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What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 30

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 30sign up for the newsletter here.

Hello folks,

Next Tuesday, Apple will be hosting a “Spring Foward” event – and we’ll likely see iOS 14.5 come out alongside anything new.

With that, we’ll get three new actions in Shortcuts:

  1. Set Orientation Lock
  2. Set Voice and Data
  3. Take Screenshot

Below, I’ve got a few shortcuts you can use to take advantage of those, plus a few links from the community:

🆕 NEW FROM ME THIS WEEK

The new actions in iOS 14.5 are a bit odd to implement at first, but here’s some ideas for you:

  • Turn Orientation Lock Off
    Seemingly most useful inside Automations, Shortcuts now has an Orientation Lock action – letting you set per-app Orientation Lock controls using the Open App and Close App automations. Use this shortcut inside a Run Shortcut (or just search for the action) and set one automation for all the Open App options, then another for Close App – you can select multiple apps at once for the trigger.
  • Reader Mode
    I also created a standalone use case for Orientation Lock with Reader Mode, a shortcut designed for iPad for locking your device in portrait orientation and opening the News app – I’ve also added this as an option to my iPad Settings shortcut already available for members.
  • Data Controls
    New to the free portion of the Catalog, I’ve added a shortcut called Data Controls that takes advantage of the third action new in iOS 14.5: Set Voice and Data. This action lets you toggle between full 5G, 5G Auto (depending on service), and 4G modes, as well as change between SIMs if applicable – my shortcut makes it easy to switch between modes, plus includes a series of deep links into various Settings pages for options related to cell data, hotspots, and network settings.
  • Reminder Screenshot
    Another new action in iOS 14.5 is Take Screenshot, which I admittedly found hard to visualize how to use at first, but I eventually realized it’d be useful for saving screenshots and immediately creating a reminder. The idea here is to actually act on those screenshots rather than store them, so this doesn’t even save it to Photos at all – now part of the free collection as well.

Coming next week for members: a complete Screenshots workflow + a stream to walk you through setting it all up!

🔗 LINKS SINCE LAST TIME

This week we’ve got new actions in Toolbox Pro, a way to use Automations to read more, and how to analyze website data on iOS:

  • New media actions in Toolbox Pro
    I forgot to link to this when it came out, but Shortcuts power user app Toolbox Pro has added new actions for finding rich media results for Movies, TV, Books, & Games – download the app and unlock all the actions for $5.99.
  • App Automations for Mindfulness
    Joseph Lam has shared a great Automation tip on Twitter – he has an App automation set for multiple apps like Twitter and YouTube that, when opened, will prompt him to potential choose to read instead – if so it opens Books, and otherwise does nothing. I love these kinds of mindfulness shortcuts, as they can provide gentle nudges towards better behavior (especially when you’re the one choosing to set it up).
  • Website analytics in Shortcuts form
    Anders Borum has an awesome solution for combining his app Shellfish along with Scriptable and Charty to create a shortcut that pulls logs from your website, processes the data, and charts it so you can track sources of where people have visited – check out the shortcut to see how the JavaScript works as well as the connections between apps.

📲 SHORTCUTS SPOTLIGHT

Getting the Contents of Communication automations

Did you know that with Shortcuts’ newest Automations–Email and Messages–you can use the Shortcut Input variable to retrieve the contents of the email and message?
While the Automations do not run in the background without asking, you can set up Automations that will ask when the message is received and, when run from the notification, can extract the body of the communication.

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 30

I’ve set this up as an example with a daily email I get called Flow State, which provides links to a new artist or newly-curated music every day – my automation shows the body of the email quickly in a prompt, then presents the links for me to both save to Reading List as well as open the first in the bunch.

That way, when the email comes in, I can quickly read about the new music, then save only the links to Apple Music out of the bunch, as well as open the first option to listen to right away.

Read about “Communication triggers” in the Shortcuts User Guide.

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Newsletter Offsite

“What’s New in Shortcuts?” Issue 29

Originally published in Issue 29 of the newsletter.

Hello folks,

I wanted to fully wrap up the iCloud links issue from a few weeks ago, as I received another statement after requesting clarification on the process, saying:

“Apple has confirmed the shortcuts have been restored.”

I haven’t had any issues and have been connecting with folks in the Shortcuts community since then, so we all seem glad to be moving on and looking forward to what’s coming next.

We’ve got iOS 14.5 coming with some new actions soon, and after that we’re in the endgame ahead of WWDC this June – until then, here’s what’s new this week:

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Siri Shortcuts

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14

View the original issue.

This is the week! Once iOS 14.3 drops, millions of people will update their smartphones and suddenly be able to create their “app ideas” by adding them as shortcuts to their Home Screen.

The main change? The limitation where “custom icons always open into Shortcuts first” is now gone!

Shortcuts added to the Home Screen actually behave like you’d expect, opening into apps immediately – plus they run all the scripting actions perfectly, just like the Shortcuts widget.

I’ve tried to capture my excitement in a video – look for it soon on YouTube. But until then, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:

Categories
Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14

Originally posted as What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 14sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to issue 14 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

This is the week! Once iOS 14.3 drops, millions of people will update their smartphones and suddenly be able to create their “app ideas” by adding them as shortcuts to their Home Screen.

The main change? The limitation where “custom icons always open into Shortcuts first” is now gone!

Shortcuts added to the Home Screen actually behave like you’d expect, opening into apps immediately – plus they run all the scripting actions perfectly, just like the Shortcuts widget.

Other than that, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:

🎧  SHORTCUTS TO THE MAX

Apple Fitness+ comes out tomorrow, Apple’s releasing AirPods Max, and M1 Macs are still shipping out to new users every day – here’s how to take advantage of Apple’s latest updates:

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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 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 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: