Categories
Apps News

Apple adds Shortcuts for Mac support to Pages, Numbers, Keynote

Today, Apple released updates to their iWork suite of apps that adds actions in Shortcuts for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on macOS, bringing powerful first-party actions that Mac users can take advantage to automate their work:

New First-Party Actions

Across all three iWork apps, there are now actions for “Open” and “Create” – plus Numbers has added “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table” and Keynote has added “Open in Rehearsal Mode” and “Open in Show Mode.”

The Create actions all also include the templates/themes available in the iWork apps, which makes it quick to generate 40+ samples from Pages, Numbers, and Keynote each for a total of over 120+ templates.

Here’s the full list of actions:

  • Pages
  • “Open Document”
  • “Create Document”
  • Numbers
  • “Open Spreadsheet”
  • “Create Spreadsheet”
  • “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table”
  • Keynote
  • “Open Presentation”
  • “Create Presentation”
  • “Open Presentation in Rehearsal Mode”
  • “Open Presentation in Show Mode”

One Weird Things

One oddity worth mentioning is that the “Add Row” action requires Numbers to physically open the spreadsheet and insert the data, just like it does on iOS – Apple should make this action work in the background without opening the app, otherwise it creates an inconsistent experience with every other action in Shortcuts that doesn’t require opening the app to insert data.

Shortcuts was specifically designed to create a smooth user experience and avoid opening apps to insert data in the foreground (as it did in the previous iteration as Workflow) – this seems like a step back for Shortcuts and users should be able to append data to the spreadsheet via the filesystem.

What This Means for Shortcuts

These new actions are incredibly important to Shortcuts for Mac and the automation ecosystem on Apple’s desktop computing platform – these actions were sorely missing from the release of macOS Monterey and are representative of how Apple thinks about first-party actions for Shortcuts.

Without them, one of the core tools Apple offered simply didn’t integrate with its new automation platform – now, Apple users (and third-party developers) have an excellent set of actions to use as an example for how to integrate with Shortcuts; I want to see more of this from Apple.

More Please

I hope we see more actions like this set from all of Apple’s first-party apps, plus an extension of these actions to go even deeper – I’d love actions for pro apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic, plus Apple should add actions for more utility apps like System Preferences.

We’ve also seen existing iOS actions come to the Mac, but many for apps like Safari don’t work the same or actions aren’t taking much advantage of Mac-specific features. Making all these actions work in the background, adding in support for things like appending/prepending to your documents/inserting pages into your presentation would be great, and adding truly powerful functions like pulling data out of spreadsheets are the ultimate goal – I should be able to automate every aspect of these apps, not only be able to perform these simple (but welcome) actions.


I’ll be releasing a full set of shortcuts to take advantage of these actions soon, so look out for those on my Shortcuts Catalog or sign up for my newsletter to get updates when I release any new shortcuts.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

All 25 of the Mac-Only Actions Coming to Shortcuts for Mac 🔐

In macOS Monterey, Apple has added 5 sets of actions to the Shortcuts app that are Mac-only – these aren’t available for iPad or iPhone users as they require specific features/apps.

Mac users can now easily automate their window management, interact with Finder, make disk images, perform actions taken from Automator, and take advantage of deeper Mac automation – plus there’s two actions not yet found in the betas.

In this 4,800-word piece (about 20 minutes average reading time), I’ll explain each of them in detail, plus give you my initial thoughts on what bringing this functionality to macOS means for the transition to Shortcuts as Apple’s main automation platform.

Become a member to get access to the post, plus:

  • New shortcuts on an ongoing basis
  • Extra ways to browse the catalog when you’re signed in
  • Prerelease notes & workflows I’m putting together
  • Exclusive livestreams teaching you more about Shortcuts
Categories
Shortcuts Siri Shortcuts Actions

All the New Cross-Platform Actions in Shortcuts for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS 🔐

With the release of iOS 15 and the associated betas across Apple’s platforms, the Shortcuts app has received 2 automation types and 22 new actions that work across iPhone, iPad, and macOS as well as 21 Mac-only actions.

This piece (4,700 words, about 20 minutes average reading time) includes my write up of the cross-platform actions, reordered into custom groups I’ve created – I’ll be covering the Mac-only actions next week.

I’ll also be adding screenshots and example shortcuts in a future version, so members can read up now and I’ll post the full guide once the public betas release.

Become a member to get access to the full post, plus:

  • Members-only shortcuts
  • Extra ways to browse the catalog when you’re signed in
  • Prerelease notes & workflows I’m putting together
  • Exclusive livestreams teaching you more about Shortcuts
Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 30

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 30sign up for the newsletter here.

Hello folks,

Next Tuesday, Apple will be hosting a “Spring Foward” event – and we’ll likely see iOS 14.5 come out alongside anything new.

With that, we’ll get three new actions in Shortcuts:

  1. Set Orientation Lock
  2. Set Voice and Data
  3. Take Screenshot

Below, I’ve got a few shortcuts you can use to take advantage of those, plus a few links from the community:

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
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to issue 14 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

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.

Other than that, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:

🎧  SHORTCUTS TO THE MAX

Apple Fitness+ comes out tomorrow, Apple’s releasing AirPods Max, and M1 Macs are still shipping out to new users every day – here’s how to take advantage of Apple’s latest updates:

Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 10

Originally posted as ”What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 10”sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 10 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hello all – the big news this week is the return of Set Wallpaper in the iOS 14.3 beta!

It was present in a handful of betas in early iOS 13 days, but was removed and hadn’t come back… until now. Hopefully Apple’s resolved any issues and smoothes out the process in future betas, but I’m excited for it to roll out to the wider community – I have a feeling it’ll be popular.

Other than that, I’ve got new tools for new devices, links to the beta actions on my site, and shortcuts for my new favorite app Craft – enjoy:

🍎 APPLE GEAR: ROUND 3

‘Tis the season for product releases and this last week (and the next) are no exception – here’s a handful of shortcuts for people with big phones and HomePod minis:

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…

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links

Playing a podcast by time of day using “If” conditionals

This afternoon, @kcjokes asked for a shortcut that can play a podcast based on the time of day: