile that you frequently like to visit on Instagram on your iPhone, the quickest way to get there is via an URL scheme. The IG profile for Beyonce is http://instagram.com/beyonce, but if you tap on the following URL, it will bring you straight to her profile in the app: instagram://user?username=beyonce.

I keep a list of favorite IG profiles in Drafts but you can also put these links in a launcher like Launch Center Pro.

To automate the conversion of the profile URL to the URL scheme, I have written two URL actions. To make this work, you will need Drafts, Launch Center Pro, and TextTool. (By the way, I am currently using Drafts 3. If you are using Drafts 4, then please adjust the URL action accordingly -- put a 4 after drafts.)

The LCP action is as follows. (You can install it here.)

texttool://x-callback-url/transform?text=[clipboard]&method=split&delimiter=/&x-success={{drafts:///create?text=[[output]]&action=ig-clipboard}}

This action splits the profile URL at the / in TextTool, so that the username ends up on the 4th line. Then the output is sent to Drafts. You can install this action or create an URL action called ig-clipboard:

drafts:///create?text={{(instagram://user?username=[[line|4]])}}

This wraps line 4 of the draft in the IG URL scheme. I surround it by parens in case I want to precede it with square brackets to make it a Markdown link.

How to Make It Work

After you install these two actions, just copy an IG user profile to your clipboard, and tap on the IG-clipboard action in LCP. The conversion happens automatically, and you'll end up with the URL scheme in Drafts.


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11/21/14; 03:22:07 PM
11/18/14; 11:41:33 AM

Foo Fighters is one of my favorite rock bands. I have been listening to Sonic Highways this week, and it just feels uninspired to me. The best hooks seem to be lifted from The Beatles or Jethro Tull. I suspect that Dave Grohl couldn't even bring himself to record another Foo Fighters album unless he built it around a documentary (which I haven't seen, because I don't have cable). I hope I am proven wrong after future listens, but I suspect that the Foo Fighters have lost their edge.

11/13/14; 11:29:45 AM

A couple of weeks ago I dropped my iPad mini and the screen cracked. I work in Manhattan, and although there are many local services that will repair screens, I was looking for an affordable solution -- over $150 seems like a of money to spend to replace a screen, given that I can get an entire Amazon Fire tablet for that price.

I eventually went with i99repair.com, because their price was only $110, and I found a $5 discount code on their Facebook business page. (In fact, I only felt comfortable enough to mail my iPad to Iowa because the Facebook comments assuaged my anxiety that i99repair might have been a scam.)

After I paid, the email receipt stated that I would be notified once they received my iPad. I shipped it First Class (with tracking code) for under $15. i99repair received it on a Saturday, but I did not hear from them. I left a voicemail in the middle of the following week, and having not received a reply, I emailed them. They replied that they received it and were almost done with it. That Friday, I received an automated email with a USPS tracking code for the shipped, repaired iPad. I received it the following Tuesday.

Excited, I opened my package, only to find that the Home button did not work. (The square on the Home button is even slightly askew.) I emailed i99repair about this, and they wrote, Ok send it back. (I have since replied, asking if they would pay for shipping, and as of this writing have not received a response.)

The screen replacement is fine, although there is a small speck underneath it which I know wasn't there before.

Needless to say, I was upset. I did some googling and found that there is a virtual button that can be activated via Assistive Touch, which can be found in Accessibility under the Settings > General. It is a persistent icon that overlays the screen, and that can be dragged just about anywhere. When I tap on it, I can tap on Home or activate Siri or access Control Center or Notification Center.

One thing I learned being without my iPad mini for 1.5 weeks is that I really love my iPad. I didn't particularly like reading The New Yorker on my iPhone while on the subway. So I had to decide: re-ship my still-broken iPad to Iowa and be without it for another 1.5 weeks, or just use it with Assistive Touch. For the past few days, I have been using the virtual button, and have been OK with it. I do the four finger upward swipe to switch between frequently-used apps, so I rarely have to go Home to open an app. And I rarely use Siri on my iPad anyway.

All in all, I regret having sent my iPad to i99repair.com, and I would not recommend them. Their reply to my complaint was rude, and they shouldn't have even sent my iPad back to me with a non-functioning Home button in the first place. If they had replied with something to the effect of, "I am so sorry that we made a mistake. Please mail it back (we will compensate you for shipping) and we will make it a priority to fix the problem," I would have felt much better about the situation.


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11/07/14; 09:37:38 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:04 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Friday, November 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM.