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Newsletter Offsite Siri Shortcuts

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 18

This was originally published in Issue 18 of my newsletter “What’s New in Shortcuts?” – sign up here.

Hello all — I’m assuming 2021 did not start off the way many of us expected.

I hope you all are taking care of yourselves and your loved ones as much as possible, which is always important but even more so during stressful times. Engage as needed, take breaks, and do what needs to be done.

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Siri Shortcuts

Announcing the Shortcuts User Group

Hello Shortcuts friends!

If you’d like to be part of a community of people talking about and sharing Siri Shortcuts, you’re welcome to join my new Shortcuts User Group on Slack.

I’ve been running this small community for about a year now, consisting of a cohort of people who are interested in Shortcuts and want to learn from other people directly about how to integrate Siri Shortcuts into their lives.

If you join, you’ll get a chance to see how other individuals are using Shortcuts in creative ways, get ideas or inspiration on your own automations, and be able to check in with a group of like-minded folks.

We have channels for things like:

  • getting help & asking questions,
  • sharing your own shortcuts or write-ups, and
  • having places to just talk and have fun.

The community is open for anyone to join, although I do ask new members to be intentional and try to invite friends who’d want to actively participate over trying to grow the community as large as possible – these tend to work best when we all get a chance to know each other a bit. 😇

Subscribers to my website membership will also be added to a private members-only channel so I can share the exclusive content there and chat with members directly.

Thanks for checking the Shortcuts User Group out – I look forward to meeting you in there!

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14

View the original issue.

This is the week! Once iOS 14.3 drops, millions of people will update their smartphones and suddenly be able to create their “app ideas” by adding them as shortcuts to their Home Screen.

The main change? The limitation where “custom icons always open into Shortcuts first” is now gone!

Shortcuts added to the Home Screen actually behave like you’d expect, opening into apps immediately – plus they run all the scripting actions perfectly, just like the Shortcuts widget.

I’ve tried to capture my excitement in a video – look for it soon on YouTube. But until then, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

Announcing the Shortcuts Catalog for iOS 14, feat. 300 shortcuts & 300 actions

Jump straight to the Catalog or sign up for a membership.

It’s finally here!

Apple has released iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 to users around the world – and that means everyone who updates will have the newest version of Siri Shortcuts installed.

Alongside today’s updates, I’m releasing the following:

  • the official iOS 14 version of my Shortcuts Catalog,
  • a new “What’s New in Shortcuts” newsletter, and
  • my membership program

Let me explain it a bit before you dive into everything.

Why learn about Siri Shortcuts now?

Thanks to everything new in version 4 of the Shortcuts app, everyone can expect another leap in the automation potential of their Apple products:

  • the Siri capabilities let the power of Shortcuts extend across devices,
  • new features like folders and widgets allow you to hone in on specific use cases and surface them when needed,
  • advances in Personal Automations let you turn your device into a true computing platform, and
  • the Apple Watch app extends the entire experience right into your wrist.

My goal as an independent creator has always been to share all the knowledge I’ve learned about Shortcuts and make it free.

That’s because the Shortcuts app is free on Apple’s devices – I’ve always wanted to make sure anyone who doesn’t yet understand it could go online and learn more right away.

That desire is what got me to start my own YouTube channel, plus release my own Shortcuts Library and Action Directory on my website last fall.

But, as I got deeper into iOS 13, I realized I was sharing tons of ideas in my database, but didn’t make them very accessible on the web.

To help people to truly integrate Siri Shortcuts into their lives, I needed something more…

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Guest appearances Links Siri Shortcuts

Guest Spot: Sigmund Judge’s podcast Magic Rays of Light

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a guest on episode 4 of Sigmund Judge’s podcast Magic Rays of Light, a new show dedicated to all things Apple TV.

That episode is out now and available to download in your podcast app of choice.

Talking with Sigmund was a treat and we had a great conversation about:

Categories
Links News Newsletter Offsite Siri Shortcuts

Announcing my new “What’s New in Shortcuts” newsletter

As part of my new Shortcuts Catalog1, I’ve created a brand-new newsletter called What’s New in Shortcuts?.

This free newsletter is designed for anyone interested in learning more about Siri Shortcuts, covering:
* feature updates as they’re discovered,
* interesting ways to use Shortcuts related to topical stories, and
* creative new shortcuts or apps with Shortcuts actions.

In addition, What’s New in Shortcuts acts as a way to subscribe to learn about future updates to my Shortcuts Library, Action Directory, and upcoming additions to the Shortcuts Catalog.

What’s in the newsletter?

Your email each week will consist of a short-and-sweet series of bulleted lists explaining ways you can use Siri, the Shortcuts app, and related technology, all written out as trigger phrases like “Hey Siri, remind me to vote early.”

Each line will link out to a page in the Catalog, directly to an iCloud URL for a shortcut, or to an article on my site or someone else’s2.

At the bottom, you’ll also find member updates around any new pre-release shortcuts or bonus content available for the Shortcuts Catalog – check out my membership page to learn more3.

Plus, if you aren’t a member, there will still be free shortcuts every week.

And that’s it!

How do I get the emails?

Subscribe now and you can easily stay up-to-date with all the best ways to use Apple’s new automation tools in your daily life – from myself and the growing Shortcuts community4.

New emails go out weekly on Fridays — just after the “What’s New in Alexa” emails 😈 — so there’s time to read up and experiment with things over the weekend.

Sign up today and look the next issue soon – I’m looking forward to sharing more with you all!


  1. Official announcement post coming once iOS 14 releases! 
  2. Fire up your blogs and get to sharing your shortcuts! For real, I want to link to everyone’s websites in this newsletter.

    Then, make sure post them as a good shareable tweet so I can retweet as well and DM it to me

  3. Members are automatically added to “What’s New in Shortcuts”, so no need to subscribe here if you’ve signed up – any duplicates will be accounted for as well. 
  4. Make sure to check out Club MacStories from Federico Viticci & friends, sign up for the new Tablet Habit newsletter from Jeff Perry, and get the email digest for the Automators forums as well! 
Categories
Offsite Siri Shortcuts

iOS 14 Siri Shortcuts: My Feature on Rene Ritchie’s channel

The venerable Rene Ritchie was kind enough to invite me back onto his YouTube channel to talk Siri Shortcuts in iOS 14 and everything that’s new:

Play

I always appreciate the opportunity to share about Shortcuts on other people’s channels, and Rene always manages to make me look good.

As I said in the video, make sure to stay tuned for some fun new updates here on my website, as well as for my own upcoming iOS 14 video.

Watch my video with Rene on YouTube.

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Offsite Podcasts Siri Shortcuts

Appearance – Clockwise #353: “Shortcuts Concierge”

I had the pleasure of being a guest on episode 353 of the Clockwise podcast from Relay FM, joining Brianna Wu, Jason Snell, and Dan Moren for a 30-minute round table discussion of the week’s news.

We talked about Apple silicon and what it means for gaming as well as whether we’ll be buying the first round of Macs, our beta-installation strategies, and how to use Shortcuts for public good.

Categories
Links Siri Shortcuts

New Shortcuts Directory curates links for getting started with Siri Shortcuts

Shortcuts creator and designer Brad Siefert has created a dedicated website for people looking to discover various links and creators related to Siri Shortcuts – check out the new Shortcuts Directory.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

Six livestreams around Siri Shortcuts to watch

For the month of May, my main public focus was publishing livestreams related to Shortcuts and my interests as a content creator.

I’ve long had a streaming setup and even covered most of iOS 13’s updates for Shortcuts in an hour-long stream last fall, but I’ve always wanted to stream more and never really did.

In these last 9 months since that stream, I’ve also seen a ton of new Shortcuts-related apps drop and for some reason I didn’t fully adopt them – I thought every one my shortcuts needed to be easily shareable, plus I was worried about depending on paid third-party apps that people would have to buy just to use my shortcuts.

But eventually, I realized I’d shot myself in the foot – these apps were necessary because of some shortcoming of Shortcuts in its current state, and by missing out on those apps I was handicapping myself in the process.

Once I started adopting the Shortcuts-related apps, my productivity skyrocketed and I realized I needed to learn these even more – enter livestreams with the developers themselves. Plus, I took the opportunity to stream with one novice user and another expert, both of which were great experiences.

Here’s the full list of videos: