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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.

Pick random Office episode ?

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Automating how loud Siri replies on the HomePod

HomePod portrait

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

Categories
Offsite Podcasts

Smart Tech Today #2: Mesh WiFi and Voice-First Computing ?

Smart Tech Today #2: Mesh WiFi and Voice-First Computing ?

Mikah Sargent and I have recorded episode 2 of Smart Tech Today, this time over Skype and on the Twitch livestream. Here’s the description from the TWiT page:

  • Mikah reveals he’s now dual-wielding mobile operating systems. Along with his iPhone 11 Pro Max, he’s carrying a OnePlus 7 Pro to better understand and make use of the Google Assistant and Android in general.
  • The two discuss recent discounts on mesh WiFi systems and how mesh WiFi systems can lead to a better smart tech user experience.
  • Matthew explains how Siri and Spotify are working together to provide Spotify users with Siri voice control and the two hosts reveal why they subscribe to both Spotify and Apple Music.
  • Mikah waxes ecstatic over the ultra-wideband chip in the new iPhone 11 and the two dream up a future where UWB controls both the smart home and mobile connected tech.
  • Mikah details how he’s been using Alexa Routines to start his day and Matthew compares this functionality to Siri Shortcuts.
  • Matthew gives us a look at his Google Assistant- and Alexa-controlled Xbox.
    Mikah details how he’s trying to use the Google Assistant and Siri to be a little more voice-first with his devices.
  • Matthew complains about the lack of Google Assistant support for G Suite accounts and Mikah shares how much he enjoys the ETA feature in Apple Maps on iOS 13. The two hosts also try the same feature using Google Maps.

Plus, here’s a set of Siri Shortcuts I created last week for subscribing and listening to the show:

We’ll be live next Monday at our usual 4pm PST – thanks for listening along so far!

Links for the show:

Categories
Links Offsite Podcasts

Announcing Smart Tech Today, my new podcast

Today, I’m happy to announce a new podcast I’m hosting with Mikah Sargent on the TWiT network – it’s called Smart Tech Today and you should subscribe to episode 0 now!

A couple of weeks ago, Mikah reached out to me and asked if I’d like to host a podcast with him about smart technology on the “This Week in Tech” podcast network, commonly known as TWiT.

We’d be covering all aspects of the “Internet of Things”, automation as it stands in 2019 and beyond, and how to think about using & integrating smart tech into your daily life – naturally, I said yes.

Airing each Monday evening (with a livestream at 4pm if you want to tune in), we want the show to be informative, practical, and fun.

Mikah does incredible work, previously for iMore where I met him through my freelance work, but also for the Clockwise podcast on Relay FM and now also full-time for TWiT.

I am super glad to be cohosting with Mikah, because I think:

  • We’re both well-suited to finding the right news for you
  • We can contextualize it all in a way that’s practical but still critical, and skeptical but not cynical
  • We’ll provide a considered look at what it really means to integrate these products into modern life

I’m also looking forward to staying on top of smart tech outside the Apple ecosystem, because we’ll be talking about all types of brands and products on Smart Tech Today.

There will surely be plenty of Siri Shortcuts talk, but I’ll be experimenting and learning about all of it, and intend to cover everything with the same intentionality I do in all my work.

We’re airing our first episode next Monday, October 7th, but please subscribe to the trailer episode now.

Any new listeners and episode ratings are weighted heavily by Apple Podcasts, so a great launch helps propel the show forward – we appreciate the support!

Here are the links for the podcast:

Looking forward to next Monday! Hope you’ll be listening too 🙂

Categories
Guest appearances Links Podcasts

No Name Photo Show: #57 – Taking Shortcuts with Photography ?

My friend Brian Matiash was kind enough to have me on his photography podcast to talk Siri Shortcuts:

When the topic of mobile photography is discussed, it’s almost always with reference to the cameras and sensors built into our phones. However, there is another side of this topic that is as interesting and can be quite impactful for photographers.

Brian is a great guy and I love talking Shortcuts with him because he gets just as excited, if not more so, than me. Especially when it comes to on-the-go photography and the capabilities of iPad, it’s never been a better time to build up a mobile photo workflow.

Listen to the episode and add his show for some good photography talk. Plus, check out his own photography too.

 

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

Preventing food from expiring with two Siri Shortcuts

I have a bad habit of wasting food. I will buy groceries, eat most of it, but usually end up letting one or two things go bad just because I don’t think about it.

It’s probably because I don’t cook enough, but it’s still a problem I want to avoid with longer-term items who expiration dates I rarely think about when I buy them.

This is one of those things I genuinely try to work on, but every time I think about it I can’t remember when I bought or defrosted something.

So when earlier this week, the ground beef I had taken out of the freezer was no longer good, I got fed up with myself for doing it again and decided to change something.

So, I made two Siri Shortcuts for logging and checking expirations to make the process easier on myself, more reliable, and most of all: automated (because that part’s just fun for me too).

Categories
Podcasts Siri Shortcuts Video

How to jump between the audio and video of Supercomputer

For episode 19 of Supercomputer, instead of hitting the “call” button to record, we pressed “video chat” and proceed to produce our podcast. I edited out some moments, added chapter markers for the audio file, and uploaded the video to YouTube.

This last week, for episode 20, I also added visual chapters, actually used Alex’s correct audio file, and shared our second video recording to YouTube.

But podcasts are for audio, right?

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Video

Look ahead at your day with “Agenda” ?

Today I released my fifth YouTube video, focusing on building an agenda for the day and walking people through the process of building it.

This is a full-Siri shortcut, meaning it’ll work on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and CarPlay, with Siri speaking out the results to you:

Play