New Shortcuts beta has fixes in the works for Transit, Choose From Menu, Tweetbot

Apple released a beta version of the Shortcuts app to developers today, coming in at version 2.2.1 beta 1. This includes fixes for Get Travel Time’s transit options, a fix for Tweetbot’s native action, a bug that prevented users from deleting items in a Choose From Menu action, and a few other minor fixes not detailed by Apple.

Users with developer accounts can request access to the Shortcuts beta at, and after signing in, the release notes for the newest beta are available here.

Transit Travel Time functional, with a catch

This update also bodes well for users who have been trying to take advantage of the Get Travel Time action to estimate the length of their transit trips, but unfortunately this update does not include options to extract the new Travel Time details first made available in Shortcuts 2.2.

Setting Travel Time to Driving and Walking will pass out results in the content type Trip Info, which added Arrival Time, Route Name, and Distance details to extract in the last update to Shortcuts. Setting it to Transit, however, changes the resulting output’s content type to Time Interval.

I suspect this has a different output because the estimate is multi-modal: transit directions include both trains/buses and walking to your destination.

But I would eventually like the full capability to get Trip Info details from Transit travel times in a future update – asking Siri on the HomePod to tell me which BART train to take as I leave to head into San Francisco would be quite fantastic.

Tweetbot URL scheme action addressed

This shortcut beta also fixes issues with the Tweetbot actions available from the Workflow days, which seems to have reverted to looking for Tweetbot 3 instead of Tweetbot 5.

This follows a similar issue with the Bear actions that was resolved remotely after the Shortcuts 2.2 release, also seemingly due to the pre-built native actions for third-party apps that Shortcuts inherited from the Workflow days (basically, Shortcuts checks which app is installed before triggering their URL scheme).

Current users can use the apps’ URL schemes to build their own workarounds, but native actions are much easier and don’t require fiddling with encoded text. Get Tweet link with Tweetbot here (or use the URL scheme version).

You can delete items from Choose From Menu again

The other major fix resolves an issue for the Scripting action Choose From Menu, which lets users define a menu of options for the user to pick from, and then splits the shortcut down a different path of actions for each option.

Removing items from Choose From Menu no longer crashes the app. Get the Grocery Expirations shortcut shown here.

This is a powerful action that defines different branches that a shortcut can take, and in the latest update would entirely crash Shortcuts if a user tried to delete a menu item/path of actions. This made it impossible to remove a menu option without removing every action in its path, which I only discovered was slightly possible after lots of testing and moving my actions out to get around this.

Now with the update, Shortcuts won’t crash as you delete something and you can properly remove a menu item and the actions it includes – but only if you are a developer and are on the beta.

Public bug fix release soon?

Unfortunately the millions(?) of existing Shortcuts users will still experience these bugs until Apple releases a public update.

I’m hoping that since the version number is 2.1.1 beta 1, this update will get released a quicker timeline than waiting until WWDC or the next version of iOS 12 – especially since Travel Time was one of the marquee updates of the last version and is one-third broken currently.

I am not sure if I will always cover bug fixes in beta updates here on my blog, but I’ve seen some of the Shortcuts subreddit frustrated with long-term bugs that are already addressed in betas. Let me know on Twitter if you find this helpful.

Hopefully this at least lets the community understand that Apple and the Shortcuts team have heard them and a fix is on the way, and to always file bug reports.

10 Shortcuts for YouTubers and video creators

(This post has been updated to refer to Shortcuts instead of Workflow, now that the app has been converted by Apple. All of these still work as quick shortcuts, but not everything operates fully from Siri.)

If you’re in the content creation business, time is of the essence. While you’re busy working on your craft and trying to put your work out into the world, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time on mundane tasks.

Shortcuts for iOS pairs nicely with this, and since it’s free & owned by Apple1 it’s worth testing out to see if you can save time with some shortcuts.

Here are 10 tools that YouTubers and other video creators can take advantage of using Shortcuts (titles are links):

  1. Share links to my YouTube videos
    It’s a pain to get links for YouTube videos from your channel and share them with people – this workflow makes it painless. Enter your channel URL, this grabs the feed links, and then choose from the list to copy the YouTube video link of your choice to the clipboard or share it with people.
  2. Take a video and save it to an album
    If you’re using your phone for content creation, you probably want to keep your footage organized. Using this, you can run the workflow to take a video and save it to a pre-chosen album in Photos. When you’re filming it’s only in video mode, so it’s not possible to swipe away on accident – you’ll always be shooting right away, and the footage will be stored right where you want it.
  3. Save Idea
    If you’re trying to keep track of new plans for future work, use this to add them right into your Notes, Things to-dos, Trello boards, OmniFocus tasks, Clear list, Todoist projects, or Bear notes right away (all the apps!). It works when you’re sharing something, when you have an idea on your clipboard, or when you just want to type.
  4. Quick Email
    If you end up sending the same types of emails to people, whether it be potential sponsors or just people you collaborate with, you can use this workflow to set up a list of contacts, quickly fill out the body, and send it off.
  5. Speed Dial Contact
    If you’re in communication with a lot of people but just want a quick shortcut to texting the people most important in your life, add their contact details and run this workflow to choose whether to open right into their thread in iMessage, start a FaceTime video, call them on FaceTime audio, call them regularly, or call them via Skype.
  6. Write and Share
    Sometimes you just need to get your thoughts down right away, and then figure out what to do with them later. This workflow lets you run it, start typing, then choose whether it should be a tweet, a text message, something for Notes, or belongs elsewhere. Another great alternative for this workflow is the app Drafts as well.
  7. Play Playlist Immediately
    If you’re in the zone, the last thing you want to do is peruse your music library for something to listen to while you’re working. Set up your favorite playlists ahead of time, then hit this workflow to start it right away.
  8. Make a GIF
    It’s still way too hard to make GIFs on iOS, but this workflow lets you take 5 photos quickly and stitches them together into a GIF. Then you get a preview where you can share it, then saves it to your library.
  9. Get File and Share
    If you’ve got documents organized in the Files app, you can run this workflow to open up the file picker and quickly AirDrop it to someone nearby, or if it’s in Dropbox copy a link that you can send to someone else. And otherwise, you can open up the Share sheet and send it off to another app that way.
  10. Post photo to Instagram
    This shortcut lets you choose between a few options on which photo to use, then opens it in Instagram. You can take a photo, pick from your library, or upload the last photo. You can choose whether to crop or not before you get into Instagram so it’ll be just the right size. You can type your caption in the prompt, choose from a list of your most common hashtags (and enter any new ones), and when you’re done it’ll be copied to your clipboard ready to paste into the comment field.

These are just a few of the possibilities for using Shortcuts to save time – check out the beginnings of my archives on Shortcuts, the Shortcuts documentation, or visit for more. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @mattcassinelli.

Get the workflows:
1. Share YouTube Links
2. Save Video to Album
3. Save Idea
4. Quick Email
5. Speed Dial Contact
6. Write and Share
7. Play Playlist Immediately
8. Make a GIF
9. Get File and Share
10. Post photo to Instagram

Get Shortcuts on the App Store.

  1. I was part of the Workflow team before and when we were acquired by Apple I left after my contract position expired. I have a full disclosure for my website coming.