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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 36

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 36sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 36 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hey folks,

I’ve had the new iPad Pro and the Siri remote for Apple TV in my hands for a few days now – I wanted to give members a digest of my thoughts before I create videos on each, so look for those next week.

Plus, I’ve got a new set of shortcuts to go along with Flexibits’ apps, new Notion shortcuts, and a bundle of good links for you all – plus how I’m using Shortcuts with Apple TV:

🆕 NEW FROM ME THIS WEEK

Two apps with Shortcuts support for one subscription, my new Notion shortcuts, and another stream for diving deeper into the API – plus a teaser for next week:

  • CardHop and Fantastical
    I’ve created two new shortcuts–Fantasticalendar and Rolodex for Cardhop–that take advantage of all the shortcuts available in Flexibits’ set of apps. Cardhop 2 just released on Tuesday with a cross-application subscription, so now one price gets you both apps – and these shortcuts can help you get even more out of those experiences.
  • Notion shortcuts from last week’s stream
    In Last Thursday’s livestream, I walked viewers through working with Notion’s API from scratch – and came up with three shortcuts that members can use now to tap into Notion: Copy Notion Database ID, Open Notion Page, and Add Notion Page. Plus, I’m also adding time stamps to the previous stream to make it easier to follow along retroactively – look for those by the end of the day today.
  • New member stream on Friday at 9am PST
    Following up on last week’s stream, I’m doing another this Friday at 9am PST / 12pm EST / 16:00 UTC to round out the Notion API exploration – I’ll be building shortcuts that interact with more advanced data types, building more of a front-end for the shortcuts themselves, and summarizing what I’ve learned into more digestible bits.
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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 22

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 22sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 22 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hey there,

There’s a good amount of Shortcuts news this week, but there’s no pressure to learn it all right away – take what you want now and save the rest for later.

I’m putting together a bit more of a guided path through Shortcuts for folks like you soon, so absorb what sticks now and I’ll reinforce it with some good lessons down the line.

🗓 NEW THIS WEEK

One new stream, three podcast shortcuts, and a ton of new actions from Toolbox Pro:

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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 2

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 2sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 2 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

iOS 14, iPad OS 14, and watchOS 7 are finally here! There’s so much new, let’s get into it right away:

🏋️ APPLE’S FITNESS+, IPAD AIR, & APPLE WATCH EVENT

Apple launched a workout video service that syncs across devices, a new iPad Air that looks like a great choice for anyone who doesn’t need an iPad Pro, and the Apple Watch Series 6 & SE:

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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:

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Links Siri Shortcuts

Singalong

New shortcut Singalong for Apple Music users:

Turns on the Apple TV, asks if you want to Hand Off music to the TV from the current device, then opens the Music app and shows the Remote on the current device.

Categories
Links Siri Shortcuts

Pick random Office episode

If you love The Office and want to have a random episode picked for you, this shortcut is for you:

Using a dictionary filled out with the season numbers and corresponding episode counts for each, this picks a random season, then episode, then displays it in an alert as Netflix opens on the Apple TV.

Works aloud when run from Siri; good for HomePod.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

How to buy Disney/Marvel/Star Wars movies to watch on Apple TV in 4K

When you’re trying to buy any of the latest 4K Disney films like Star Wars and the Marvel movies, you’ll quickly find they’re not available in iTunes. For some reason the partnership hasn’t shaken out properly, which I’m hoping changes soon, but for now if you buy one in iTunes Movies it will only be 1080p for $19.99.

You might think that Movies Anywhere would handle this, because it makes movies you’ve bought on iTunes, Prime Video, VUDU, Google Play, or Fandango Now available to watch on each of the other services. But, it’s not that easy.

All of these Disney movies are available in 1080p on iTunes for $19.99 and on VUDU the 4K version (called UHD on their site) costs $24.99. However, even if you’ve unlocked the HD version by buying it in iTunes, you can’t just split the difference and pay $5 to upgrade to 4K within VUDU.

Instead, you’re stuck buying a second version of the same movie for full price, like I had to do for The Last Jedi.

But, if you buy through VUDU first in 4K, you can watch it in full resolution using their own Apple TV app1 instead of iTunes.

Note: When you’re trying to Own the movie instead of Rent, make sure to hit the dropdown and select UHD for 4K instead of HDX for 1080p quality.

And if you want watch it on a smaller screen in HD or add it offline on one of your devices, the movie purchase will still automatically sync to your iTunes account via Movies Anywhere in the background.

I just bought Avengers: Infinity War on VUDU’s website, and when I opened it in the TV app moments later I could already hit Play and start watching.


For me, this is a pretty solid solution, because now I can watch the same thing on my TV or iPhone or iPad—in the best quality available for the device—without paying for it twice.


  1. If you get the regular app and you have automatic downloads turned on for your Apple TV, the app should just appear once you’ve “purchased” it.