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What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 8

Originally posted as ”What’s New in Shortcuts? Issue 8”sign up for the newsletter here.

Welcome to Issue 8 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

Hello folks – good news!

With iOS 14.2 nearing release, Shortcuts Sync seems to be back in working order and my library is fully intact again – let me know if you’re still having any issues on the betas.

Otherwise, I’ve spent over a week now using an external monitor with my iPad Pro–specifically with Shortcuts a lot–and I’m loving it, even despite the 4:3 aspect ratio and constant screen mirroring.

The ergonomics are way better, I’ve got my shortcuts on a screen larger than 12.9″, and my iPad Pro has never felt more like a desktop computer.

I’m completing a full office makeover right now, so no photos yet, but until then here’s what’s new with Shortcuts this week:

🍎 APPLE ONE: ALL THE SERVICES!

With the release of Apple One, the new bundle of TV+, News+, Music, Arcade, iCloud, and the upcoming Fitness+, anyone can sign up for various tiers that fit their needs – here’s a handful of shortcuts you can use with it:

  • “Hey Siri, open my Subscriptions.”
    The sign-up spot for Apple One is available in the Subscriptions page, which is accessible by this shortcut that uses a deep link into the App Store page – use it every once in a while to check on subscriptions you’re paying for as well.
  • “Hey Siri, time to read magazines.”
    If you’re like me, the Premier tier of Apple One made sense and now you’re exploring more of Apple News+ and the magazine stories available – once you’re paying, the stories can then be saved for later, making this Saved Stories shortcut handy for reading up on good pieces you came across earlier.
  • “Hey Siri, check my iCloud storage
    Apple One also provides many people with higher iCloud storage tiers than they’ve had before – use this shortcut to open into the Storage page in Settings and see how much you’re using.
    I’ll be sure to add more to the Apple One folder soon…

🤖 DO YOU KNOW ALL THE SHORTCUTS ACTIONS?

One of the biggest reasons I struggled to get further with Shortcuts back when it was Workflow was because I didn’t know all the actions available – looking through the full list made a big difference because I knew what was available in my toolbox to work with.

These groupings from my Action Directory are a good place to dig in if you’re in the same spot as I used to be:

  • Apps
    While the main categories of actions are useful utilities, many people think about their device in terms of apps – make sure to browse the full Apps category and the actions available for Apple’s default apps that aren’t listed inside the other groups.
  • Dates
    One functional action group that doesn’t have an associated App at all is Dates – you’ll just have to search for them, or check out the collection on my website.
  • Scripting
    One of the most powerful additions to your toolkit is learning about the Scripting actions – specifically Control Flow, Items, Lists, and Notifications. More on these soon, but get them in your brain now so they sink in better later.

❤️ GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

This week is pretty intense, so I wanted to share some of my “Focus” shortcuts that help me with my mental health:

  • “Hey Siri, help me relax.”
    I’ve shared about Endel a lot on Twitter, but this app’s wonderful soundscapes are a good way to tune into yourself, block out external noise, and be able to chill out on command – maybe try it on Tuesday?
  • “Hey Siri, time to focus.”
    I made a YouTube video about the Focus app last January and it’s been part of my workflow ever since – I don’t use it constantly, but anytime I get stuck, I find committing to at least 20 minutes of something with a Focus session gets me started while also ensuring I actually take breaks.
  • “Hey Siri, change my Notification settings.”
    In addition to Issue 4‘s “Please do not disturb me” shortcut, my Focus collection is rounded out by this shortcut to change Notification settings – this week will be full of news and things to pay attention to, so turning off anything unnecessary can help ease anxiety and avoid scattering one’s attention even further.

🔄 CATALOG UPDATES

November is already upon us and I’ve got a lot in store both for members and for the public for my next free Catalog release – stay tuned. Until then, here’s some updates on the Catalog and Membership:

  • 350 Shortcuts for you
    The Shortcuts Catalog has now grown to over 350 free shortcuts over the last 8 issues of this newsletter – make sure to check out the latest collections on the Shortcuts Catalog page.
  • Extra ways to browse
    I’ve optimized designs for the member pages that provide 30 different ways to browse those same shortcuts – get bonus descriptions and information for every shortcut in the Catalog by signing up to be a Member.
  • Check My Shortcuts Stats
    This week, members get a sneak peek at a shortcut I’ve been working on – it analyzes your Shortcuts collection and spits out statistics on how your shortcuts are built. Members can find it along with a little explainer in the Members Only section.

I truly hope this week goes well – see you on the other side.

Browse the Action Directory