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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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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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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
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How Federico Viticci Rediscovered The Mac (And Shortcuts’ Essential Role)

Federico’s annual pre-WWDC piece is out and you should read all 8,000 or so words of it, particularly this section about Shortcuts:

While the Shortcuts app shouldn’t have been released in those precarious conditions last year (it should have been labeled a beta), my usage of the app has increased alongside Apple’s work on improving its performance and stability;

[…]

[T]oday, I consider Shortcuts for Mac an essential tool in my workflow and, in some ways, the most important change Apple could have brought to allow people like me to try macOS again.

I agree with the overall conclusion of the piece, but this summary of Shortcuts on iPad vs. the Mac struck a chord with me as well:

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Submit your shortcuts to MacStories’s Automation April contest

I am super happy to announce that I’m a judge for the new Shortcuts contest hosted by MacStories as part of their new “Automation April” campaign – the contest is live now!

As part of the Shortcuts contest, anyone can submit two shortcuts to be judged by a panel of Shortcuts users, including myself, for Best Shortcut in five categories:

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Talking iPad vs. Mac with Chris Lawley (Livestream)

Join me today, Monday, March 7 at 4pm Pacific/ 7pm Eastern with special guest Chris Lawley as we talk about his latest videos and the iPad versus Mac debate.

We’ll talk about Chris’ latest videos, the upcoming Apple event, and how we’ve been using the Mac (and what that means for iPad) since the M1 transition last year.

Come join us in the chat!

Follow Chris online:

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What’s New in Shortcuts: #32

New issue of my Shortcuts newsletter is out:

Welcome to Issue 32 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” – what a week for Shortcuts tweets!

Florian Bürger shared his Fjorden automation (say that five times fast), an important SOS shortcut is making the rounds on TikTok, there’s a handful of new apps with great Shortcuts support, and an impressive list of ideas straight from the community.

Plus, stay for the end as I guide you through my super-intelligent choice to delete my entire Shortcuts database on the Mac – and learn how I barely made it through the other side with my library (partially) intact:

Read the full newsletter on Revue (~2800 words).

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Livestream: Shortcuts for Mac (feat. Matthew Bischoff)

Check out my stream with special guest Matthew Bischoff, cofounder of development studio Lickability, from Friday, February 11th where we talked about their experience getting into Shortcuts for Mac:

We discussed Matt’s recent deep dive into Shortcuts, Stream Deck, Bunch, and more to build the automations they’ve always wanted for their personal and work life but never had the time to create…until now.

Feel free to leave comments in the chat replay and I’ll make sure to answer them. 🤓

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“What’s New in Shortcuts” Issue 31

New issue of my Shortcuts newsletter is out:

Welcome to Issue 31 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” – this week is full of feedback reports, beta testing, and, as always, great ideas from the Shortcuts community.

I was up to no good with Jason & Dan on the stream, Federico followed up an impressive week with another impressive shortcut, the Albums app & Ochi caught my eye, and and Stephen Robles & Chris Lawley shared their expertise on YouTube.

Plus, I’ve got a stream with Lickability cofounder Matthew Bischoff coming this Friday, as well as some new posts dropping throughout the week – enjoy:

Read the full newsletter on Revue (~2400 words).