Categories
News

Roundup of App Intents developer sessions from WWDC’24

If you’re a developer looking to update your App Intents implementation for iOS 18, use this page as a resource for links to all the relevant videos, sessions, documentation, and forums you might need to access from Apple.

Videos

Sessions

Apple has released 4 new sessions that focus specific on the App Intents experience:

App Intents are also relevant in these sessions:

Documentation

Once you’ve watched the sessions, here is the main App Intents documentation and the new domains page relevant for Apple Intelligence:

Within the App Intents documentation, these new pages are important to reference as well:

Forums

Apple has also put significant work into its developer forums in recent years and revamped the entire experience – here’s the tag for App Intents (among many others):


If you’re a developer or company looking for direct help with your App Intents implementation, send me an email – I’m now available for App Intents and Shortcuts consulting.

Categories
Announcements News

This Tuesday: My Shortcuts User Group Meetup at WWDC »

From yours truly:

Hello developers, creators, and Apple enthusiasts in the Bay Area – let’s gather together for an informal Shortcuts User Group meetup to talk post-WWDC in downtown San Jose on Tuesday, June 11 from 3-5 pm.

Let’s talk Shortcuts, WWDC, and all things Apple – plus, I’ll have gear from my Elgato partnership to give away to attendees – including the Prompter and Stream Deck Neo.

Gear is here, and I’m getting packed – this is going to be fun!

Tickets for the back patio are almost gone – get yours today!

View the original.

Categories
Events News

Event: Join Me at the Shortcuts User Group Meetup for WWDC’24 in San Jose

Hello developers, creators, and Apple enthusiasts in the Bay Area – let’s gather together for an informal Shortcuts User Group meetup to talk post-WWDC in downtown San Jose on Tuesday, June 11 from 3-5 pm.

Let’s talk Shortcuts, WWDC, and all things Apple – plus, I’ll have gear from my Elgato partnership to give away to attendees – including the Prompter and Stream Deck Neo.

I’ve been looking at SoFA Market in downtown San Jose as the best location – they have a sizable back patio, plenty of seating in the marketplace, and multiple restaurants to choose from. There’s also a huge parking lot located directly across the street at 300 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113 as well, so parking and food are easy.

Plus, it’s located directly next door to The California Theater, where John Gruber is hosting The Talk Show live starting at 6pm and will (likely/hopefully) be interviewing Apple executives.

I’ll be giving away the Stream Deck Neos and Prompters in-person at the event, plus can answer any questions about their other gear (as I have almost all of it for testing purposes now). I’m thankful to Elgato for being open to supporting this event and the greater Apple community – it’ll be tons of fun to give these all away.

So, if you can attend, join us to talk about Shortcuts and anything WWDC, win some Elgato gear, and get snacks or an early dinner before going to your next event. 🤓

Get virtual tickets for the meetup here – please register if you plan to attend so I can anticipate how many people will come.


P.S. If you’re not able to come you in-person, you can register interest for future events, regardless of location (anywhere in the world) – I am looking into international speaking events around App Intents for the future.

P.P.S. I’ve reached out to SoFA Market to rent their back patio officially, but unfortunately haven’t heard back yet to confirm. If I’m unable to rent it out, we can essentially go anyway without the guarantee of a private space. Otherwise, I have included Academic Coffee’s location on the venue page as an alternate backup spot – they’re only open until 4pm, however, and I’d push the time earlier an hour and show up at 2pm.

Categories
Links News

Apple iOS 18 Siri AI Update Will Let Users Control Features in Apps With Voice »

From Mark Gurman at Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is planning to overhaul its Siri virtual assistant with more advanced artificial intelligence, a move that will let users control individual app functions with their voice, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The new system will allow Siri to take command of all the features within apps for the first time, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the initiative isn’t public. That change required a revamp of Siri’s underlying software using large language models — a core technology behind generative AI — and will be one of the highlights of Apple’s renewed push into AI, they said.

Additional context from Joe Rossignol from MacRumors on Threads:

An aspect of Mark’s report that stood out to me: iOS 18’s smarter Siri features seemingly aren’t launching until an iOS 18.x update in 2025. I’m sure Apple will preview this at WWDC, and then the features will probably have a “coming in early 2025” label on Apple’s website.

View the original (via 9to5Mac).

Categories
News

Apple’s WWDC’24 starts June 10

From Apple Newsroom:

Today, Apple unveiled the lineup for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, including Keynote and Platforms State of the Union, and shared more information about what developers will learn and experience all week. The free online conference brings the global Apple developer community together to provide them with insights into the latest technologies, tools, and frameworks coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, visionOS, and watchOS. Throughout the week, developers will be able to hear from Apple engineers, designers, and other experts through more than 100 technical sessions, in-depth consultations, and live forums for guidance on building even more innovative and platform-differentiating apps and games across all Apple products.

View the original.

 

Categories
News Shortcuts

Vocal Shortcuts Will Let You Create Voice Triggers For Any Command (Without Saying Siri)

In their annual announcements for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), Apple announced a teaser for iOS 18 for Vocal Shortcuts, a new feature that lets you create custom voice commands like Accessibility features and custom shortcuts, bypassing the need for a “Siri” trigger phrase and using the vocal shortcut itself as the trigger.

Currently, Shortcuts does already allow users to run their shortcuts by speaking the custom name of the shortcut to Siri – however, it requires an activation phrase (or pressing the physical button).

Now, with Vocal Shortcuts as a feature, they can bypass the trigger entirely and use their Vocal Shortcut name as the complete trigger + action command. For example, rather than saying “Siri, turn the lights to 100%,” users could create a shortcut that sets the lights accordingly, and create a vocal shortcut to trigger anytime you say “Light Bright” – even without saying Siri first.

Here’s how Apple describes it in their announcement, alongside the Listen for Atypical Speech feature:

With Vocal Shortcuts, iPhone and iPad users can assign custom utterances that Siri can understand to launch shortcuts and complete complex tasks. Listen for Atypical Speech, another new feature, gives users an option for enhancing speech recognition for a wider range of speech. Listen for Atypical Speech uses on-device machine learning to recognize user speech patterns. Designed for users with acquired or progressive conditions that affect speech, such as cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or stroke, these features provide a new level of customization and control, building on features introduced in iOS 17 for users who are nonspeaking or at risk of losing their ability to speak.

Plus, Vocal Shortcuts can be assigned to any Accessibility feature, no shortcut required – adding in Shortcuts lets users take the feature to the next level and execute multiple actions, not just the one pre-assigned command.

In many ways, Apple has been learning from features introduced in the past to make this possible – the introduction and improvements to Sound Recognition have surely helped, as well as the recent dropping of “Hey” from “Hey Siri.”

Check out the rest of Apple’s announcements for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, including the very cool Eye Tracking and and Music Haptics coming this year.

Categories
Gear News

Apple Pencil Pro Lets You Run A Shortcut With A Squeeze

Apple’s newly-launched Apple Pencil Pro for the M4 iPad Pro includes a special squeeze gesture that activates a special palette or unique commands depending on your app – in a new change for Apple Pencil, “Shortcut” has been added to the list, letting M4 iPad Pro activate a shortcut from anywhere by squeezing the Pencil.

Chris Lawley, iPad expert on YouTube, shared the demo in this clip from his M4 iPad Pro review:

This update is super exciting for iPad Pro users who take advantage of Shortcuts, letting them map any command to the Apple Pencil and trigger it with a quick gesture – and more than one action can be assigned using Scripting actions like Choosing From menu or If to change the purpose depending on certain conditions.

As YouTuber Stephen Robles quipped on his podcast Primary Technology, “It’s an Action Button for iPad!” – the first time iPad users have universal access to a hardware control to trigger Shortcuts, a feature that’s been available on Apple Watch Ultra and the Pro lines for iPhone in recent years.

Assigning the squeeze gesture to a shortcut is a great update for Apple Pencil with the new Pro line and definitely gives power users a reason to upgrade – I’m looking forward to playing around with shortcuts from my Shortcuts Library and seeing what clever techniques I can come up with.

Learn about the new Apple Pencil Pro and M4 iPad Pro from Apple.

 

Categories
News

What’s new in Shortcuts for iOS and iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, watchOS 10.4 and visionOS 1.1

Updated on March 13, 2024, Apple has added release notes for Shortcuts for Shortcuts in the iOS 17.4 cycle, including new actions for the Action button on iPhone, restored actions for Apple Vision Pro users, and fixes for Shortcuts for Mac.

Here’s the full release notes:

This update includes new actions and enhancements to the Shortcuts app on macOS.

New actions

  • Get Orientation provides the current device orientation (such as portrait or landscape) on iOS and iPadOS
  • Get Activity determines your current activity (walking, running, cycling, or in a car) on iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS
  • Shut Down, Copy to Clipboard, Recognize Music, and Show Definition are now available on visionOS

Shortcuts app on macOS

  • Keyboard navigation is now supported in menus when running shortcuts
  • Shortcuts can now be dragged from the library while in list view to folders in the sidebar
  • Opened windows are now restored when the app relaunches
  • Improved performance and reliability

Get Orientation and Get Activity are great options for making your Action button shortcuts more dynamic, changing their behavior if the phone is face-down, for example.

Bringing the Clipboard actions to visionOS is perhaps the most important update for Apple Vision Pro users, whose Clipboard shortcuts weren’t functional in vision OS 1.0 – Shut Down, Recognize Music, and Show Definition are also welcome fixes (I actually use the Restart function of Shut Down often when running betas).

On the Mac, we got a few quality of life changes, plus performance improvements – I hope to see more actions on Mac soon, especially Safari Tabs actions that came to iOS years ago.

See the full page of What’s new in Shortcuts for iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10, and visionOS 1.

Categories
Apps News

Save On 250 Apps with Indie App Sales’ Spring 2024 Release

Indie App Sales is back again for Spring 2024, offering discounts on a wide range of apps from independent developers for Tuesday—Wednesday of this week (March 12 & 13).

This period, there are over 250 apps participating, each offering their own discounts and sales as part of the program on up-front prices and in-app purchases.

Each entry comes with the app name, icon, developer, description, category, and relevant links to the App Store, website, or social media.

The site shows all the apps in a large table, and you can use the custom filters on the database to find the apps relevant to you – or use Command + F to search by keyword.

Check out IndieAppSales.com, and use #IndieAppSales if you’re sharing about a great app you found – and don’t forget to rate your new apps on the App Store!

Categories
News

Announcement: I am an Elgato Partner for 2024!

Hey everyone! I’m excited to announce that I’ve agreed to be an Elgato Partner for 2024, where I’ll be working with the brand throughout the year to share about new gear and how to use it for Mac users in particular.

I’ve long been a fan of Elgato and have been sharing for over 5 years about the Stream Deck and how great it is for Apple users, starting from using it simply as a streaming device, morphing into a daily productivity tool and, then fully evolving into a tool for complete access to all my shortcuts.

Before I ever thought about partnering with Elgato, I’ve thought the Stream Deck was the ultimate macOS accessory – now, I get to work with them directly to help more people reap the benefits (of all their other products too).

Plus, with my partnership, I will soon be able to offer my community 5% off all Elgato products, even beyond the Stream Deck – they make capture cards, lights, webcams, green screens, mounts, teleprompters, and even acoustic panels for audio treatment.

Once the discount is available, I’ll update this post – I’ll also include it when I share product links in the future.

Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing different tips and tricks, unboxing and setting up new gear, and building out different setups for Elgato’s Marketplace, where you can download Profiles for the Stream Deck and install them yourselves – look for #ElgatoPartner on relevant posts.

Plus, I have long been developing Stream Deck profiles for my own shortcuts to share – there’s lots of fun opportunities ahead.

Thanks to Elgato for the opportunity – I hope you all take advantage of the upcoming discount should you choose to get something after seeing my work! And let me know if you have any questions – I’m happy to help guide you to the right solution 🙂

Categories
Links News

Apple Debuts Contingent Pricing for App Store with Structured and One Sec

Today on X, the team from Structured announced that Apple had allowed them to partner with the team from One Sec on the new contingent pricing in the App Store, a feature announced in December that allows subscribers from one app to unlock discounts in another:

Apple chose us together with @onesecapp to be one of the first to offer the new contingent pricing 🏷️. As a subscriber to Structured or @onesecapp , you unlock a special 30% discount for the other app. Check your AppStore!

In a follow-up post, they clarified the qualifications:

The offer applies only to the yearly plan and while you are an active subscriber.

This partnership makes a lot of sense – Structured is a daily planner designed to help you focus on what’s important in your day, and One Sec is designed to help you take breaks when you open apps like social media apps from muscle memory; both are made by indie developers who want to help you be mindful about your time.

The apps actually already have a native integration making it easy to set up One Sec automations from within Structured – now the partnership extends financially both to the customer’s benefit, as well both the developers.

See the post from @Structuredapp, and check out Structured and One Sec in the App Store.

Categories
News

21 Movies to Watch in 3D on Apple Vision Pro

Apple has announced the Vision Pro will be coming with over 150 movies in 3D to start, out of over 400 available on the Apple TV Store. Apple of course demonstrated Avatar: The Way of Water as coming to the device, but 3D has been around for a long time – there’s a lot of movies worth revisiting on this new headset experience.

To get you started, I collected a list of 21 movies listed in the Apple TV app that were released in 3D – just search for “3D” in the app to get these:

  1. Jurassic World Dominion
  2. Shrek
  3. The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  4. Hugo
  5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  6. Skyscraper
  7. Wonder Woman 1984
  8. The Secret Life of Pets 2
  9. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  10. 47 Ronin
  11. The Little Prince
  12. Warcraft
  13. Pacific Rim: Uprising
  14. No Time to Die
  15. Mortal Engines
  16. Godzilla vs. Kong
  17. Minions: The Rise of Gru
  18. The Boss Baby: Family Business
  19. Trolls
  20. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  21. Sing 2

(Note: While all of these were released in 3D, as well as listed in the TV app as results for the term “3D”, there’s still a chance some might not be available on Vision Pro – if you’re unsure, you can bookmark this page and come back when the device launches February 2).

There’s also listings for Sanctum, Everest, Noah, Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Tad: The Lost Explorer And the Secret of King Midas, and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, all of which were released in 3D originally – the first four listed might be worth bringing to the platform, but I can’t say as much about Jeremy Renner’s sequel to the gingerbread house incident…

News about 3D movies coming to Apple TV was first broken by FlatPanelsHD.com – however, official 3D labels have been removed from the TV app since then.

Check out of my folder of TV app shortcuts – I’ve already got shortcuts for Godzilla and Mission Impossible in there, with more on the way.

Categories
News

Apple Vision Pro Available Soon, Ready For Voice

Today, January 8th, Apple announced that the Vision Pro will be available in the U.S. on February 2nd, with pre-orders beginning next Friday, January 19 at 5 a.m. PST.

In their press release, Tim Cook says “The era of spatial computing has arrived,” marking the beginning of new ways to interact with our devices seamlessly in a way only Apple could.

Their headline features mention “an infinite canvas for productivity,” “the ultimate entertainment experience,” and “new gaming experiences” – the three key areas I plan to use the device myself, particularly when paired with macOS as a monitor. Apple also mentioned the Band on the device for the first time, which will likely be necessary to comfortably use the device for all three of these tasks for more than a short period.

Viewing Memories and interacting with other Vision Pro users’ Personas also sound like fascinating experiences, but I have a feeling those will be more valuable over time and a bit less so immediately at launch.

Not shown in their photos is the connected battery pack, which has up to 2.5 hours of 2D playback (and likely less for a fully-immersive 3D movie) – this will be great for detachability, but I have a feeling I’ll be using this first version near a charger most of the time anyway and will be plugged in for full battery.

Overall, I’m most fascinated by the interface and what it means for my personal productivity – the combination of spatial computing, interacting with my existing devices, and my heavy use of Apple’s Shortcuts app are going to provide a truly unique experience.

In many ways, I’ve spent the last 10 years working on Workflow and now Shortcuts to build out robust voice interactions for almost every part of my computing experience – now, there’s a truly hands-free device on the way that’s deeply integrated with Shortcuts by default.

I can’t wait to lay my eyes on my headset.

View the press release from Apple.

Categories
News Shortcuts

What’s new in Shortcuts in iOS and iPadOS 17.2, macOS 14.2, and watchOS 10.2 »

From Apple’s support doc titled “What’s new in Shortcuts for iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, and watchOS 10”:

New in iOS and iPadOS 17.2, macOS 14.2, and watchOS 10.2

This update adds enhanced VoiceOver support in the Shortcuts library and improved app performance.

Updated Actions

  • Choose from Menu and Choose from List now prevent your device from sleeping when run from the Action button and awaiting a response
  • Combine Images now correctly aligns images when output on macOS
  • Split Screen Apps now correctly handles ratios on iPadOS

I’m marking these as closed 😎:

  • FB13202947 (Action button falls asleep while running; Shortcuts menus/lists don’t register as Lock Screen taps)
  • FB12510235 (Combine Image places photos in wrong place)
  • FB13204850 (Split Screen Apps has incorrect sizes; places windows opposite where described)

Another issue not mentioned, but fixed – changing folders on iPad: FB9365048 (Pressing Control + Tab is broken; redirects to Search field).

Also from Colin Hughes on Twitter:

I called for Apple to allow users to ask Siri for blood oxygen levels back in April 2022. Delighted to see the company has listened and this, and other health features, will be accessible via Siri commands in iOS 17.2 set to be released this week. So inclusive and accessible


View the full set of release notes from iOS 17 and see Colin’s quote tweet.

Categories
News

Former Shortcuts team launch new AI startup Software Applications Incorporated

Yesterday, former Workflow co-founders Ari Weinstein and Conrad Kramer launched their new desktop AI startup under the name Software Applications Incorporated along with fellow ex-Apple employee Kim Beverett, giving The Verge an exclusive interview as well as launching their incredible website software.inc.

Co-founders Conrad Kramer and Ari Weinstein in the new office. Photo taken by co-founder Kim Beverett.
Co-founders Conrad Kramer and Ari Weinstein in the new office. Photo taken by co-founder Kim Beverett.

Weinstein, Kramer, and Beverett have a new office in downtown San Francisco just minutes away from the former Workflow offices, where the team of co-founders will be developing generative AI for the desktop in an attempt to “push operating systems forward.”

This comes over 12 years after the founding of Workflow and almost 6 years since its acquisition by Apple, where Ari and Conrad’s app has become Shortcuts, a deeply-integrated automation app that powers everything from Automation on the Mac to the Action button on the latest iPhone. The App Intents protocol built by the Shortcuts team, for example, is key to Apple’s current operating systems, powering features beyond Shortcuts itself like interactive widgets.

Screenshot of the software.inc website.
Screenshot of the software.inc website.

Among the quotes in The Verge’s article, Ari mentions capturing “the magic that you felt when you used computers in the ’80s and ’90s,” as evidenced by their delightful website design and classic-style company name.

The team is also as thinking about how “language models and AI give us the ingredients to make a new kind of software that can unlock this fundamental power of computing and make everyday people able to use computers to actually solve their problems” – a subject area where they are undoubtedly experts already.

Perhaps the most exciting part to me, as a former member of the Workflow team, is this paragraph, mentioning how large the target for the team is:

While a handful of startups such as Rewind are building personalized AI systems for the desktop, none I’ve come across appear to have as wide a vision as that of Software Applications, which suggests they have an open lane for the time being. And with most consumer software companies building primarily for mobile these days, it’s refreshing to see a team focusing on the Mac instead.

Truly, if anyone can (and should) have the freedom to fully explore this realm, it should be Ari, Conrad, and Kim – plus whoever’s lucky enough to join their team. After all, they are perhaps one of the only teams out there who’ve actually already changed the landscape themselves, and quite successfully I might add – mobile is basically done and in Apple’s hands, now onto to desktop.

Screenshot of the AppleScript settings on the software.inc website.
Screenshot of the AppleScript settings on the software.inc website.

Plus, if you haven’t yet, you absolutely HAVE to check out their website. The team ”spent a totally unnecessary amount of time building this website” turning it into a literal recreation of MacOS 8, including fully-functional applications for things like games, drawing, and, yes, even AppleScript – you can’t deny the passion this team has for the Mac.

Categories
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.

Categories
News Siri Shortcuts

30 Shortcuts Ideas for the Action Button on Your iPhone 15 Pro

This weekend, the customizable Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro has driven Apple fans to the web to share their best Shortcuts ideas, from more advanced workflows to some that are perhaps more juvenile. Regardless, if you’ve got an iPhone 15 Pro, you’re probably looking for shortcuts to use with it.

To help folks with their decision, I asked across Threads, Twitter, and Mastodon for everyone’s best ideas, promising to collect them in a post – this is that post!

Check out the list of 30+ ideas below – plus, stay tuned for my extra-special Action button idea coming very soon (and subscribe to my newsletter to get that delivered straight to your inbox).

Threads

  • Google Assistant (via Mithun Patel / MKHBD):

    As @mkbhd suggested – Google Assistant

  • Shazam (via Dan Stransky):

    Shazam!

    [My reply: There are cool Shazam actions in Shortcuts, so you could have it jump straight to a music video for the current song!]

  • Action Jackson (via John Gruber):

    Since publishing my review, I’ve tweaked my Action button shortcut to work this way:
    — If the device orientation is face down or portrait upside-down, toggle Silent mode. (And when turning Silent mode from off to on, vibrate the phone.)
    — Otherwise launch Camera.
    Screenshot of the main shortcut, and the helper that toggles Silent mode with vibration for turning it on:

  • Add new item in Things (via Parker Ortolani):

    Currently have it set to create a new item in Things !

     

    Post by @parkerortolani
    View on Threads

     

  • Add new item in Fantastical (via Hobie Henning):

    Oh neat!!!! I would have that mapped to Fantastical 👀 Damn it, now I’m wanting to upgrade

  • Time-sensitive/location-sensitive (via Ben P):

    Occurs to me it might be good to have a time-sensitive or location-sensitive Shortcut

    Show my train times in the morning, launch my todo list at work, launch my Journal app at home in the evening

  • At home conditions (via Gabriel Sharp):

    If connected to home WiFi:
    & Before noon
    → open bedroom blinds
    Else if after noon
    → open TV remote

    Else if not connected to WiFi:
    If Shopping focus mode (Location based)
    → open Shopping list
    Else
    → Open Camera

  • Drafts (via Ben Pickering):

    Launch Drafts

  • Check for Focus Mode (via Eric Hamilton):

    I made a shortcut that checks the current focus mode and adapts the action to the current focus (Sleep – Flashlight, Travel – Flighty, Work – Add Reminder, etc.)

  • Ask ChatGPT (via Kevin Ridsdale):

    ChatGPT with my api key to use v4. Never use Siri for questions again. zdnet.com/googl…

  • Keep in touch (via Michael Fisher):

    One-touch FaceTime call to my long-distance gf!
    (Scrub to 1:08) youtu.be/f9GI…

  • FaceTime your partner (via Michael Ferrari):

    The “girlfriend button”. Hit it and it FaceTimes your partner

  • Quick Note (via Parker Ortolani):

    Action button as a note taking shortcut is dope

     

    Post by @parkerortolani
    View on Threads

     

Twitter

  • Open Current Book (via Adrian Eves):

    I’m probably going to have it open the Books app much like the action button on the watch is mapped to the workout app

  • Choose From Menu (via Stephen Robles):

    I’ll be running this Shortcut with the Action Button! Most of the time I’m not in a focus mode, so it will display a menu of options.

    When in a Focus Mode, it defaults to opening the camera. May try to change based on specific Focus Mode later.
    icloud.com

  • Ask ChatGPT for action button ideas (via Ben Lovejoy):

    Trigger it to ask ChatGPT to create a list of the best Action Button shortcut ideas

  • Lock/unlock your car (via Kevin):

    Lock/Unlock Tesla

  • Open Halide/ @HalideCamera (via Kris Lord):

    Simple

  • Change Text Size (via Daniel Kašaj):

    Gave “Change Text Size” a go for a bit. Went back to Camera. Analysis paralysis!

  • Where we droppin’ (via SENTINELITE / yours truly):

    Dude I just realized we have a “Where we droppin?” button for the iPhone now lol

  • Tweet button (via Ian Zelbo):

    But does your phone have a tweet button?

  • Nothing (via Gregory McFadden):

    Setting my action button to nothing.

  • Screenshot and crop (via Tom Bielecki):

    This will be my iPhone action button:

    Screenshot -> Manual Crop (Toolbox Pro) -> Extract text -> New Draft (Drafts)

    Gives me full control of selection area and post-processing steps for on-screen text content regardless of what app I’m in

  • Open the front door (via Mark’s Tech):

    Okay this is actually super sweet … [Video: Using the iPhone 15 Pro “Action Button” as a key to my front door] 

  • Shazam to music service (via Marco Dengel):

    Mine is starting Shazam → detecting the current song (while watching the fantastic new animation in iOS 17) → search and open it in the music app of your choice*.(* Shazam, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, YouTube, YouTube Music or Deezer)

  • Speak Screen (via Sasha G):

    To display the “speak screen” control panel.I want there to be a widget for this.

  • Credit card rewards (via Emmanuel Crouvisier):

    Start a shopping live activity, head out for your errands, and your Lock Screen will update automatically with which card to use.

Mastodon

  • Opening the garage door (via Devin Davies):

    Opening the garage door with the action button feels like a super power. [Video]

  • Fart sound (via Rafa / Kyle):

    This is it, the best use case for the Action Button (sound on) [Video]

  • Drum break (via Rafa):

    You can even press it with your phone still in your pocket. Your dad jokes will never be the same “badum tss” [Video]

  • Laugh track (via Rafa):

    Oooh that’s clever! [Video]

  • Rick Roll (via Jeff Kelley):

    Made a shortcut that opens the Never Gonna Give You Up music video

  • Read Later & Watch Later (via iBanks):

    Save web articles and YouTube videos for later

  • Purchase later (via iBanks):

    List of items to purchase later with running total of overall costs of all items in the list

  • ShortShot (via iBanks):

    Move screenshots of your favorite apps into its own album based off that apps name

  • myApps (via iBanks):

    Dynamic app launcher that displays your apps as one single list or you can select a app from a list of app categories

  • Focused Apps (via iBanks):

    Dynamic app launcher stemmed from my myApps – A Dynamic App Launcher but allows you to select from a specified list of apps based on the current focus mode your device is in

  • Massive 30-shortcut conditional (via Jimmy Little):

    I have a Shortcut that I’ve been running for years. First as an icon, then as Triple-Back-Tap, and now I’ll move it to the Action Button.

    It’s a bunch of Choose-From-Menus that launch other shortcuts. I can’t include it here, because it’s really about 30 Shortcuts. But here’s how it works:

    First, is an IF block. If I’m on my watch, it shows one menu. If I’m on my phone, another (much larger) menu. From there, it’s a LOT… But It so nice.

If you want more Shortcuts ideas, check out my expansive Shortcuts Library – and sign up for my Shortcuts newsletter if you haven’t already.

Categories
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.

 

Categories
Apps News

iOS 17 Ready: 160+ Apps To Download Now

Apple’s iOS 17 is here and, while working on my upcoming Shortcuts updates to be released alongside macOS Sonoma, I spent the rest of my day sharing posts from developers on Mastodon with their app updates.

From that list, plus more apps that mentioned iOS 17 in their app update description (and a few from these replies), I ended up with over 150 apps.

Using some Shortcuts wizardry, I scraped all the App Store links, prices, and app icons to make the following list below, as well as the image for the blog post (I’ll be sharing how I did this all for my membership soon) – enjoy:

    1. Glucomate glucose tracker – (Free on the App Store)
    2. Sequel entertainment media tracker – (Free on the App Store)
    3. Movie Tracker what to watch – (Free on the App Store)

Categories
News

The iPhone 15 Pro’s new Action button has deep Shortcuts integration

Today, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lines, with the Pro devices including a special Action button similar to the one found on the Apple Watch Ultra – and this version includes a special setup screen to let you choose its functionality, among which Shortcuts is a prominent choice.

Action button options

Apple lists multiple options you can choose from change the Action button’s functionality from the default Silent mode trigger – you can set a Focus mode, activate the camera, record a voice memo, turn on the flashlight, Translate text, use the Magnifier or other Accessibility features, and, of course, set a shortcut.

 

Apple’s prompt on the Action button setup page for Shortcuts reads “Open an app or run your favorite shortcut,” partially referencing the most common use case for Shortcuts with its Add to Home Screen functionality allowing users to customize their app icons – now you can use the Action button to immediately open any app via Shortcuts.

Selecting a shortcut

In the actual Shortcuts selection screen, there are a few areas that show up – a Search field, a “Get Started” view, “My Shortcuts,” and a scrollable list of apps with keywords for possible actions.

Apple’s recommendations in “Get Started” are Open App…, Call Favorites, Recently Played (for Music), Set Timer, New Note, and Recognize Music (with Shazam). Once you select Open App, you’ll then be able to pick which app to open.

In “My Shortcuts,” the options include Show Folder, plus three sample shortcuts for Open Snapchat, Meditation Time, and Get Lyft. Once you select Show Folder, you’ll likely be able to select a folder from your Shortcuts collection to open every time – an option I love to see built-in instead of requiring someone to set this up on their own separately.

In the unlabeled apps list, Books, Caviar, and Clock are shown, and we can assume this list scrolls with all the options available from your apps. Possible actions for each app are shown in labels underneath, and once you tap on the cell area you’ll likely be able to choose from one of those actions to assign to the Action button.

Plus, with Search at the top, you’ll be able to find anything from your shortcuts or this app list using keywords – this may be more helpful if you use descriptive titles for your shortcuts.

Shortcuts as an iPhone feature

Overall, it’s truly excellent to see such deep integration with the iPhone Pro line and Shortcuts – years after Shortcuts’ introduction, it just became a headline feature for the new iPhone and received prominent attention in Apple’s biggest keynote of the year, something the app-by-acquisition hasn’t had the luxury of receiving since it was Workflow.

For pro users, this may be the best use case for Shortcuts, with truly a single press to activate anything you can do on your phone. Hopefully, the continued prominence of Shortcuts as a major feature introduces the service to the larger public, as well as encourages app developers to integrate deeper – adopting Shortcuts gives any app access on the Action button now.

Plus, for innovative Apple users, they can now program a physical button on their device to do anything, and have control over exactly how it works – this is just a supremely cool way to make use of Shortcuts and the iPhone together.

If you’re looking for ideas on which shortcuts to run on your Action button, check out my Shortcuts Library with over 1,000 options from you can browse.