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Actions Shortcuts Siri Shortcuts

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 34

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 34sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 34 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hello folks,

This week we’re in the shortcut dip between new Apple products shipping – but that just leaves more room for Shortcuts fun really.

Next week I’ll have more fun stuff to share, especially as we head towards the summer beta season – and be on the lookout for new streams in the calendar too.

🆕 NEW FROM ME THIS WEEK

My video on what’s beyond the surfaces of AirTags, a shortcut for importing Castro’s OPML to podcasts, and one of my first Mac shortcuts:

  • The AMAZING AirTags feature Apple hasn’t added (yet?)
    My new video on the automation possibility with AirTags and the U1 chip is up on YouTube – I’m calling it “Spatial Awareness for Siri.” Check out the short video and let me know what you think in the comments!
  • Export podcasts \> Podcasts
    I came across this thread between Stephen Aquino (Accessibility writer at Forbes) and Oisin Prendiville (co-founder of Supertop) talking about a possible method of moving from Supertop’s podcast app Castro into the main Podcasts app using the OPML file and built a shortcut to solve the problem. I was hoping Shortcuts could automatically parse the OPML with a simple file rename, but that didn’t work, so I built a somewhat-shaky converter that just scrapes the RSS feeds out and passes them into “Subscribe in Podcasts” – and it worked! I’m going to build a more universal version, but feel free to try it out now if you use Castro.
  • Open the Mini Player
    I’ve spent some time setting up my own versions of Federico’s Mixed Automation shortcuts for Mac, mostly around opening specific apps as well as a few URLs in specific browsers – members can access one of my first tests that opens the Mini Player of the Music app on the Mac, which simulates key presses in combination to activate the keyboard shortcut.
Categories
Offsite Siri Shortcuts Video

Automation for AirTags: what the U1 chip means (beyond finding lost devices)

Apple’s new AirTags are their cheapest standalone product, yet I think they’re one of the most interesting released in a while.

And that’s because of the U1 chip inside – now the fourth Apple product besides iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod mini to include one.

This ultra-wideband technology has super-precise tracking technology, which I think could enable a whole new wave of automation capabilities for Apple devices.

I made a video that explains my thoughts on what I’m calling “Spatial Awareness for Siri” – you can watch the whole thing on YouTube in under 3 minutes:

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
Apps Links Offsite Video

Walking through the Home app (with Joey Banks)

On Thursday March 25, I streamed with my designer friend Joey Banks and walked him through some of the oddities of the Home app, working on scenes, grouping devices, and HomeKit automations:

Catch the replay on YouTube – and add my livestream calendar to tune into future streams.

Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 26

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 26sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 26 “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hello all!

If you’re in the US, you might feel a little wobbly thanks to Daylight Saving Time – or if you’re somewhere it’s not used, all your US-based media just moved around an hour.

Thankfully I’ve got a new Daily Health shortcut that includes easier access to your Sleep data, as well as a way to set your alarms by the sunrise – I find I can’t help but wake up then anyways, so might as well get to sleep on time too!

Beyond that, there are some YouTube videos on Shortcuts for you to watch, as well as a challenge for you at the end:

🆕 NEW THIS WEEK

I’m back on YouTube, members can get their Automation goodness, and better Daily Health is on the way:

Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 21

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 21sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 21 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

After the amazing results from the survey I sent around, I’ve made a few changes to this newsletter – first by moving it to Wednesday afternoon (PST) instead of Sunday evenings.

I’m also going to create less single-serving shortcuts and fewer but more powerful shortcuts that solve particular use cases & provide more continued utility over time.

In many ways, it’ll be the same content, condensed into bigger shortcuts that handle multiple tasks in one tool.

In addition, I’ll be taking some of the writing here and building it out more on my blog & other channels, then linking back to that each week – for example, I’ll be pausing my Scripting series here and turning it into more useful blog posts.

That being said, you’ll still see lots of inklings of future content in the newsletter in smaller tips as we go.

Thank you so much for being a subscriber and/or a member – with this helpful feedback and my new approach, I’m truly more excited than ever to synthesize and translate what I know into useful resources for you all!

🗓 NEW THIS WEEK

This week I’ve got two new shortcuts available–one for the public and one for members only — plus I’m doing a livestream this afternoon:

Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 20

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 20sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 20 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

This week was somewhat quiet on the Shortcuts front – there’s likely a new version of iOS coming out soon so we’re in the calm before the storm – but that won’t stop us from having fun with it.

This week I’ve got a set for better note-taking habits, working through Item actions in the Scripting category, links to Automations, some of my streaming shortcuts, and handwriting shortcuts for Members:

📝 TAKING NOTE OF WHAT’S TO COME

As we’re headed into the last week of January, I wanted to help reinforce the building of new habits aided by technology – especially with a bit of smarts built in so there’s no setup required:

Categories
Links Siri Shortcuts

Log your sun exposure with an Apple Watch automation ⌚️

Here’s a Personal Automation for Apple Watch that I’m running automatically at the start of my Walking workouts – Log UV index:

Gets the current weather at the current location and logs the UV index for the hour into the Health app, then displays it or speaks it back when run via Siri.

Includes “Get Device Name” and an “If” action to account for being run on the iPad, which does not have the Health app and would otherwise fail.

Shows a screenshot from the Shortcuts app with “Get Current Weather,” “Get the Device name,” an “If” action set to “If Device Name contains iPad”, then “Show Result,” otherwise “Log Health Sample” and then “Show Alert.”

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Automating how loud Siri replies on the HomePod

I’m a huge fan of the HomePod – after bearing the investment cost, it’s improved my daily interactions with music and opened access to controlling my smart home gear, plus provides a new medium for everything I’ve built in the Shortcuts app.

But one of the nagging problems with HomePod is the way Siri, regardless of the current time of day, will respond loudly at whatever volume you’ve previously set.

Whether it’s the middle of the night or super early in the morning, it’s all too common to ask Siri something and the answer shouted backed at you, only because you listened to music loudly sometime yesterday. Hopefully nobody wakes up, you curse at how dumb your supposedly “smart” speaker can be, and frantically try to turn it down.

Thankfully, iOS 13.2 provides a route to a solution by adding HomePods and AppleTV to scenes and automations – the HomePod didn’t fix this on its own, but, with a Home Automation, you can make it “smart” enough yourself.1