Categories
Links

8 Tips for Optimizing Shortcuts for macOS from Club MacStories

As part of Club MacStories, Federico Viticci published an Automation Academy guide on Tips for Optimizing Your Shortcuts for macOS Monterey.

In the post, Federico explains some tips he’s developed over the last six months working on the Mac that are super useful for Shortcuts users, especially if you’re coming from the iPad — things like changes with variables, how to use actions native to Mac from the Automator experience, and innovative ways to utilize AppleScript (that I’m definitely going to adopt myself and integrate into my own shortcuts).

Here’s the list of techniques:

  1. Check Your Current Platform
  2. Right-Click to Choose Variables
  3. Get the Title of a Webpage
  4. Get the Text Selection of a Webpage
  5. Check If a Specific App Is Running
  6. Pass Multiple Variables to AppleScript
  7. Check the Frontmost App
  8. Modifying a File with Quick Actions and Overwriting the Original Version
Categories
Guest appearances Links

Guest Spot — Clockwise #435: Never Clean Out Your Inbox

For episode 435 of the Clockwise podcast, I had the pleasure of joining Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent as a guest along with Jean MacDonald to talk about:

How Apple should address AirTag misuse, the techniques we use for cleaning out our inbox, whether Twitter’s “Close Friends” feature interests us, and our applications for a smart foot pedal.

Check out Clockwise on Relay.FM, subscribe in Apple Podcasts, and listen to the episode on the web below:

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links

New Shortcuts Directory curates links for getting started with Siri Shortcuts

Shortcuts creator and designer Brad Siefert has created a dedicated website for people looking to discover various links and creators related to Siri Shortcuts – check out the new Shortcuts Directory.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links

Entering your home with just a tap (using NFC & iOS)

Matt Haughey, writing for his site A Whole Lotta Nothing:

As you might have guessed from a previous post, I’m not a fan of carrying keys and or even having to use them. When I moved to a new place, I knew I’d use the front door as my main point of entry (instead of a garage attached to a house), so I wanted to get it as automated as possible, where the front door unlocks as I approach it, and locks when I leave.

Matt started with an August Smart Lock and ended up getting NFC tags so that everyone in his family could tap in and out of the house. Be sure to check out the full article for all his photos of the setup too.

This bit is excellent – I’m definitely thinking about NFC “skins” instead of having white dots all over the place:

To make them blend in a bit more, I went to my local Lowe’s and bought a $5 roll of adhesive-backed shelf paper in a maple pattern that mostly matched my wood posts. I used a NFC tag as a template, traced it onto the paper, and cut out two holes, then pulled off the backing and stuck them over the tags. From a distance, you can barely tell they’re there since I put the NFC stickers over wood knots and they look like wood repair patches now.

I’ve joked before that Matt is my smart home spirit animal – he continues to fill that role well ?.

Read the full article on A Whole Lotta Nothing.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Podcasts Offsite

Smart Tech Today 11: Samuel L. Jackson on Your Amazon Echo

On episode 11 of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I covered a K-Pop rapper’s AirPods problem, Samuel L. Jackson on your Echo, and Sling TV on your Google Nest Hub:

Categories
Apps Links

Transit’s Apple Watch app returns after two-year hiatus

Jon Fingas, writing for Endgaget about Transit for iOS releasing a new version of their Apple Watch app:

The popular public transportation tool is now a native app, of course, but it also gives you considerably more detail than just arrival times, including future arrivals and a map indicating where to go. 

I’m glad to see more apps slowly returning to the Apple Watch (or adopting it for the first time). Will be trying this out over the weekend ?.

Read the full article.

Categories
Links

watchOS 6: the BirchTree review | Matt Birchler

Matt Birchler on the Apple Watch’s latest operating system update:

watchOS continues to grow up, and each year it gets objectively better than the year previous. The team behind this product have done a fantastic job of maintaining its simplicity all while adding on genuinely useful features that don’t always feel like much at the time, but have added up to an improved platform in almost every way.

Matt does these reviews every year, and this one summarizes the changes nicely. Also, I’m totally using the list of available workouts as a reference for future Shortcuts posts.

Read the full review on BirchTree.

Categories
Apps Links Tips & Tricks

Audible update lets you use credits to buy books in iOS app

In the latest app update on iOS, Audible now lets users actually buy audiobooks inside the app using existing credits.

According to a tweet from Chris Fralic of First Round (originally sourced by Joshua Topolosky of The Outline), the “Add to Library” button in Audible will show the message “You can now use credits without leaving the app!”:

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links

13 Features of iOS 13: Shortcuts (Six Colors)

Jason Snell, giving an overview of Shortcuts in iOS 13 for Six Colors:

Shortcuts just got a lot more useful if you use Siri, too. You can now create interactive Shortcuts that can ask questions and accept text input, especially useful if you’re not able to look at a screen because you’re using AirPods or CarPlay. And the redesigned Share Sheet in iOS 13 means that you can prominently place specific individual Shortcuts in the Share sheet, making it easy to access them with a single tap.

Jason and Dan are covering iOS 13 feature-by-feature – this piece is a nice summary of what you can expect from Siri Shortcuts in iOS 13.

Check out the full article on Six Colors (they’re celebrating their 5-year anniversary today!).

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links Video Offsite

Shortcuts in 3 minutes: How to make GIFs

Last fall, I made a simple video for YouTube but never posted it here on my website – it’s a quick tutorial on making GIFs using Shortcuts, where I start from scratch and finish with a usable shortcut: