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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 27

This originally appeared in Issue 27 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hello all – we’re currently experiencing a fairly major outage for iCloud links related to Shortcuts, and at the moment almost every shortcut that has been shared in the past cannot be installed.

There are articles from places like iMore, MacStories, 9to5Mac, and MacRumors on it – I posted on r/shortcuts as well to reiterate the issue to the community there.

I’ve also had to update my entire Shortcuts Catalog, and if you’ve seen any shortcuts from the past that aren’t working, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to recreate or restore them.

This is still developing and, while it does seem like it’s possible to resolve, I shared a thread where I highlighted how major issues like this are eroding the larger trust in Shortcuts, especially outside the current community – this is a crisis moment for Shortcuts.

I hope Apple is able to dedicate resources to fully overcoming the technical debt accrued inside the Shortcuts ecosystem, as well as restoring trust in the community – the people who are in this community and our ideas for how to use shortcuts are stronger than ever, but we’re constantly trying to stand on uneven ground.

So with that said, I want to celebrate this community and what they’re doing:

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Apps Links Offsite Video

Walking through the Home app (with Joey Banks)

Tomorrow, Thursday March 25, I’ll be streaming with my designer friend Joey Banks and walking him through some of the oddities of the Home app, working on scenes, grouping devices, and HomeKit automations:

Play

Join us on YouTube – and add my livestream calendar to tune into future streams.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Automating how loud Siri replies on the HomePod

HomePod portrait

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