I’m super excited about Apple bringing the M1 chip to the iPad Pro – it means there’s more power coming to iPad, it shares a chip architecture with Macs, and that means more attention as well as opportunities for users.
I’m hoping that also means Shortcuts for Mac is less a question about how it’d work being built for iOS instead of Mac, which I thought would be preventative in the past… very interesting times we’re in right now.
There wasn’t a mention on-stage or in the one-shot slide of AirTags features whether there’s any type of Automations support for AirTags, so I’m hoping that’s a feature we’ll figure out or get later on.
Until pre-orders kick off this Friday, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:
🆕 NEW FROM ME THIS WEEK
Lots of member materials this week (I’ve got a slew of public shortcuts coming soon), so sign up to get the goodness:
New Screenshot workflow
My new Screencap shortcut and Screenshot Multitool are available for members – this lets you capture screenshots on iOS and save them with macOS-style naming in iCloud Drive, the multitool lets you export existing screenshots (along with other functions), and a Hazel workflow I’ve shared moves your Mac screenshots into the same place. Members can read the write-up in a new members-only post.
“We are aware of an issue where previously shared shortcuts are currently unavailable. Newly shared shortcuts are available, and we are working to restore previously shared shortcuts as quickly as possible.”
It was good to see Apple give a proper response to the situation as well as promptly begin fixing things – although I haven’t received any official statement as a follow-up, so it’s unclear whether it has been fully resolved yet.
I hope Apple also reconsiders making .shortcut files available to install locally so users don’t have to rely on links instead of actual files for the multitude of programs that they spend time and effort creating with this app.
Despite the issues, the Shortcuts community didn’t stop this week – and I put together a fun Overcast shortcut for members:
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:
Em Lazer-Walker, Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, on what she’s calling the “audio version of ARKit” in iOS 14:
They talked about this largely in context of playing movies with multi-channel surround sound, but that’s probably the least interesting application of spatial audio.
As someone who’s been working in the field for a long time — my research at the MIT Media Lab in 2015 and 2016 focused on location-based storytelling in public spaces using spatial audio — I wanted to try to give some context around why this is interesting and what it might enable.
Fascinating summary of Apple’s new Spatial Audio feature and its potential – this covers what it is, how it differs from surround sound, and goes into detailed applications for this like wayfinding, vocal content, and real-world play/gaming experiences.
This year, as with everything else WWDC, it was done online, with special guests Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Apple, and Greg Jozwiak, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing.
Federighi and “Joz” filmed from Apple Park (in seemingly separate rooms, as one does nowadays) over the web with Gruber for over an hour and a half, which you can watch on YouTube:
Accessibility features are incredibly important for modern technology to provide, making it possible for everyone to utilize their hardware & software regardless of their personal situation – you either have direct accessibility needs that require specific use of your technology, you’ll one day need them yourself, or you benefit from those features anyway (think Dark mode).
The Shortcuts app has always been an Accessibility priority for Apple, with them declaring as much in their confirmation story when they acquisition of the Workflow app before it became Shortcuts1:
“The Workflow app was selected for an Apple Design Award in 2015 because of its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, in particular an outstanding implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, making the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision.”
In iOS 13, Apple went further and added a set of actions to Shortcuts for controlling Accessibility features, available to use inside the shortcut editor in Apps > Settings.