Using Shortcuts to open into Twitter Lists

One of my long-favorite shortcuts that I use all the time is the one that I’ve built to open the Twitter app and into my lists that I’ve curated over the years.

When I run the shortcut, I can choose from the titles of my lists, and then Shortcuts builds the deep link into Twitter, then opens into that List for me.

A few months ago I was on Automators and talked through the step-by-step process of how the shortcut works.

Soon after though, I realize that I was having trouble once I opened the list – Twitter was displaying in the earth that “tweets could not be loaded.”

This was seemingly a bug on their end, but after some help from an Internet friend who works at Twitter we were able to diagnose that the deep links were in fact case sensitive. Opening a link with a capitalized name of my List would take me to the lists area but not display tweets, but once the title was all lowercase it would work.

Turns outTM, it was me making the error all along – adding one Change Case action set to Lowercase fixed it, and now my Open Twitter Lists shortcut works as designed again.

If you want to hear the whole breakdown I suggest you listen to the episode of Automators and also subscribe to their show – I’m a big fan.

I also recommend creating lists if you’re coming to the Twitter app from Tweetbot and want to capture some of the same experience for keeping up with a small group of people. Lists have always been my secret weapon for Twitter and, until recently, were buried deep with in the app.

Now, with my shortcut in the widget, it’s easy to jump right into a series of smaller, curated timelines and not as easily get distracted by the rest of Twitter.

Here’s to hoping this helps me get in and out, still get some enjoyment out of Twitter, while also finally reducing the stats in Screen Time.

Add the shortcut here, and go into the Notification Center and to the left to add the Shortcuts widget in your Today View – that way you can run the shortcut without ever opening the Shortcuts app.

Automating blog posts for my podcast Supercomputer

If you were a visitor to my site in November, you might’ve noticed a lack of posts on the blog. While I’ve been producing videos and podcasts the whole time, I had a mental block on creating the short posts here on my website for each and just didn’t bother to write them up.

As we’re approaching the end of the year, I decided to get my act together and automate more of blog posts for my work, starting with podcast episodes.

That way I’d have no excuse not to do them, I could spread the news for my podcast more easily, and along the way put together a handy shortcut that I repurpose for my YouTube videos, articles on other sites, and eventually embedded shortcuts here on my blog.

To accomplish this, I built a Post Podcast shortcut that I can run each Friday when we release a new episode of Supercomputer.

When I was finished, my shortcut was made up of four component parts:

  1. Getting the RSS feed of my podcast from iTunes and choosing the episode,
  2. Turning the title into a slug,
  3. Extracting the information for a Post To WordPress action, and finally…
  4. Manually grabbing the embed code for the actual episode itself so people can listen online if they want

Normally, this entire process would require a dedicated CMS—like the service Transistor we use to host our site—plus some fancy back-end scripts so everything can happen in the background.

Since I don’t have that, and am just one man, I wanted to make the entire process as easy as humanly possible so I didn’t avoid it again in the future.

Here’s what I came up with.

Getting the podcast feed from iTunes

I’m going to take zero credit for this portion and give it all to Matt Sayward, who heard my request for such a feature and sent me the following shortcut that extracts the original RSS feed for an iTunes-hosted podcast.

I was originally hoping it’d be possible to grab direct iTunes links to the episodes that’d open in the Podcast app itself, but that doesn’t seem possible at all with the iTunes API currently.1

But what this part of shortcut DOES get me is the original RSS feed for my show, which comes from Transistor, right from the iTunes show link.

Once I’ve pasted in a link, the Match Text action uses what’s called a regular expression is isolate just the right portions of the URL2, then Get Group from Matched Text grabs just the unique iTunes ID at the end of the link.

From there, the following URL action builds an iTunes lookup link with that ID and passes the URL into Get Contents of URL to grab the information from the web. The resulting information returns as text marked up in JSON dictionary formatting, which enables the next two Get Dictionary Value actions to look into the “results” data and gets just the “feedUrl”.3

Because RSS is a fantastic open standard that’s also used for normal articles, the Get Item From RSS action and Shortcuts functionality to get Articles from web pages are able to both work with the data coming from my show feed.

Grabbing these RSS items as Article media, I can extract Title, Date, Excerpt, Link, and more from each.

After that, adding in Choose From List lets me pick from the RSS items for just the right episode.

Later throughout the shortcut, the magic variable for that Chosen Item is re-used again multiple times – to format the body of my blog post, fill out the data for WordPress, and also build a unique slug.

Note: I skip the slug part for now, and come back to it later.

Formatting my blog post

Once I’ve gotten the individual chose item from the RSS feed, I wanted to extract all of the component parts to build up my blog post to near-completeness, requiring me to only fill in some extra commentary (and later the embed code for the episode).

To enable the ability to input the commentary live while the shortcut is in progress, I added Ask For Input with a prompt “What commentary do you want to add?”. That way, when the shortcut is run, I can add some thoughts on the fly4

Once I type in my commentary, that is used in the body of the subsequent Text action by placing the Ask For Input variable in the text field. 5.

In that Text action, I’ve added a boilerplate line introducing the new episode, following by an offset quote. That quote uses the Chosen Item set to Excerpt, which pulls the description already provided for the episode so I don’t have to rewrite it.

Under that my commentary text is placed, and then I leave a few lines blank for when I later want to paste in my embed code.

Then, under all of that, I’ve added standalone links for all the different ways you can listen to my show – on the web, in iTunes, in Overcast, on Spotify, and in apps like Castro and Pocket Casts. Like I mentioned before these are all direct links to the show itself instead of the individual episode – I couldn’t figure out how to get episode links since iTunes, Castro, and Pocket Casts all use unique ID strings in their URLs for each episode instead of the encoded title or iTunes overall show ID.

Still, that’s good enough – I want new subscribers to follow the show, and for everyone else this post is a reminder to check their podcast player.

Since this is all written in plain text, I then use the Make Rich Text From Markdown action to convert the marked-up text into actual inline links that WordPress can read properly.6

Magic Variables for Post to WordPress

Within the Post to WordPress action, I used Magic Variables repeatedly to set up the Title, Excerpt, and Publish date.

For the Title of the post, I use the Chosen Item from the RSS feed and, after tapping on the variable again, see that the Type is Article and there’s available details for articles7. Out of the options, I chose Title, which extracts the title of the article found from the chosen RSS item.

After that I appended a microphone emoji, part of what I’m using to signify podcast posts (vs a video camera for my YouTube video and a link emoji for linked posts).

The Type for Post to WordPress is Post, because I’m not creating a new page, uploading media, or adding a project – all of which have different parameters than the Post type.

For Format, I chose Standard – I’m not sure if its more “proper” for websites to share these as link posts, so I’m open to feedback.

My category is the Podcasts group here on my site, so every new podcast blog post I add will automatically be grouped there – for my future video shortcuts, I’ll change this, and if you want to pick the category, use a List and Choose from List elsewhere and fill the Chosen Item for that in here.

With Tags I’m just hard-coding “Supercomputer” and “podcast” in there, since I want more association when people are searching for the show and to be able to filter by all of my podcast posts down the line.

The Excerpt is also filled out with the “Excerpt” from the RSS feed item, which for podcasts is the short description provided for each episode. This way, the theme for my site will also show the description on the home page, with the post looking similar to the episode in the podcast feed (displaying a title + description).

Publish Date is also filled out using the Chosen Item magic variable, and in this case I don’t need to format the date any further because it fits with the WordPress style by default.

Building a new slug from the article URL

Under the advanced section, I’ve also added a Slug so that my URL is automatically set with supercomputer prepended to the front of the title.

The rest of the slug is filled out by a series of actions that I set up closer to the top just after Choose From List – I added these after I realized I’d need a custom slug, but since actions need to be arranged in order of the Shortcut operation I had to add it above Post to WordPress.

To get the original article link, I use Get Details of Diffbot Article right after Choose From List to pull out just the URL – that way the link is isolated and I can act on it in the next step.

After getting the URL, I then use Split Text to separate the inputted link by a custom separator. The part is aimed at isolating the end of our Transistor website links – they all append the show’s title in URL-encoded text, so if I can grab that I already have the title ready for another slug.

In this case, I’m splitting the text by the forward slash found throughout the URL, so that I can split the incoming website link into the individual sections of that link.

After splitting at the forward slash, I then wanted to get just the correct item – Split Text passes out a list of items, and at this point I needed to figure out which once I wanted.

To accomplish this, I had to figure out the index of the item in the list so that I could program to grab the title whether it was first, second, third, and so on.8

Since I didn’t want to count them manually or try to associate its place in the list with the current index, I instead turned to quick debugging technique – I added the Split Text magic variable to a Show Alert action to preview it inline before continuing.

When I did this, I saw that the correct URL-encoded title was the fifth line, so I’d need to use the Get Item From List action, get the “Item At Index”, and then enter 5 for the index.

While the reason for this section is custom to our podcast provider, the technique for getting items from indexes is still universally applicable across many shortcuts.9

The output of that Item from List is then used in the Slug field of the Post to WordPress action, along with another dash so everything is readable by computers as a proper URL.

Entering the embed code

Once the shortcut reaches this point in the action steps, my new blog post gets sent up to WordPress as a Draft post, and then as Output the Post to WordPress action returns the new URL. This is automatically saved as a variable, so that we can return to the new post in just a moment.

Before I open up the post to edit it, I want to grab the embed code from Transistor, which that enables people to play the podcast right from a website – that way my blog posts are more interactive than just a link out.

However, that embed code isn’t associated with the direct episode link on – instead, Transistor uses a custom Share URL with its own unique ID that I’m not able to generate on my own.

At this point, I was slightly stumped – that embed is an important part of what I wanted my posts to be. Since I couldn’t automate it entirely, I instead built in a quick route for me to manually grab the embed code and go back to the post on WordPress.

I realized that each of our Edit pages on Transistor’s back-end link out to those unique Share pages, so I added a URL action and Open URLs following it so I could jump into that page.

Then from there, I could tap the Share link to open the unique sharing page for every podcast episode hosted on Transistor, and from there grab the Embed Code by copying it to my clipboard, and then come back.

The URL I’ve built to open into the edit page uses the same variable from Item From List (which contains a URL-encoded version of the title of episode), and opens the final link into the Edit backend page.

After Open URLs, I’ve added Wait to Return, which enables Shortcuts to continue waiting in the background until I return the app to the foreground, after which it will continue on and run the rest of the shortcut.

Once I come back with the embed code copied to my clipboard, I then use another URL and Open URLs action to open back into the newly drafted blog post.10

Shortcuts will open into the new post, and I can paste in my embed code directly.

I’ll usually Preview it at this point just to make sure everything’s all good, but then I can post the nicely-formatted piece for my new podcast episode right away.

Preventing overwork from a thousand cuts

While explaining this shortcut takes 2,000 words, publishing these posts now takes me about 2 minutes – I can pick from the recent episodes, add commentary, the post uploads, I grab the embed link, paste it, and publish.

Instead of seeking out all of this information, typing it up, remembering my style guide, and doing this all from the small screen of my phone, I can just ask Siri to kick it off once I’ve published a new episode and I have my blog post up almost instantly.

In my opinion, this is much preferable to the month-long lag time I had for the Supercomputer posts that went out for our November episode.

Plus, I entirely removed a section of this shortcut from this write-up – I also take all of the same information and automatically log it into my Airtable database of published articles, making an API call seamlessly in the background11. (But that’s beyond the scope of this already long post).

For me, this is just one of thousands of little widgets with deep capabilities I’m able to create with Shortcuts – I now have the ability to automate important parts of my work, all from the phone in my pocket or tablet in my hands.

Get the shortcut, and see the full screenshot.1

Plus, while you’re here, subscribe to Supercomputer.

  1. In reality, sending people to the podcast page via link is likely aimed at new subscribers, so I want those people to go to the whole show itself anyway and add the show so they get all future episodes. Individual episodes are already downloaded in current subscribers’ podcast app of choice, so they’re probably not clicking these links anyway. 
  2. Look up regular expressions on Google or get a book if you’re interested in more – it’s a dense topic, but extremely valuable
  3. Web request and acting on JSON data using Get Dictionary Value actions are beyond the scope of this piece – worth looking into here within the Shortcuts User Guide for starters. 
  4. This language could be even more guiding by adding in “Chosen Item > Title” so I could see the episode title in context as I’m trying to leave commentary, but while building it I realized that’s only relevant for past episodes and each week when I run this I doubt I’ll lose my place. 
  5. I renamed it to “Commentary” using the Rename button that appears when you tap on an already-placed variable, just above what’s normally the keyboard area – see here for more. 
  6. Previously I had retrieved my whole embed URL at this point and pasted it in before uploading, but for some reason the code block messed up when being converted to Markdown and my app links weren’t getting passed to WordPress. Since this wasn’t working, I changed the order of operations and just get the embed code at the end – good enough. 
  7. Check out the Shortcuts User Guide section on variables for more – if you’re reading this all and you’re confused, it’s okay, it’s pretty confusing at first. 
  8. If you’re new to Shortcuts or programming, the “Index” is the position in a list of items – first, fourth, twelfth, etc. In Shortcuts, Lists are one-indexed, so the first item is at index 1, the second is at index 2, etc. 
  9. If the slug of RSS items from your provider doesn’t include a URL-encoded version of the title – make your own with a few actions! Get just the Title of the article, then Change Case to make it all lowercase, then Replace Text to switch any spaces with dashes. 
  10. Here the URL is also constructed using the same Slug structure from above, so I open directly into the new post instead of the default link. Post to WordPress returns something like, which is not the canonical URL – I ran into issues when I then wanted to share from that page. 
  11. The linked screenshot also includes another Show Alert that I used to check to make sure the API data was added successfully. 
  12. My Airtable API key isn’t included, but inside you can see the dictionary of data I’m sending along with screenshots of the Airtable API fields and example response from the corresponding section built custom for my table. Read this documentation from Apple on using APIs with Shortcuts – it uses the same Dark Sky example I wrote in the original Workflow documentation. 

Look ahead at your day with “Agenda” 📹

Today I released my fifth YouTube video, focusing on building an agenda for the day and walking people through the process of building it.

This is a full-Siri shortcut, meaning it’ll work on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and CarPlay, with Siri speaking out the results to you:

It includes overdue and upcoming reminders, today’s calendar events, and contacts who have a birthday today – so many people say they only use Facebook for birthdays, so this could help you break that habit too.

In the video I demonstrate the use of Repeat With Each, Magic Variables, and Count/If actions to do some logic where I didn’t get quite the results I wanted.

As usual I’d love any feedback on the video – it’s slightly long, but there’s lots of good material to absorb. There was some fuzziness with my audio too, but I managed to get it listenable enough.

On to the next video – seems like Shortcuts 2.1 will be dropping alongside iOS 12.1 tomorrow!

Apple Shortcuts: The Bicycle for the Mind is Back, but it’s Electric 🔗

Stu Maschowitz of Prolost has put a fantastic piece out on the Shortcuts app:

“To me, whether Jobs intended it this way or not, the “bicycle for the mind” is the tool that empowers you to repurpose it for your specific needs, not just to consume things with it, or use it in the same way as everyone else.”

Later in the piece (emphasis mine):

“Job’s bicycle analogy was all about efficiency of locomotion. Without a bicycle, we’re highly inefficient animals at just getting around, but we can build tools, like bicycles, which put us at the top of the list.

But I also take from it that riding a bicycle is good for you. It makes you stronger. Buying a tool and using it is like driving a car — you’ll get to your destination, and efficiently, but you’ve done nothing to better yourself. Every day that car will take you exactly the same distance.

But each day you ride a bicycle, your legs get stronger. You get where you’re going, sure, but maybe more importantly, the more you ride, the farther you can go.

This is the way I look at the Jobs bicycle analogy: When you build your own tools, you make your mind stronger, and able to go farther the next day.

As I use Shortcuts more and more, I feel myself somewhere between driving a car made of apps built by other people and riding a bicycle of my own creation. I’m creating genuinely useful tools, and I’m pushing myself farther each day I ride[…]”

Stu’s piece is one of the best I’ve seen about the current state of Shortcuts, what it means to learn and use them regularly, and he also provides some really handy examples.

I highly suggest everyone train their Shortcuts muscles today, because you never know how it’ll help you out tomorrow being that much stronger at it.

Definitely check out the full piece (16 minutes) and get the shortcuts from his site too.

How to make a GIF on iOS: Shortcuts in under 3 minutes [Video]

On Friday, I published a shorter video demonstrating how to build a custom shortcut in the Shortcuts app in just under 3 minutes:

For the topic, I picked “how to make a GIF” because it’s not that easy on iOS, and everyone has a library full of bursts and Live Photos that are stuck in the camera roll.

With just a few actions, you can put together an animated loop of your bursts, Live Photos, or sets of photos, and easily share it with people.

Get the shortcut here if you want to make your own.

I could have made some improvements to the shortcut. Since I filmed this without a script, I didn’t add in Save to Photo Album at the end so that every GIF you made would be saved automatically – this is important because most people run shortcuts from the main library view, but you can only see the GIF in my version if you open the shortcut editor.1

I’m working on some new shorter videos, along with a longer main video each week – working out the process now, but I should be able to ramp up to get more videos out for all of you.

In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like to see from my channel2.

And, as always, linking to the video or retweeting it goes a long way – thank you to everyone who’s been supporting me so far.

  1. It also could have all been built using Find Photos to give you more control; getting into that level of detail, however, definitely takes more than 3 minutes, so I’ll have to work sharing the best examples with the least compromises. 
  2. People left more comments that I’m still a robot who doesn’t blink – even though I totally did once! It’s apparently difficult for me to blink naturally with a bright light in my face while trying to communicate the intricacies of this app on the fly. 

My Top 10 Shortcuts, plus My First Guest Video

Last week, I published my third YouTube video. This one covered 10 great shortcuts that I’ve built over the years, with quick descriptions and demonstrations for each:1

Here they are in order:
1. $0.99 Rental of the Week
2. Flip Photo to IG
3. Log Water
4. Make Wifi QR Code
5. Copy Free Time or Copy Today’s Free Time
6. Search for Link
7. Spongebob
8. Set Bedtime From Sunrise2
9. BART Departures (or, just Ashby)
10. Now or Later Network (and modified Download File)

After I published, Rene Ritchie from iMore also reached out to me and asked for a short video clip with one of my tips on getting started with Shortcuts. Here’s what the full video turned out like:

I shot and put my part together for his video in just a few hours, which encouraged me to make shorter videos myself and demonstrated how tackling a specific single topic is much easier to produce.

For my own work, I’m still working through some process details – my own video was pretty long and difficult to make with so many parts, and an early version of it also just ended up not being very interesting to me. I also need to level my audio better still, plus nail down some of exactly how I am and should be using my cameras too.

I’ve also been developing criteria for which shortcuts I want to share, because, despite people wanting to see all 900 of mine, throwing them all online isn’t my goal – I want to teach people how to build their own, not just use my pre-built shortcuts.

Plus, I’ve completely shifted my schedule to allow for both video production AND writing – I fell off the map a bit getting my thoughts out here and on iMore/The Sweet Setup since starting to make videos.

So enjoy the shortcuts from the video, subscribe to my channel if you haven’t yet, and subscribe to my RSS feed to have these blog posts come directly to you too.

  1. Well, as quick as possible – it’s 17 minutes :) 
  2. Note: requires Shortcuts 2.1 beta – use Set Bedtime From Sunrise (Dark Sky) if you’re on Shortcuts 2.0. 

Everything Went Better Than Expected

I am incredibly amazed right now, because I launched my YouTube channel on Monday and my first video has gotten 20,000 views along with 2,304 subscribers as of publishing – last week I had 2.

Thank you so, so much if you shared my video over the past few days. I asked and you delivered, which really was heartwarming to see and it made a huge difference. Special thanks to Myke Hurley and Jason Snell for mentioning it on Upgrade, as well as Lory Gil for inviting me to link at the bottom of my iMore articles (which we’ve been updating with new information) – both helped a ton.

I’m still trying to get it linked elsewhere because I really do want as many people to learn as possible and help them avoid confusion, so I’m excited to see how it keeps growing over time.1

If you haven’t watched the video yet, here it is – don’t forget to subscribe 😇:

Now I’m hard at work on a second one – the Shortcuts app is out alongside iOS 12, and there’s lots of confusion on how the app works, what works in Siri and what doesn’t, and once you get past that, what to even build with it.

I’ve got a ton to cover and unfortunately I can’t cram it all into one video, so I’m going to work my way through it and give as many quick asides with those details as I can.

I’m also still writing articles and making a podcast, so if anybody with good video experience wants to help me skip over beginner’s mistakes2 or link to good resources, that would be amazing.

In the meantime, I’m answering as many comments on the video and DMs as I can while still getting shit done, but there’s lots of places elsewhere to look, starting first with Apple’s new Shortcuts User Guide.

But you should also buy David Spark’s Shortcuts Field Guide video series if you want to skip ahead to everything right away, read Federico’s review for a deep dive along with what’s new in iOS 12, and join some of the other healthy communities sprouting up. The subreddit seems to be growing nicely and searching on Twitter for will show you a ton of examples, which is fantastic – keep up the good work everyone.

I can’t wait to see what you do with it.3

  1. The YouTube analytics are fun to explore too – people who came from external links stayed the longest on average, which I credit to all of you! 
  2. Mistakes like leaving autofocus continuous on, and having too loud of music with vocalization, and not leveling any of the audio properly, for example… 
  3. 😏 

The MacStories Review of iOS 12 (and Shortcuts) 🔗

Every year, it’s a staple in the Apple community to read Federico Vittici’s in-depth review of the latest version of iOS.

Federico has been running MacStories for years and always spends the summer drafting massive, book-length guides to the new changes that come to Apple’s iPhone and iPad software, quickly becoming the go-to place to pay attention when the new release drops.

This time, it’s very much the same, with Viticci publishing his entire review with 16 individual sections as pages (and 1 page for credits). Here’s the subhead introduction:

After years of unabated visual and functional changes, iOS 12 is Apple’s opportunity to regroup and reassess the foundation before the next big step – with one notable exception.

The review is also available as an eBook and audiobook for members of Club MacStories, their membership program that provides great newsletters with tons of Shortcuts ideas, links, and interviews. Members get the book free and the audiobook at 60% off, so now is better than ever to subscribe.

Now that Shortcuts is out I’m sure you won’t want to miss Federico’s work, so definitely consider joining if you have the means.

One of the major sections to look at is his coverage of Shortcuts, because he’s the OG in the space – I originally learned about Workflow because of Federico and his coverage is what brought me to work for the app, so at a certain point we all owe him for bringing a spotlight to this awesome technology.

His evangelism for the potential got all of us who knew about it excited and I’m sure influenced Apple’s decision to purchase our company, so, everyone go thank Federico!

Now excuse me while I keep reading because there’s no way I’ve read it at all just – will have to switch back and forth with Myke’s lovely voice filling my ears too as I do my own prep for the big day.

The Automators podcast: I did a Shortcuts deep dive!

I had the honor of being on Relay FM‘s great new show Automators this week. Hosted by David Sparks and Rosemary Orchard, the show dives deep into automation with Apple products and covers a whole range of apps and devices.

With iOS 12 launching on Monday, David and Rosemary had me on their show to talk all about Shortcuts and walk people through two of my custom shortcuts – Open Twitter Lists and Golden Hour.

Apparently, I completely forgot this was supposed to be a 30-minute show, because we straight up talked about these for an hour and a half.

These are more like workflows than Siri-based shortcuts, as the Twitter lists one doesn’t involve Siri at all – I primarily run it from the widget.

But Golden Hour can be triggered by Siri and run headless on devices like Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay – I used it in my testing video of the HomePod too when I discovered when shortcuts started working on more devices:

The show mostly involved functional explanations of the shortcuts, so hopefully one day I’ll be back on Automators again to talk more about how I’m taking advantage of Siri, custom Shortcuts, and the new actions provided by other app developers besides Apple’s.

We also mentioned a shortcut for Apple Music Mixes that I wrote about for The Sweet Setup, but we avoided covering it again so check out the full post for all the details.

The episode should be a good listen – subscribe to the show, add the workflows/shortcuts from the show notes1 on their site or in your podcast app, and listen along as I explain both step-by-step.

Also, be sure to visit the Automators Talk forum where the community chats about all types of automation – definitely worth checking out.

If you’re coming here from Automators, feel free to follow my posts via RSS or subscribe to my twice-a-month newsletter, the first issue of which will be launching soon!

Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy it!

  1. Depending on when you read this, if Shortcuts isn’t yet available on the App Store the linked workflows for Workflow will still work. 

Sharing about Shortcuts: in audio and video form

With the imminent release of the Shortcuts app for iOS, I’ve been hard at work creating new ways to share with everyone.

After Workflow was acquired by Apple, I took a contract position covering support while the process transitioned to Apple Support. I didn’t want to leave the Workflow community hanging without someone to help with problems, and in my time there helped thousands of people with their workflows – and read every tweet about us.

I had joined the small team to help people learn how to use this thing, and once I saw them continue to update it I took a leap of faith and left early before I learned too much about the plans.

Seeing Shortcuts at WWDC was awesome and a wonderful confirmation that this app is the future of automation on iOS.

Plus, while I was there, I met Alex Cox and she kept telling me to make a podcast about it all. When she said she’d host it with me, I immediately said yes, and Supercomputer was born.

Since then we’ve recorded 5 episodes, introducing ourselves, talking about assistants, covering morning routines, prepping for travel, and now detailing Apple’s September 12 iPhone and Apple Watch event.

Next week we are covering Shortcuts as it’s available for everyone to use, and there will certainly be more intertwined in many episodes to come as it’s intertwined into how iOS works from here on out.

I’d love it if you would subscribe to the show and share it with others if you think if might be useful to them. Even if you use Overcast and Recommend it there (which id be extremely thankful for), Podcasts subscriptions drive the iTunes charts which ultimately get us more users through Apple’s recommendations – subscribing there helps us the most!

I am also open to any constructive criticism or feedback – help me make the show better! I am relatively new to podcasting and feel like I’m improving quickly, but any help speeding that up is welcome.

But wait, there’s more!

Shortcuts is a highly visual tool, and while I love writing and now producing podcasts, sometimes a little video goes a long way in helping you understand how this darn thing works.

So I’m producing YouTube videos to help you learn how to use Shortcuts! My channel will be me explaining what shortcuts are (and what they aren’t), giving examples of shortcuts you can use and how to use them, and I’ll teach you how to build your own shortcuts and think about the process.

In the same spirit above, I am new to video and hopefully I can get through the inevitable awkward bits sooner rather than later, but I have the content down – I worked at the app, I wrote the documentation, I’ve built thousands of workflows/shortcuts, and I am making the time to show you how to use it.

So subscribe to my channel, listen to my podcast, and ask me any questions on Twitter.

I’ll help as best as I can, and I hope you jump in the deep end with me to take advantage of all that Shortcuts has to offer – this is going to be fun.