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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:

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.

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.

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.

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
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. Plus, comments are open, so add yours if you have any thoughts:

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
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:

Announcing the expanded Shortcuts Library with 600 shortcuts and 150 bundle shortcuts

I am incredibly excited to announce the relaunch of my Shortcuts Library in its expanded form, including over 600 custom shortcuts!

What’s new

The Shortcuts Library is updated from last year’s release, in which I consolidated my original larger library into 50+ shortcuts that each covered large areas of what’s possible with Shortcuts.

With the new release, I’m distributing 600 single shortcuts in the main library across 100 folder groups, plus I’ve developed a method to compile each folder into 150 bundle shortcuts made out of all the single shortcuts in that folder.