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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 15

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 15sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to issue 15 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Another fun week for Shortcuts users is complete – did any of you set up new shortcuts for the Home Screen once iOS 14.3 came out?

I want to see screenshots of your Home Screens–shortcuts or not–so reply to this email with yours and share some inspiration!

☺️ COME VIBE WITH ME

I have too much fun being dorky on the internet, but I couldn’t resist with the review unit of the AirPods Max that I picked up to test out – plus, I discovered a way to get at ProRAW photos:

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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 10

Originally posted as ”What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 10”sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 10 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

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:

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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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Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 5

#Originally posted as ”What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 5”sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 5 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

It’s time for another Apple event… did you see the collection of Apple Event shortcuts from Issue 1? Check it out in the online archive of past issues for this newsletter.

Otherwise, here’s what’s new this week and what’s coming ahead:

📱 THE IPHONE IS COMING

Tuesday is Apple’s iPhone event and the rumor mill is in full cycle – here’s a handful of shortcuts to get you in the spirit:

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Offsite

My routine checklist shortcut on Rene Ritchie’s channel

Rene Ritchie was kind enough to invite me onto his new channel along with some internet friends to talk about ways to stay productive with iPhone while stuck at home – here’s the video:

Play

I talked about my Routine checklist shortcut, which I’m using to pull from a series of checklists I just moved into a new app Data Jar.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

How to create a deep link to file in iCloud Drive so you can directly access it later

If you’re looking to access one of your files by clicking on a URL instead of navigating through your Files app, you can copy a link to that file using the Share sheet on iOS.

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Siri Shortcuts Tips & Tricks

How to delete unplanned screenshots with Shortcuts

If you’re an iPhone X or Apple Watch user, you may have a bunch of screenshots you’ve unintentionally taken recently filling up your camera roll…

Maybe you’re accidentally gripping the volume up button as you also press power to turn off your iPhone, or you’re pressing the Digital Crown and side button at the same time to pause an Apple Watch workout1 – either way, you probably don’t want most of the screenshots that are filling up your library.

With the Shortcuts app if you’re not on the beta), you can set up a three-action script to get your latest screenshots, pick which ones to delete, and delete them all in one go.

Categories
Apps Tips & Tricks

How to make a full-page screenshot of an app or website with StitchPics

With the sharing feature that was in Workflow not being available in Shortcuts1, many people are resorting to sharing screenshots to show people how their shortcuts work.

Oddly, this has had a great benefit for the fledgling community – shortcuts are very visual, and a bunch of hyperlinks links on Twitter might not have had the same effect as a good photoset2:

But longer shortcuts with more than a handful of actions can’t fit onto one screen, so users have to resort to more creative options.

StitchPics

My recommendation is StitchPics, a simple but very functional app to combine photos that’s free with a $1.99 in-app purchase to add more than 8 images3.

Made by a Chinese developer, the app isn’t fully translated, the logo is somewhat inexplicably an L, and on iPad it only works in portrait orientation.

That being said, I’m definitely glad I bought it. That’s because, beyond basic auto-stitching, StitchPics has a fantastic pinch-based method of combing images that’s super reliable for getting things exactly right.

Here’s a quick example:

[videopress 6TEyzPrb]

Once it takes a guess at how to put your images together, you can slide either image up or down behind the crossover point and collapse parts you want to be hidden.

Especially with longer shortcuts where you may need to take many screenshots, it makes aligning the different actions much easier.

StitchPics is also great for getting images of complete webpages on mobile – just take screenshots as you scroll and stitch them together in the app.

Tailor

A popular alternative is Tailor, but historically I’ve found it is unreliable at parsing multiple screenshots from Workflow (and the same is true for Shortcuts). The actions just look too similar across many images and it doesn’t know how to handle it.

Tailor is also free (but with a watermark removable by in-app purchase) and should work fine for simpler shortcuts. However, it is only available for iPhone.

That’s why I’ve been using StitchPics – it ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done, and a bit better, on both my devices.

Get StitchPics on the App Store.

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  1. I don’t know if it’s temporarily removed or gone for good, but boy am I hoping for the former not the latter. 
  2. Awesome work Ben! And also wow, almost 7,000 people liked a good automation joke (even if it’s mostly for the Harry Potter). 
  3. Plus you can add your own watermarks, change it to a custom size, cut off the top or bottom, leave blank spaces, or change the color of the fonts in the app. 
Categories
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.