Links News

Apple touts how to “Get More Done With Shortcuts” on macOS Sonoma »

From the Mac App Store:

By letting you automate frequent or cumbersome tasks, Shortcuts has become a productivity favorite on Mac.

Send a stock response in Mail, open every note with a specific tag in Notes, or switch on your smart light bulbs. You can also automate across multiple apps to, say, batch-edit photos, move text from your writing app into a page-layout app, or open every app and document you need to start your workday. You can even choose how each window is rearranged. […]

And with desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma, you can add any shortcut—or folder of shortcuts-to your desktop for instant access. Just click a shortcut in a widget to run it!

Later, in a section titled “Access your shortcuts everywhere”:

For quick access to any shortcut in macOS Sonoma, add a Shortcuts widget to your desktop: Control-click anywhere on the desktop and choose Edit Widgets; then drag a Shortcuts widget to the desired location.

I’m seriously loving widgets on the desktop so far.

Read the story on the Mac App Store.

Links News

What’s new in Shortcuts for iOS and iPadOS 17.0, macOS 14.0, and watchOS 10.0 »

Apple has posted release notes for Shortcuts for the initial iOS 17 release, covering iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS changes with new actions, updated actions, new Personal Automations, and updated Personal Automations.

Plus, some new functions for widgets, Listen to Page, and special considerations for iPhone 15 Pro were not included, which I’ve detailed below.

New Actions

As I covered earlier this summer during the beta cycles, iOS 17 features a set of useful new actions for Shortcuts – including a new Transcribe Audio action that was introduced in the final developer beta.

Here’s the full list from Apple – the actions for Freeform and Switch Between Wallpaper are not mentioned, and the beta actions for Books, Select Person, Tips have since been removed:

  • Transcribe Audio generates text from an audio file
  • Delete Alarms removes specified alarms from Clock
  • Edit Sleep Alarm skips the next sleep alarm, or reactivates a skipped sleep alarm
  • Open Camera opens the Camera app into a specific capture mode, such as “Selfie”
  • Open Collection navigates to a specific section of the Photos app, such as “Places”
  • Show Passwords navigates to Passwords in Settings on iOS and System Settings on macOS
  • End Workout completes your current workout session on iOS and watchOS
  • Scan Document captures an image and saves it to the Files app on iOS
  • Get Current Timer, Pause Timer, Resume Timer, and Cancel Timer are now supported on iOS
  • Start Stopwatch, Lap Stopwatch, Stop the Stopwatch, and Reset Stopwatch are now supported on iOS
  • Set Hotspot Password and Get Hotspot Password are now supported on iOS
  • Toggle Cellular Plan, Set Default Line, Set Data Roaming, Find Cellular Plan, and Reset Cellular Data Statistics are now supported on iOS
  • Start Time Machine Backup starts or stops backing up your data with Time Machine on macOS
  • Move Window, Resize Window, Find Windows, Find Displays, and Find Apps are now supported on macOS

Updated Actions

In the Updated Actions section, Apple also detailed subtle changes to existing actions that are easy to go unnoticed – one in particular to note is that Set Timer now works with multiple timers, a new feature of iOS 17; I also missed the additions to the Health Samples actions, which I’ll have to explore further:

For those building custom shortcuts, some actions have been updated:

  • Set Timer can now start a new timer even if there’s already one running
  • Find Alarm now replaces Get All Alarms, retrieving all alarms or only those which match filter criteria
  • Set Volume can now adjust either the Media volume or the Ringtone volume
  • Health Samples now support more data types, like sleep, mood, and appetite changes
  • Event Attendees for Calendar now include a Type attribute, to distinguish people, groups, and rooms
  • Get Network Details now includes more options, such as channel number, hardware MAC address, and rate information
  • Take Photo is now more reliable when taking multiple photos in a row

Personal Automations

Apple has also updated the Automations tab of the Shortcuts app with significant changes, including a redesign to focus on Personal Automations over Home Automations, new Automation types, and updating all of the Automations to “Run Immediately”:

New Personal Automations

  • Transaction automations can run when a Wallet transaction is made on iOS and watchOS
  • Stage Manager automations can run when Stage Manager is turned on or off on iPadOS
  • Display automations can run when an external display is connected or disconnected on iPadOS

Updated Personal Automations

  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Arrive, and Leave automations now have the option to run immediately

Not included, but still new

A handful of new features were also not mentioned in the release notes – changes for widget sizes, the app redesign, changes to App Shortcuts, a new Listen to Page action, and the Toggle Silent Mode action for iPhone 15 Pro (or the Action button functionality at all, for that matter).

Shortcuts now has a small size to go with the single shortcut option that shows two shortcuts from a folder in a dual “pill” shape, which works great in a Stack to put up to 20 shortcuts in the place of 4 apps.

There’s also an extra-large size now available for the iPad and Mac, which holds up to 16 shortcuts from a single folder. On iPad, this adds deep functionality across Home Screen setups, and on the Mac brings forward Shortcuts onto your desktop with the new widget experience for macOS Sonoma.

Inside the Shortcuts app, the primary interface has also been redesigned along with the Spotlight experience, bringing forward App Shortcuts from your apps in highly-colorful sections for each app. Plus, App Shortcuts have expanded to Apple Watch and HomePod, creating a wide array of functionality and devices for triggering Shortcuts with Siri.

Further, the new “Hey Siri, read this” functionality for speaking webpages out loud functionality is extended into Shortcuts with a “Listen to page” action, which works with any article that’s currently open.

And last but not least, the iPhone 15 Pro has support for a dedicated Action button, with one of the main functions being the option to run a shortcut and including a special Shortcuts-specific experience.

Along with this, iPhone 15 Pro users will have a new Toggle Silent Mode action that can be used to replicate the previously-dedicated button’s functionality within any shortcut, giving users access to that setting from the Home Screen, widget, Siri, or everywhere else you can run a shortcut.

I have a detailed walkthrough of all the Shortcuts updates to be released alongside macOS Sonoma’s update on September 25th, so stay tuned for my full review and screenshots of all these features and Shortcuts in iOS 17 as a whole – I’ll share links to the stories in the next issue of my newsletter if you want to have those delivered to your email inbox.

View the article on the Apple Support website.



iOS 17: How to Choose Which App Siri Uses to Send a Message »

From Tim Hardwick at MacRumors:

If “Use with Ask Siri” is enabled for a particular app, you can manually choose it each time you ask the voice assistant to send a message. Here’s how.

  1. Activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri” or just “Siri,” or by pressing and holding the Side button on your iPhone until the Siri orb appears on the screen.
  2. Ask Siri to send a message to one of your contacts.
  3. In the message card that appears at the top of the screen, tap the Messages icon next to the person’s name.
  4. Tap another compatible messaging app in the dropdown to select it.
  5. Type your message in the input field, then tap Send

Nice – I’m surprised at how well-integrated this is into the Siri UI.

View the post.


Links News

Starfield game includes tribute to late Shortcuts developer Alex Hay

Today, September 6th, the much-anticipated Starfield for Xbox launches in full – and with it, the game includes a tribute to the late Alex Hay, a Starfield superfan and developer of Shortcuts apps.

Before his passing earlier this year, Alex had made waves on the Starfield subreddit by expressing his remorse that he wouldn’t be able to play the game due to his cancer diagnosis. And as the game neared launch the community continued to remember him in response to his passing, suggesting folks name their ships to honor Alex.

Over the weekend, during prerelease of the game, someone on Reddit discovered that the developers at Bethesda included a heartfelt note in the game from Alex with the following message:

To all my friends and fellow explorers,

I’m always with you, out there in the starfield.

Love always,

Alex Hay

It’s wonderful to see Alex’s legacy honored so well these last few weeks, and now he’s memorialized forever among the stars.

Update: For any players, apparently it’s “[f]ound on the Eye, on the right when you enter.”

View the post and read the article on IGN.

Links News

Siri to gain deep Shortcuts integration in iOS 18, Apple spending millions per day on conversational AI »

From 9to5Mac, covering a report from The Information:

According to the report, we should expect to see Siri gain deeper integration with Apple’s automation tool Shortcuts as part of iOS 18.

The Information says Apple’s Siri team “plans to incorporate language models to let users of the voice assistant automate complex tasks in ways they currently cannot,” like turning the last five photos taken into a GIF with a voice command.

“The new capability is related to Apple’s Shortcuts app, which lets users manually program a series of actions using different apps and is expected to be released alongside a new version of the iPhone’s operating system next year,” per The Information.

Interesting, might check this Shortcuts stuff out.

Read the article and view the full report.

Apps Links

Automatically switch to a different app every time you open Twitter »

From Jay Robinson on Threads:

This is a great idea.
How to Switch to Threads Whenever You Open Twitter
1. Open Shortcuts app on iPhone
2. Tap the Automation tab
3. Tap the plus button top-right
4. You want a Personal Automation, so start by searching “app” for “When app is opened”
5. Choose X/Twitter app and select “Run Immediately”
6. In the next step, choose “New Blank Automation”
7. Choose “Open App” as the next action
8. Tap the blue word “App” and choose Threads
9. Tap “Done”

Read the full article or see the post below:

Post by @jayrobinson
View on Threads

Links Newsletter

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue 100

From Issue 100 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

Welcome to Issue 100 of What’s New in Shortcuts!!

Since the last issue mid-August, things have slowed down as developers gear up for iOS 17 and the betas stabilize a bit more.

We have some good news around Alex Hay’s apps, a new release of Obscura, and I’m ramping up podcasting again with Clockwise and my second members-only show – I talk about a lot of updates coming soon in that episode.

Otherwise, I wanted to thank you for your support as a reader of my newsletter – here’s to the next 100 issues!

Until next time, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts:

Read the full issue on MailerLite.

Apps Links

How to run shortcuts using Audio Hijack’s automation features »

In his blog post on Six Colors about Moving Audio Hijack recordings to a folder in the cloud, Dan Moren shared a tip for using Audio Hijack’s automations feature to trigger a post-recording script – his autotomation fires off a command to run a shortcut, after which the shortcut handles the rest of the process with the file.

I’m just getting started with Audio Hijack and I haven’t had a chance to use this yet, so here’s the section for my own reference later:

First, I added a new automation that runs on Session Stop called Copy File to Dropbox. This is a one-line script—app.runShortcut(‘Recording Copy’)—that in turn calls a Shortcut I’ve created.

I’ll be moving my membership podcast files from my Mac over to my iPad after each episode so I can edit in Ferrite, so I may use this same end point as Dan for my purposes.

View the original post and get Audio Hijack.

Apps Links

Fuoco lets you easily edit Portrait Mode photos »

From Sandro Pennisi on Mastodon:

Fuoco is probably my least successful app, but i love it and use it all the time for portrait mode photos. Tapping to set the focus and you can adjust it etc and of course it’s mostly #SwiftUI too. #indiedev

Give Sandro’s app some love – only $4.

View the post and get Fuoco on the App Store.

Apps Links

AirScrobble adds Shortcuts support for Last.FM »

From Tomás Martins on Mastodon in early August:

I’ve just released a new update for AirScrobble, which brings the vast majority of services provided by’s API into the Shortcuts app for the first time on an iOS app!

Now you can leverage the data from your profile and website in your automations through over 35 easy-to-use and customizable actions, complete with instructions to help you get started. With more than 35 available actions, you can fetch info from songs, artists, charts, and profiles!

Great set of actions – I do hope Tomás considers grouping some of these actions under similar functions, however, as 35 is a bit hard to process.

View the post and get AirScrobble on the App Store.

Apps Links

Automadon app provides dedicated Shortcuts actions for Mastodon »

From Automadon on Mastodon, back at the end of July:

Automadon is live in the App Store!

Unlock the power of Mastodon with custom Shortcuts actions. Explore the in-app gallery of sample shortcuts to get started and let us know what shortcuts you come up with!

Automadon has tons of actions for things like Posts, Timelines, Lists, Accounts, and Attachments – the set looks full of promising functionality similar to what I’ve partially built off the Mastodon API. However, I much prefer third-party developers build out dedicated actions rather than having to do all this work myself – I’m looking forward to trying these out.

If anyone wants to tackle Airtable for me next…

View the post and get Automadon on the App Store.

Apps Links

OverPicture gives easy access to Picture-in-Picture on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS »

From Pedro José Periera Vieito on Mastodon last month:

Introducing OverPicture for iOS & iPadOS!

It supports all the features from the macOS version:

• Play any web video in Picture-In-Picture mode.

• Custom button in players like YouTube.

• Keyboard shortcut support!

Available on App Store:

Great little extension that lives right in your Safari toolbar on both desktop and mobile, and inside the YouTube player on web – you can also control it by pressing P while watching a video. Only $4.00 (at the time of writing).

View the post and get OverPicture on the App Store.


Automating Devices with Elgato Stream Deck via Apple Shortcuts »

From Daniel Raffel:

I bought an Elgato Stream Deck a few years ago to make it more pleasant to spend so much time on video calls. I was tired of fumbling with keyboard shortcuts and menus to turn my camera and microphone on and off. I also wanted a satisfying way to end video meetings with a physical button press!

After I got the Stream Deck, I learned that I could customize it to control physical devices in my office, such as my Apple HomeKit devices (eg lights, plugs, switches, etc.) I initially set up my Stream Deck to control my HomeKit devices using the Homebridge plugin, but I ran into some annoying issues that never got resolved. Later, I learned about the Shortcuts plugin from Sentinelite, which can trigger Apple Shortcuts from Stream Deck and switched over to it. While using Shortcuts to control my devices was significantly more cumbersome to initially set up, it added some handy features and it is way more reliable.

For instance, I have a complicated music studio, and I’ve always wanted a way to orchestrate turning on and off my studio devices in a certain order with some wait time in between to avoid loud speaker pops. Since all of my devices are connected to smart switches, I created an Apple Shortcut with some conditional logic to achieve this goal. I can now use my Stream Deck to turn on or off my music studio with a single button press, and I can be confident that everything will adjust in the right order. Here’s how the shortcut works…

You can also use AppleScript to trigger your Shortcuts, like I do.

Read the full article.


Focus Pomodoro Timer Adds New App Shortcuts »

From Focus on Mastodon:

New App Shortcuts 🤖

Focus now offers a comprehensive set of additional App Shortcuts for adding and managing tasks! Plus, App Shortcuts for accessing your activity stats. If you love automation, this update is for you!

View the post and get Focus on the App Store.



If you are in danger, use this iPhone shortcut »

From FuelForTheSole on Instagram Reels:

This iPhone hack could save your life! […] If you ever travel solo, setting up this Shortcuts sequence could save you!

✍️ Here are the full instructions:

1) If you have an iPhone, you will already have the Shortcuts App installed.

2) Open it and create a new Shortcut.

3) Give it a custom name and then choose your icon.

4) The first prompt is the “Send Message” prompt. This will allow you to add any text message you want. Then, choose the recipients you want to send it to (you can add as many people as you want).

5) Then add the “Take Photo” prompt. Set it to use your back camera and toggle off “Show Camera Preview”.

6) Then add another “Send Message” prompt so it will send that photo to everyone on your list.

7) Then add the “Take Video” prompt. Set it to use your front camera and set to start recording immediately.

8) Then add another “Send Message” prompt so it sends the video.

9) Add the “Upload to CloudApp” prompt so your video is saved to your cloud and no one can delete it.

10) Next add the “Get Current Location” prompt. Set the precision to “Best” so that it pinpoints your exact location.

11) Then add a “Send Message” prompt so it will send your location.

12) Add the “Get Maps URL from” prompt. This will link your current location to a map.

13) Add a Send Message” prompt so it will send your map URL.

✨Note: For every single prompt, you need to toggle OFF the “Show When Run” button. This allows the prompts to work automatically without you having to intervene.

14) Now click the down arrow icon and add this Shortcut to your home screen. Place this icon on its own screen on the first page so that it’s easy to find.

15) If you ever feel that you are in danger or that someone is following you, just press the Shortcut icon on your home screen. Your phone will automatically text everyone on your list, it will take a photo of what’s in front of you, a video of what’s behind you and it will send your exact location and link to a map of where you are.

Watch the video.