Categories
Offsite Siri Shortcuts Video

Automation for AirTags: what the U1 chip means (beyond finding lost devices)

Apple’s new AirTags are their cheapest standalone product, yet I think they’re one of the most interesting released in a while.

And that’s because of the U1 chip inside – now the fourth Apple product besides iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod mini to include one.

This ultra-wideband technology has super-precise tracking technology, which I think could enable a whole new wave of automation capabilities for Apple devices.

I made a video that explains my thoughts on what I’m calling “Spatial Awareness for Siri” – you can watch the whole thing on YouTube in under 3 minutes:

Categories
Apps Links Offsite Video

Walking through the Home app (with Joey Banks)

On Thursday March 25, I streamed with my designer friend Joey Banks and walked him through some of the oddities of the Home app, working on scenes, grouping devices, and HomeKit automations:

Catch the replay on YouTube – and add my livestream calendar to tune into future streams.

Categories
Offsite Siri Shortcuts Video

How to get started with Apple’s Shortcuts app 🎞

This morning I published my new channel trailer for YouTube – “How To Get Started With Apple’s Shortcuts App”:

Play

Make sure to visit the description for links to everything I mention, plus check out my updated Shortcuts Catalog.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Categories
Podcasts Siri Shortcuts Tips & Tricks Video

“Show me this clip” for video podcasts with this Overcast to YouTube shortcut

If you didn’t already know, my podcast Smart Tech Today comes with a video feed now – you can download a full video feed in Podcasts, or subscribe to the YouTube channel to get the episodes every week, or watch live on Twitch every Monday at 4pm PST.

While the show is designed as an audio podcast, our network This Week in Tech produces the video so anyone can watch too – I have lots of fun being on camera with Mikah.

Being a podcast that’s also “video capable,” I’ve always thought it’s a shame that it’s not easier to listen when you want to, or watch when you want to, with a way to switch between both on the fly.

If you’re on Overcast user, you’re in luck – I’ve solved the problem in one direction, taking Overcast’s “Share URL with timestamp” Siri Shortcut and combining it with YouTube’s timestamps feature to let you jump into the video feed at a moment’s notice.1

Categories
Links Offsite Siri Shortcuts Video

Covering the Siri Shortcuts update for iOS 13 live on YouTube

On Thursday, a few hours after the release of my Shortcuts Library, I covered the entire iOS 13 update for Siri Shortcuts in a YouTube livestream.

After a bug in the macOS Catalina beta last week prevented Final Cut Pro from staying open at all, the work on my in-progress video was frozen1. I couldn’t re-do it in time while I was also publishing over 150 shortcuts for people to use.

So I did it live:

Categories
Links Offsite Siri Shortcuts Video

Shortcuts in 3 minutes: How to make GIFs

Last fall, I made a simple video for YouTube but never posted it here on my website – it’s a quick tutorial on making GIFs using Shortcuts, where I start from scratch and finish with a usable shortcut:

Categories
Podcasts Siri Shortcuts Video

How to jump between the audio and video of Supercomputer

For episode 19 of Supercomputer, instead of hitting the “call” button to record, we pressed “video chat” and proceed to produce our podcast. I edited out some moments, added chapter markers for the audio file, and uploaded the video to YouTube.

This last week, for episode 20, I also added visual chapters, actually used Alex’s correct audio file, and shared our second video recording to YouTube.

But podcasts are for audio, right?

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Video

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:

Play

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Video

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.