In case you missed it, I’ve been working on a new Mac app for the past month or so. I spent the last few days polishing things and getting it into an MVP state – not quite as full featured as I’d like, but complete enough that I felt comfortable sharing with the world. So, yesterday evening I launched Minion.
What is Minion?
It’s a simple concept. Minion watches for events to happen on your Mac and then notifies you when they occur. Right now, those notifications go to your email or your phone via SMS or the Minion iOS app.
The initial idea for Minion came from my good friend Mike over at Divergent Media. Back in his video editing days, he’d spend hours waiting for export jobs to finish. I have a few friends who do animation for a living, and they confirmed that, yes, waiting for a render to complete is boring and can take hours. But with Minion, you can point the app at whatever job you’re waiting on and go someplace else. Minion will buzz your phone when the job finishes.
How does Minion know when the job is done? It watches for what I call “triggers”. Things such as whether or not a file exists, if a file has reached a certain size, or if a file’s size hasn’t changed in the last five minutes. Minion can also monitor the titles of your windows or the color of a pixel on screen. Does the app you’re watching throw up a progress bar? Point Minion at a pixel at the end of the bar, and when it fills in, Minion will notify you.
But this is just the start. My long term goal for Minion is to create a local IFTTT service for your Mac. Choose from a long list of triggers to watch, and then pick a task for Minion to carry out when that trigger fires. Put the two together and you’ve got recipes you can save, reuse, and even share with other power users.
This is just the beginning.