ActionPad is an app that allows you to create your own custom control panels to remote control applications on your computer.
This app requires the ActionPad Server desktop software to be installed on your computer for full functionality. For more information on this, visit http://actionpad.co/go. Compatible with Mac and Windows, requires Java 1.8 or later to run.
Panels can contain buttons and other objects, which can be used to simulate keyboard and mouse input, as well as open files and URLs. Drag and resize elements around to organize your panel however you like, and customize objects to give them a distinct look. Get ready to make your keyboard and mouse jealous.
With ActionPad, you may implement buttons on your panel that:
-Execute keystrokes, such as Command C or Ctrl V.
-Move your mouse pointer or hold keys as you hold down the button.
-Launch applications and open files on your computer.
-Open websites in your default browser and interact with them.
-Launch an application, click somewhere on your screen, type into the application, then open an Internet URL when you are done, wait a few seconds, and type into the website (all with one press).
All of this, along with visual elements such as images, text, and containers can all be combined to create individual control panels, each of which with it's own purpose.
Don't feel like creating your own panel, or want to use some pre-created panels for some of your favorite desktop apps? ActionPad features the Community Panels Hub, which allows users to upload and share panels they create. It's very easy to share panels and build upon everyone's creations. Along with sharing through the Community Panels Hub, you can also export your panel and send it via E-mail, AirDrop, or a variety of other mediums.
Whether it be a panel used to quickly access the most commonly used tools in Photoshop, or a remote control for your PowerPoint presentation, there is no limit to what you can create and control with ActionPad.
If you download a panel made on a different sized device, you can now automatically scale it to fit your device's screen.
Ratings and Reviews
Works, but can’t delete old panels?
Works great, but how do you delete a panel? 5 stars if I could get rid of old panels.
Perfect for creating a remote panel for OBS
I really like this product. In about two hours I created a really sweet control pad for one of the shows we produce using Open Broadcast Studio. It’s very straightforward and the ability to create complex keystrings with timing is invaluable.
Great potential, needs some fixes/tweaks
I just installed this app a little bit ago today and, so far, I've found a couple of issues, but it's manageable.
First, installing the desktop client wasn't as smooth/easy as it should have been. The shortcut is to not trust the link on the website or the app launcher for getting to the Java Developer Kit (JDK) - just search for it and download it on your own. Do that and the app should work fine. The JDK is different from the standard Java Runtime Environment (JRE) that most people will have installed already. The app currently needs JDK.
Next, for whatever reason, on my iPhone, I can't change the background of the panel I'm currently working on. I adjust the color sliders or select a default or choose an image and then go through the steps to apply and save it and it goes back to the default blue, a shade I don't much care for.
I'm not sure what's going on, but neither my iPad nor my iPhone would automatically connect to the server app on my Mac on my home network. I had to manually enter the info. And, that's a pain because I like to go to coffee shops or the library to work and I want a solution that will automatically adapt and not require me to manually adjust the connection at every location or even at home if my laptop is assigned a new address on the network.
It would be nice if there were a copy/paste option for buttons or some other way, such as being able to manually enter the size by digits rather than dragging sides or corners, to maintain consistency in button sizes. If they're a little off it still functions just fine, but I like such things to be uniform and not sloppy looking at all. Right now, it's a tad sloppy as it's hard for me to get the small buttons I'm making to be uniform using the touchscreen.
That being said, I was looking at buying an X-Keys programmable hardware keypad for up to about $250 and, really, this might save me from needing it - and it's mega cheap at 99¢. I love physical buttons, but I also love being able to multipurpose devices and otherwise slim down a bit on what I need to travel with. An assignment out of town means a ton of camera gear, laptop, external hard disks, USB hub, Wacom tablet, iPad, iPhone, cables, chargers, batteries, lighting gear, etc. A specialty hardware keypad would be great, including for being able to use it without having to look at it as much, but it doesn't travel nearly so well as the app version.
Haven't tried it on my iPad yet for expanded options with the larger screen, but my iPhone is better for one of the tasks I'm doing anyway. I'm using an application called Photo Mechanic to clean up my photo catalog and needed a fast, easy, and comfortable method for assigning color tags, ratings, going forward and back, selecting multiple images, etc., and, so far, this looks like it could be great for that. The comfort is a huge factor as I'm working through 150,000 images and, in the future, will want to be able to quickly flip through a few thousand images at a time from something like a wedding shoot. On my iPad I hope to set up shortcuts for editing in Capture One Pro 10, but I haven't gotten that far yet. Keyboard shortcuts are great, but they still aren't always ideal. Having dedicated buttons for functions is so much better, and I'm used to that functionality a bit with my Wacom tablet already. And, this lets me free up functions on the Wacom to be more specific to things like localized adjustments, which is what the Wacom just blazes through.
I also tried to set up a community account, but it didn't work. It just sort of kept trying without getting anywhere, so I canceled the attempt and tried again. Rebooted the app and tried again. No go.
I'm hoping the developer will do some updates on the app and extended community soon to make it work a little more smoothly and be a bit more refined overall. In the meantime, I'm thankful for what it is and look forward to incorporating it into my workflow. And, I'm certainly going to tell some other people about it. All the other similar sort of apps I found I didn't even bother installing because the most recent updates were way too long ago. I want an app that, hopefully, will remain current and not get abandoned by the developer.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.