Different Profiles, Settings For Home, Office, Travel On Mac OS X As Per Location

If you use a MacBook for mobility purposes, you carry it to your office, for travelling and also use it as a desktop machine, then chances are that you feel the need for a different workstation everywhere, because of the separate nature of the environment, or the nature of the work that you do on your Mac at different places.

Airport Location is an application for Mac OS X that aims to make this job of maintaining completely separate profiles or snapshots of settings of your system easier and automatic. Airport Location has a beautiful customised UI, but during normal usage, all that you’ll see is a small status bar icon, which is the hub for controlling all the functions. Most parts of Airport Location are automatic, so there is no need for a lot of keyboard shortcuts to trigger stuff.

There are 3 main features of Airport Location that make it such a brilliant app. These features work together to give you a completely seamless workstation switching experience.

  1. Snapshots – A snapshot is nothing but a sort of profile, an image of your system settings at a particular location/time. With Airport Location, you can create as many snapshots as you want. Each snapshot stores over 40 different settings, each of which you can turn on or off from the Snapshot Settings panel.
  2. Location – Using information from wired, wireless connections, iCal calendars, Airport Location guesses your current location and saves it along with a snapshot. Thus, your location can be linked to a particular location, and when you are in vicinity of that location, the desired snapshot can be automatically activated. So as soon as you step in your office and open up your Mac, the office settings are applied automatically in a matter of a few seconds. The automatic location finding however, did not work out for me during my test.
  3. Hardware Sets – Hardware Sets are predefined configuration option related to external hardware. This means, you can setup specific actions or setting to be applied automatically, based on an external hardware trigger such as pluggin in a webcam, connecting to an external monitor, inserting a USB drive or external HD etc. This feature is particularly useful, and can be integrated into Location and Snapshots. You can enable hardware sets from the drop down menu from the status bar icon.

In all, Airport Location is an extremely useful app, and once it becomes a part of your system, you won’t be able to imagine how you ever lived without it.
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