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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 12

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 12sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 12 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

In the wake of last week’s awesome “Add to Home Screen” update, I’ve been sharing lots on podcasts – make sure to catch both the latest Smart Tech Today and my appearance on Clockwise for my more-detailed take on the news.

Plus, members get to see how I went all out on my Home Screens – but first, here’s what’s new:

🎄 THE HOLIDAYS ARE UPON US

We’re in the endgame of 2020 now and this seemingly never-ending year is actually coming to a close – here’s how I’m using Shortcuts this December:

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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 11

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 11sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 11 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

These last two weeks have so much potential that it’s hard to grasp…

Shortcuts are now fully interactive on the Home Screen, the community-favorite action Set Wallpaper is back, and there are so many ways to tweak your devices that it will surely take some time.

So settle in over the long weekend, take note of areas you’d like to improve, and add some Shortcuts onto your Home Screens – it’s time to customize!

📲 TRUE SHORTCUTS ON THE HOME SCREEN

Absolutely huge news this week in iOS 14.3 beta 2 – Shortcuts that have been added to the Home Screen no longer have to open the app!

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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 7

Originally posted as ”What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 7”sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 7 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

This week we saw iPhones shipping, I held a few Shortcuts Live streams, and my Home Screen system is almost fully operational.

This week I’m settling into some new office gear I got after talking to Matt Galligan about ergonomics–I’m excited (and comfy)–so expect some impressions of using an iPad with a monitor next weekend.

Until then, here’s what’s new with Shortcuts from this week:

📲 QUICK SHORTCUTS FOR iOS 14.1

Apple pushed out iOS 14.1 ahead of the new iPhones shipping – and they couldn’t help but add a few new things:

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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 6

Originally posted as  “What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 6“sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 6 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

I’ve kicked off streams for Shortcuts Live again, starting with an unannounced one this past Sunday afternoon – which ended up including my cat Oliver as a guest.

Make sure to follow me on Twitch if you’re interested in tuning in – I’ll be mostly streaming there instead of YouTube to keep the feeds separate (but look for new videos soon).

Otherwise, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:

📲 GET YOUR SHORTCUTS FILL

With the HomePod Mini promising some fun shortcuts opportunities and iOS 14 being a bit more settled now, there’s always more to learn – here’s how you can keep up with myself and other Shortcuts creators:

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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.

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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

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Links Offsite Podcasts

Android Just Smells Like Home (feat. Julia Skott)

New episode of Supercomputer out:

Matthew hosts special guest Julia Skott – quite literally in his home. Julia’s all about Android, but uses an iPad and Mac, so the two have a lot to talk about. Plus Julia is just amazing.

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Siri Shortcuts

Shortcuts & Siri: I’m excited to see more

The best announcement at WWDC this June was Shortcuts, which will let you seamlessly interact with your apps with Siri, your iOS devices, and Apple accessories.

These quick actions will make using Apple devices much faster for everyone, plus the upcoming Shortcuts app will mark iOS opening up to true automation and sets the platform down a path full of potential.

I originally joined Workflow, the app and team that was acquired by Apple and is now becoming Shortcuts, because I believed in the power of getting things done on mobile devices and what it means to have the capability to do so in your own hands. I saw firsthand the benefits of having your own creations to use with you everywhere,and the accessibility for everyone to build those programs with the touch-based interaction.

I left and started working independently because I wanted to share my own experiences directly with people. I want to take time to help everyone understand how to take advantage of these types of tools in their own lives, work directly with app developers and companies to build integrate these properly, and share my own vision of what the world could look like with these technologies properly utilized.

Now that the public beta is available, people are starting to see what the basic custom voice and suggested shortcuts can do – I’ll be sharing my thoughts even more here and a few other places.

Categories
Apps Gear Siri Shortcuts

Writing about Shortcuts/Workflow (and HomePod) on the Web

I’ve had the privilege to write for The Sweet Setup the last few months and now iMore, so I wanted to share some of the links here.

Primarily I’ve been writing about Shortcuts/Workflow, trying to get some of the ideas in my head out and into the world so other people can take better of the app – especially now that it’s free. But I’m also dabbling in product reviews & photography, a new challenge that’s proving lots of fun and hard work.