Disclosure: David was kind enough to make me an affiliate for his courses last year, which means I receive a small portion of each sale made after clicking on my affiliate links above. That being said, I’ve been reading MacSparky Field Guides for years and would absolutely recommend this course even if he wasn’t so generous to include me in the affiliate program. ↩
Matt Birchler on the Apple Watch’s latest operating system update:
watchOS continues to grow up, and each year it gets objectively better than the year previous. The team behind this product have done a fantastic job of maintaining its simplicity all while adding on genuinely useful features that don’t always feel like much at the time, but have added up to an improved platform in almost every way.
Matt does these reviews every year, and this one summarizes the changes nicely. Also, I’m totally using the list of available workouts as a reference for future Shortcuts posts.
In the latest app update on iOS, Audible now lets users actually buy audiobooks inside the app using existing credits.
According to a tweet from Chris Fralic of First Round (originally sourced by Joshua Topolosky of The Outline), the “Add to Library” button in Audible will show the message “You can now use credits without leaving the app!”:
Shortcuts just got a lot more useful if you use Siri, too. You can now create interactive Shortcuts that can ask questions and accept text input, especially useful if you’re not able to look at a screen because you’re using AirPods or CarPlay. And the redesigned Share Sheet in iOS 13 means that you can prominently place specific individual Shortcuts in the Share sheet, making it easy to access them with a single tap.
Jason and Dan are covering iOS 13 feature-by-feature – this piece is a nice summary of what you can expect from Siri Shortcuts in iOS 13.
While the Shortcuts app is primarily a touch-based system—where are you drag and drop actions around to create your scripts—there are a few keyboard shortcuts for iPad users that can speed up the experience of creating and managing their Siri Shortcuts.
Whether you’re opening the Gallery to view suggested shortcuts, searching for a shortcut in your list, or quickly controlling parts of the shortcuts editor, these simple keyboard shortcuts are worth learning.
Hopefully anyone building shortcuts checks out this piece for iMore and sees what’s possible in Shortcuts via the keyboard now. I try to use them as much as possible to help with ergonomics, plus it does speed tings up a bit.
Near the end, I also listed some keyboard shortcuts I’d like Shortcuts to adopt in the future. Full keyboard control of the app would be a massive boon to productivity, especially when these iPad screens sit propped up at such steep angles.
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:
I’d make some improvements to the shortcut now like adding a Quick Look at the end so users can view it when running from the My Shortcuts view and maybe adjusting the speed slightly.
Plus since then I’ve moved my desk, improved my audio editing skills, and don’t feel nearly as awkward.
Question for any readers: do you like this style of video? I haven’t done other top-down shots like this and want to know what people think – tweet me or send me an email with your thoughts and any other helpful feedback.
Tim Chaten was kind enough to have me back on his podcast iPad Pros:
Matthew Cassinelli and I deep dive into the next version of Shortcuts that is built into iOS 13. Listen back to episodes 41 and 42 for the deep dive into Shortcuts 2. This episode will focus on the changes and additions made to Shortcuts 3.
I always appreciate talking to Tim – he gives a fantastic outline ahead of time, which maps very well to what people are interested in learning about Siri Shortcuts.
As such, this is a straightforward explanation of everything that’s coming in iOS 13. Listen to the episode.
While Alex was away, Matthew interviewed developer Greg Pierce, creator of Drafts and the x-callback-url spec that kicked off deeper interest in iOS automation.
I think this may be my first podcast interview?
Greg Pierce was kind enough to come on our show and talk with me about the history of x-callback-url, his plans for integrating Siri Shortcuts into his app Drafts, and what he’s looking to do in the future.
I gushed a bit about how I love Drafts – be sure to check out the show notes for some links related to the app.