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iMore Offsite

Apple’s developer APIs for Shortcuts are way better this year

I interviewed three app developers about Apple’s latest improvements to the Shortcuts APIs for iMore:

Apple’s newest framework for implementing Shortcuts support in iOS, iPadOS, and Mac apps has been called “modern,” “expansive,” and “much easier,” according to app developers who’ve been testing the new framework since its release at WWDC.

I asked three developers — Alex Hay of Toolbox Pro, Seth Sandler of AffinityBlue (responsible for apps like Tunable), and Josh Holtz of ConnectKit — about the new App Intents framework, what new feature they’re looking to utilize going forward, and how things compare to what was previously available.

Here are their responses:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Shortcuts

Here are 51 new actions for Shortcuts in the iOS 16 betas (so far)

In the first seed of the iOS 16 developer beta, the Shortcuts app has received 51 new actions that support interacting with Apple’s first-party apps and help take advantage of system features.

The actions provided work with Notes, Voice Memos, Mail, Safari, Shortcuts, Clock, Parked Cars, Image Backgrounds, Personal Hotspot, Files, PDFs, and Reminders, plus there’s an initial batch of bug fixes for actions and new Mac support for Safari Reader and Evernote actions.

This guide was compiled using a list provided by the Shortcuts team during Q&A sessions at WWDC, plus another post on Reddit and one of its comments, plus some of my own research using the developer betas.

I’ve sorted larger groups into sections, plus marked any actions with * do not currently work in the first developer beta.

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Membership

My notes on the Shortcuts developer sessions at WWDC ’22 🔐

Today, Apple released two WWDC sessions around Shortcuts — Dive into App Intents and Implement App Shortcuts with App Intents.

I’ll be covering the material and what it means soon, but for now I’ve taken extensive notes & screenshots on the available sessions and have made them available for members.

(These notes are members-only – you’ll need a membership to access it.)

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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
Links

How Federico Viticci Rediscovered The Mac (And Shortcuts’ Essential Role)

Federico’s annual pre-WWDC piece is out and you should read all 8,000 or so words of it, particularly this section about Shortcuts:

While the Shortcuts app shouldn’t have been released in those precarious conditions last year (it should have been labeled a beta), my usage of the app has increased alongside Apple’s work on improving its performance and stability;

[…]

[T]oday, I consider Shortcuts for Mac an essential tool in my workflow and, in some ways, the most important change Apple could have brought to allow people like me to try macOS again.

I agree with the overall conclusion of the piece, but this summary of Shortcuts on iPad vs. the Mac struck a chord with me as well:

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iMore Offsite

Why summer is the best time to get into Shortcuts

Yours truly for iMore:

Apple’s Shortcuts can be an overwhelming app, with so many actions, apps, and features to take advantage of that it can take time to set up and get using everything in a way that works for you.

With the upcoming beta releases that ship after WWDC and longer days (in the Northern hemisphere) throughout the summer, the next few months are the best time to get into Apple’s Shortcuts app.

Now that the apps are more stable, there are more actions from the App Store, and no time like the present, here’s why the Shortcuts app is worth digging into:

Read the full story on iMore.

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iMore Offsite

Apple’s Shortcuts needs more first-party app support

Yours truly for iMore:

From Apple’s side, bringing Shortcuts support to one of their actions forces cross-platform parity, highlights the features of the app and makes them more accessible, and pushes them to be even better for the next set of expected actions.

For developers, Apple adopting Shortcuts gives them a template for how to build their own actions, gives greater emphasis on the ecosystem to encourage adoption, and also gives them hooks into the everyday default apps that people are using to tie together with their own third-party apps.

And for users, they are now able to take greater advantage of what’s possible, rediscover and utilize the features that are there, and can start to fully rely on Shortcuts as a true part of the iOS and macOS platforms.

Read the full story on iMore.

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iMore Offsite

15 ways to use Shortcuts with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers

Yours truly for iMore:

In iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, Apple updated their iWork suite of Pages, Keynote, and the Numbers app to include improved actions for the Shortcuts app across all three applications, bringing the feature to macOS for the first time, and improving on the previous iOS-only set of actions for the suite.

Each app has Open and Create actions to let users open files and generate templates, plus Apple included specialized actions to interact with their Keynote presentations and insert values directly into tables in Numbers.

Read the full story on iMore.

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Siri Shortcuts News

Announcing the expanded Shortcuts Library with 600 shortcuts and 150 bundle shortcuts

I am incredibly excited to announce the relaunch of my Shortcuts Library in its expanded form, including over 600 custom shortcuts!

What’s new

The Shortcuts Library is updated from last year’s release, in which I consolidated my original larger library into 50+ shortcuts that each covered large areas of what’s possible with Shortcuts.

With the new release, I’m distributing 600 single shortcuts in the main library across 100 folder groups, plus I’ve developed a method to compile each folder into 150 bundle shortcuts made out of all the single shortcuts in that folder.

Categories
Apps News

Apple adds Shortcuts for Mac support to Pages, Numbers, Keynote

Today, Apple released updates to their iWork suite of apps that adds actions in Shortcuts for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on macOS, bringing powerful first-party actions that Mac users can take advantage to automate their work:

New First-Party Actions

Across all three iWork apps, there are now actions for “Open” and “Create” – plus Numbers has added “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table” and Keynote has added “Open in Rehearsal Mode” and “Open in Show Mode.”

The Create actions all also include the templates/themes available in the iWork apps, which makes it quick to generate 40+ samples from Pages, Numbers, and Keynote each for a total of over 120+ templates.

Here’s the full list of actions: