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Links

How Shortcuts changed one Redditor’s life

Today while working on this week’s upcoming newsletter, I came across a tweet sharing this story from r/shortcuts from last month where u/AngriBuddhist shared how “Shortcuts has literally changed my life”:

Prior to being a Workflow/Shortcuts user, the closest thing to automation/scripting that I’d done is make some pretty in-depth spreadsheets. For the last 5 years, though, I’ve been using Shortcuts to create daily reports for work. Manually, these would take more than 24 hours a day. I do them in 10-20 minutes. I’ve created other weekly reports that would also take more than 24 hours to create manually. With Shortcuts, it takes about 5 minutes.

No one has tried to create these types of things in my company because of the complexity and time investment. Without Shortcuts, I wouldn’t have imagined these projects in the first place.

These reports have had a huge impact on manager productivity, financial results and my visibility within the company.

Today, because of those results and visibility, I was offered and accepted a new role in the company, moving from 4 days a week of manual labor to 3 days of admin work from home, making the same salary[…].

I love seeing posts like this and I’m super glad this Shortcuts had such a big impact on this Redditor — what a great testimonial for the real-world impact that automation can have on one’s life.

See the post on r/shortcuts.

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iMore Offsite

Apple’s developer APIs for Shortcuts are way better this year

I interviewed three app developers about Apple’s latest improvements to the Shortcuts APIs for iMore:

Apple’s newest framework for implementing Shortcuts support in iOS, iPadOS, and Mac apps has been called “modern,” “expansive,” and “much easier,” according to app developers who’ve been testing the new framework since its release at WWDC.

I asked three developers — Alex Hay of Toolbox Pro, Seth Sandler of AffinityBlue (responsible for apps like Tunable), and Josh Holtz of ConnectKit — about the new App Intents framework, what new feature they’re looking to utilize going forward, and how things compare to what was previously available.

Here are their responses:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Links

Don’t call it HomeKit, it’s Apple Home now

Developer Aaron Pearce on Twitter:

Apple is now recommending developers use the term “Works with Apple Home” instead of “Works with Apple HomeKit”.

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Guest appearances Links Podcasts

Guest Spot — Clockwise #454: Wednesday Is the Leaf

Last Friday, for episode 435 of the Clockwise podcast, I got the chance to join Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent again along with Rosemary Orchard to talk about:

Our excitement and trepidation regarding Passkeys, our thoughts on auto-generated Siri App Shortcuts, the most exciting features announced at WWDC, and our inevitable (?) USB-C future.

Check out Clockwise on Relay.FM, subscribe in Apple Podcasts, and listen to the episode below:

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Shortcuts

Here are 51 new actions for Shortcuts in the iOS 16 betas (so far)

In the first seed of the iOS 16 developer beta, the Shortcuts app has received 51 new actions that support interacting with Apple’s first-party apps and help take advantage of system features.

The actions provided work with Notes, Voice Memos, Mail, Safari, Shortcuts, Clock, Parked Cars, Image Backgrounds, Personal Hotspot, Files, PDFs, and Reminders, plus there’s an initial batch of bug fixes for actions and new Mac support for Safari Reader and Evernote actions.

This guide was compiled using a list provided by the Shortcuts team during Q&A sessions at WWDC, plus another post on Reddit and one of its comments, plus some of my own research using the developer betas.

I’ve sorted larger groups into sections, plus marked any actions with * do not currently work in the first developer beta.

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iMore Offsite

Simple shortcuts to help you take notes on WWDC sessions

I made 7 Shortcuts to help you take notes on WWDC sessions for my iMore weekend piece:

With such a breadth of potential topics, sections to research, and videos to watch, it can be hard to wrap your head around what’s new.

So here’s a set of shortcuts to help you explore the conference material, get set up to take notes, and work with the transcripts in your own documentation.

The shortcuts are linked throughout, plus you’ll find the following list with iCloud links at the end:

  • Open WWDC sessions
  • Search WWDC sessions
  • Browse WWDC sessions
  • Open the Developer app
  • Developer TV
  • Full-screen session
  • Process transcript

Read the full story on iMore.

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Siri Shortcuts Offsite

How Apple Is Trying To Fix Siri With App Shortcuts

From my iMore column “How Apple Is Trying To Fix Siri With App Shortcuts”:

With App Shortcuts, everyday folks will automatically have folders of trigger phrases to use with Siri, meaning the work that app developers put into adding Shortcuts support can pay off much easier.
[…]
In many ways, it seems that Siri Shortcuts is Apple’s solution for their Siri problem, and App Shortcuts is an encouraging start. I am looking forward to seeing how people react to the “improved” Siri experience — I’m sure we’ll hear some opinions when the time comes.

Read the full story on iMore.com.

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Siri Shortcuts News

Learn about App Shortcuts from Apple’s WWDC’22 developer sessions

At Apple’s worldwide developer conference during their State of the Union address1, Apple launched App Shortcuts and the AppIntents API, features designed for “zero setup” of shortcuts from third-party apps for use with Siri.

If you’re a developer looking to implement Shortcuts support in your app, Apple has now released all four sessions at WWDC ’22 covering what’s new in these Shortcuts APIs — here are the links:

  1. Dive into App Intents
  2. Implement App Shortcuts with App Intents
  3. Design App Shortcuts
  4. Meet Focus Filters
Categories
Membership

My notes on the Shortcuts developer sessions at WWDC ’22 🔐

Today, Apple released two WWDC sessions around Shortcuts — Dive into App Intents and Implement App Shortcuts with App Intents.

I’ll be covering the material and what it means soon, but for now I’ve taken extensive notes & screenshots on the available sessions and have made them available for members.

(These notes are members-only – you’ll need a membership to access it.)

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Links

8 Tips for Optimizing Shortcuts for macOS from Club MacStories

As part of Club MacStories, Federico Viticci published an Automation Academy guide on Tips for Optimizing Your Shortcuts for macOS Monterey.

In the post, Federico explains some tips he’s developed over the last six months working on the Mac that are super useful for Shortcuts users, especially if you’re coming from the iPad — things like changes with variables, how to use actions native to Mac from the Automator experience, and innovative ways to utilize AppleScript (that I’m definitely going to adopt myself and integrate into my own shortcuts).

Here’s the list of techniques:

  1. Check Your Current Platform
  2. Right-Click to Choose Variables
  3. Get the Title of a Webpage
  4. Get the Text Selection of a Webpage
  5. Check If a Specific App Is Running
  6. Pass Multiple Variables to AppleScript
  7. Check the Frontmost App
  8. Modifying a File with Quick Actions and Overwriting the Original Version