Jesse Andersen’s Push Actions app remotely controls Android devices
Inspired by Android's support for voice control, Jesse Andersen wanted to take the functionality of voice commands and fuse it with a user-friendly way to take advantage of the feature. His solution: Push Actions. (Andersen, left, photo from facebook.com/gotosleep)
Push Actions is an application supported by Android OS that acts as the "voice" in the voice command process. Instead of speaking an action for the phone to perform, users type the action from their computers by visiting pushactions.com. Andersen said Push Actions serves as a bridge between the Internet and the capabilities of the phone.
Other than issuing driving directions, Andersen said that most Android users don't use the voice actions the phone provides. "It's just too weird talking to your phone while you are out in public," Andersen said. "I found that it just isn't practical for day-to-day use."
Andersen said he wanted to take the usefulness of telling the device what to do and combine it with the comfort of using the device privately.
For the past six months, the full-time software engineer for Prairie Ventures said he's been focused on mobile development with the Android. He created Text Actions as a side project to "mimic" Voice Actions for the device. This first version of his application enables users to text commands through shorthand text actions to quickly access the features of their mobile devices. If there was a voice command, Andersen created a text command.
As Andersen continued to expand the capabilities of Text Actions, he wanted to take the app further. A self-described jack-of-all-trades programmer, Andersen said it dawned on him to create a website where someone could "push" commands to an app on their phone.
This past March, he created Push Actions as an add-on to Text Actions. With the framework of Text Actions in place, Andersen said, "All I really needed to do was provide a text box on a website and a method for pushing text to my app." From this development, Push Actions began allowing users to send all the same commands as in Text Actions from pushactions.com.
A screenshot of Text Actions, left, and two screenshots of Voice Actions. Images courtesy of Andersen.
Text Actions and Push Actions are currently available on the Android Market for free and $1.99, respectively. And although Andersen has no plans to expand the app to other mobile platforms, look for future versions of Push Actions to include sending tweets, updating Facebook and checking in on Foursquare, in addition to issuing commands from one Android device to another.
"Push Actions is remarkable because it is quite powerful in its initial incarnation," Andersen said. "There is huge potential for growing it in tons of different directions."