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).


  • Google Assistant (via Mithun Patel / MKHBD):

    As @mkbhd suggested – Google Assistant

  • Shazam (via Dan Stransky):


    [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
    → 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.…

  • Keep in touch (via Michael Fisher):

    One-touch FaceTime call to my long-distance gf!
    (Scrub to 1:08)…

  • 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



  • 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.

  • 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):


  • 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.


  • 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.

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.


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)


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.

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.


The Shortcuts Apps Of The Late Alex Hay Will Continue With Trusted Developers

After the tragic passing of beloved developer Alex Hay last March, the question of what would happen to his apps Toolbox Pro, Nautomate for Notion, and Logger for Shortcuts remained uncertain – Alex was a fierce advocate for the Shortcuts developer community and his apps plus public repositories served as inspiration & a resource for many of the Shortcuts apps available today.

Today, I’m honored to share the news that my friend Rosemary Orchard and her development company Snailed It (with David Stephens and Dom Chester) have been entrusted by the Hay family to take over development of the late Alex’s apps. The Snailed It team is already responsible for WhenWorks, FocusCuts, and development of Pushcut, and will continue work on Toolbox Pro, Nautomate, and Logger after making the necessary development transitions.

I am confident that Rosemary and the team will honor Alex’s memory and his contributions to the Shortcuts community, and I am glad to know I can continue to rely on Alex’s work – often times his apps felt like they were built for exactly me, which I always greatly appreciated.

In many ways, Alex was the developer advocate I could not be, and I truly appreciate how he built up the Shortcuts community. I had the pleasure of video chatting with him a few times, but I am truly sad I didn’t get to spend time with him in person.

I see signs of Alex’s contributions every day in my work, and I’m endlessly grateful that he put so much of himself out into this world.

Next Friday, I’ll be playing Starfield and thinking of him.

Links News

App Shortcuts Work on HomePod in iOS 17 »

Following up with the news that watchOS apps are gaining App Shortcuts support, here’s a quote from Apple’s WWDC’23 developer session “Spotlight your app with App Shortcuts” transcript (line breaks added):

Secondly, App Shortcuts are now supported on HomePod.

This requires an App Shortcut enabled app to be installed on a companion iOS or iPadOS device. Unlike running on iOS or iPadOS, where App Shortcuts can result in launching the app, on HomePod, App Shortcuts may not launch the app at all.

For example, by simply having my Demo app on my iPhone, I can say to my HomePod, “Hey, Siri. Summarize my groceries list with Demo.” HomePod support for App Shortcuts is available from version 16.2 and newer.


When designing App Shortcuts for HomePod, consider that it is a voice-only device. Make sure you are returning clear and concise dialog to be spoken by Siri, since there won’t be any corresponding visuals.


The IntentDialog class has an initializer that takes both a “full” and “supporting” string. The HomePod will use the “full” dialog, while visual devices like iPhone will use the alternate “supporting” dialog. This allows you to be more brief when a user can reference a visual output, but remain fully descriptive if no screen is available.

I’m glad Apple (and developers) are putting in the work to match the dialog to the device – and that HomePod is getting even better Shortcuts support this year.

Watch the Apple developer session.

Links News

Apple Watch Apps Can Provide App Shortcuts in watchOS 10 »

Hidde van der Ploeg on Mastodon:

I’m pretty sure it’s new that watchOS-only apps can now enable shortcuts to the shortcuts app without having an iOS companion app 😍✨

I can indeed confirm this is new – Apple mentions it in their “Spotlight your app with App Shortcuts” developer session from WWDC’23. Here’s what they say in the video:

App Shortcuts now work on Apple Watch, but you should be aware of some limitations to get the best possible experience. App Shortcuts on Apple Watch must come from a watchOS app installed on the device itself. App Shortcuts from a paired iOS device cannot be run on the Watch. This means that if you have an iOS app installed on iPhone, but not the corresponding watchOS app, your App Shortcuts will not work from watchOS.

Flexible matching with Siri is not available on Apple Watch, so phrases must be spoken exactly. Apple Watch support was introduced in watchOS 9.2 and is available on all devices running that version or later.

App Shortcuts are also now discoverable on Apple Watch. Just like on iOS, the Shortcuts app on watchOS prominently features App Shortcuts available on the device.

Just to be clear, App Shortcuts will work on both standalone watchOS apps and companion watchOS apps.

Plus, you will run into issues if you’re trying to run App Shortcuts from the watch and the corresponding iPhone app doesn’t have a Watch app – developers, get to building your watch apps!

View the post on Mastodon and watch the moment from the Apple developer session.


Apple Adds New Shortcuts Action For Camera Modes in iOS 17

New in the fourth developer beta and second public beta of iOS 17, Apple has added an “Open Camera” action for the Camera app that allows users to pick between camera modes and immediately open to any preset using Shortcuts.

The new “Open Camera” action can be set to switch between the following modes:

  • Photo
  • Selfie
  • Video
  • Portrait
  • Portrait Selfie
  • Cinematic
  • Slo-Mo
  • Time-Lapse
  • Pano

I’ve built a folder of shortcuts for each action, available now as part of my membership program in pre-release ahead of iOS 17.

These actions are highly welcome to the set of Media actions available by default in Shortcuts, as well as my collection of photography shortcuts built off of them.

View the folder of Camera app shortcuts in my Shortcuts Library.


All Automations Now Run Immediately In Shortcuts (Notifications Required)

In the betas for iOS and iPadOS 17, Apple has updated the Automations feature in Shortcuts so that triggers can “Run Immediately” rather than the default “Run After Confirmation.”

In effect, Automations are, well, actually automatic now, rather than triggers that require manual confirmation – here’s the breakdown:

Updated Automations

Screenshot of the new Automation types

In Shortcuts, all Automation types—except Arrive, Leave, and Before I Commute in the current betas—now have a new “Run Immediately” option.

Update: As of iOS developer beta 5, Location automations also run immediately!

Screenshot of Email automations

That means automations from Messages, Email, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth now join the rest of the Automation triggers as true automations, alongside the new Transaction automation for Apple Wallet and the Display automation & Stage Manager automations on iPadOS.

Screenshot of WiFi trigger

For the Wi-Fi automation trigger, there’s also an additional dialog that lets you toggle whether to Run After Connection Interruption, with the following explainer text beneath:

If you reconnect to a Wi-Fi network within 3 minutes of being disconnected, this automation will not run again.

Subtle changes to Automations

To ensure user safety, Apple also requires that these automation types always notify you—the “Notify When Run” toggle does not appear if you switch to “Run Immediately”—so that you know for sure when something has happened on your device. Personally, I think this is a worthy trade-off – otherwise, how would you ever know that the Automation triggered successfully?

Via AllThingsHow
Via AllThingsHow

Further, the confusingly-named “Don’t Ask Before Running?” prompt has been renamed across all Automations to “Run After Confirmation,” making it much clearer what’s actually happening with each option.

Finally, you might also notice that Apple removed a step when initially creating an automation. Previously, you’d always have to pick between Personal Automations and Home Automations.

Screenshot of default Personal Automation styling

Now, the Add button starts you off in a Personal Automation by default—with a new Search field at the top as well.

Home Automations are simply found at the bottom of the list as an alternate option (you can still create Automations in the Home app as always).

Location automations

Screenshot of Location automations


It’s not clear currently if the Location automations for Arrive, Leave, and Before I Commute will be exempt from true automation capabilities in the the final release of iOS and iPadOS 17.

That’s because, in the first developer beta, the Location automations were truly automatic – but, crucially, that option was removed and has not been available in any subsequent betas.

Hopefully we see the return of this capability in future betas, and Shortcuts can fully shed the misnomer status this feature has earned from being named “Automations” without having all of the triggers be truly automatic – otherwise, I’ll have to rename this piece.

True automation starts now

Automations actually being automatic will be a big deal for Shortcuts users in iOS 17 – in many ways, the feature has been hamstrung for its entire existence, because many users try it out, then get disappointed when it’s not truly automation.

Going forward, Automations will be a pillar for new users and pro users alike to get a lot of value from building in Shortcuts – all without even doing anything themselves, since everything happens automatically.

Next? We need Automations on Mac.

Get the public beta of iOS and iPadOS 17 from Apple.


Shortcuts has new Automations in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17: Transaction, Display, & Stage Manager

In the iOS and iPadOS 17 betas, Apple has introduced three new Automation triggers you can use in the Shortcuts app – Transaction, Display, and Stage Manager.

Here’s how Apple’s tip text describes each:

  • Transaction (Ex. When I tap a Wallet Card or Pass)
  • Display (Ex. When My Display Connects)
  • Stage Manager (Ex. When Stage Manager Is Turned On)

Transaction automations

Screenshot of Transaction type

Transactions work with Payment, Transit, Access, or Identity passes, plus you can select which card, which category of payment, or even specific Merchants.

Screenshot of transaction input

The automation starts with an optional “Receive Transaction As Input”, allowing you to extract details about the transaction, including the card or pass, merchant, and amount – this is an incredibly powerful trigger when combined with things like expense tracking, budgeting, or travel apps.

Display automations

Screenshot of Display automation

The Display automation works with the iPad Pro’s external display support, allowing actions to be kicked off when you plug in or disconnect a monitor cable.

Screenshot of Display input

The automation starts with an optional “Receive Display As Input” that allows you to extract the manufacturing Name of the device and adjust your flow accordingly — I have both Dell and LG monitors in separate rooms in my house, so I could use an If action to change my shortcut behavior depending on which room I’m in.

Stage Manager automations

Finally, the Stage Manager automation works with the system feature being toggled on or off, either from Settings, the Control Center widget, or the Shortcuts actions themselves that can Toggle Stage Manager in any shortcut.

Screenshot of Stage Manager automation

I haven’t personally implemented this automation for my own setup yet, but I’m consider simply using Open App multiple times to “set the stage” each time I activate it with my most common apps – but I’ll have to test more during the beta season.

Automate away

Overall, these three new automations are highly welcome. The Transaction automation will surely get the most use and can apply to almost every iPhone user, and the iPad automations for Displays and Stage Manager are great additions for iPad productivity – there’s much value to be captured with all three of these.

Plus, each automation can Run Immediately (instead of requiring you to Run After Confirmation), meaning they’re true background automations – very nice.

I also think the presence of Display and Stage Manager are either a hint or justification for Automations in Shortcuts for Mac – I hope Mac users get the opportunity to automate their devices with these triggers in the future.


How To Watch Messi’s First MLS Match on Apple TV+ (and All Apple Sports) Using Shortcuts

All-time superstar footballer Lionel Messi is making his debut for Inter Miami as part of Major League Soccer tonight, marking a historic moment for the sport in America and for fans worldwide — plus, it’s a big deal for Apple, having bought streaming rights for the next 10 years.

For anyone who wants to watch the game, Apple has a dedicated page for the match – which you’ll need a subscription to MLS Season Pass to watch.

In the future, for matches where you won’t always have a dedicated URL ready, you can tune into MLS Season Pass using my shortcut that deep links to the in-app page. Or, for all the other leagues, you can use my Open Apple TV Sports shortcut – both of these work great on iPad in particular.

Plus, if you’re into Sports News, I’ve got a shortcut for that as well.

While I’m a Timbers fan myself having grown up in Portland, Oregon (🙂), it’s undoubtedly exciting to see such talent come to the United States – it’ll be huge for the sport after years of slow-but-steady growth here at home.

Watch the game on Apple TV and check out my folder of TV app shortcuts.


Apple Tests ‘Apple GPT,’ Develops Generative AI Tools to Catch OpenAI »

From Mark Gurman at Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that could challenge those of OpenAI Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and others, but the company has yet to devise a clear strategy for releasing the technology to consumers.

The iPhone maker has built its own framework to create large language models — the AI-based systems at the heart of new offerings like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard — according to people with knowledge of the efforts. With that foundation, known as “Ajax,” Apple also has created a chatbot service that some engineers call “Apple GPT.”

I hope Apple takes advantage of Shortcuts and the App Intents framework to make Siri actually do things for you, not just tell you information. If Ajax doesn’t utilize Shortcuts, they’re missing out on the biggest competitive advantage they already have built out.

Read the full article on Bloombergor in Apple News.


AirPods Can Authenticate You For Siri Requests Thanks To This Accessibility Advocate »

From @ColinHughesUK:

Great for accessibility and I think will be popular with everyone. Lots of thanks to Apple for listening, and thanks for highlighting @zollotech

After mentioning that Siri’s “You need to unlock your iPhone first” was a big problem for quadriplegics like himself, Colin Hughes is now celebrating Apple’s update to Siri that lets AirPods act as authentication – when you’re wearing them, Siri requests will work without requiring you to unlock your device.

In a story from 9to5Mac, Colin is quoted about how this works for him:

There’s a new Siri authentication system on AirPods where if your device is unlocked while wearing your AirPods, it will be considered authenticated as long as they are in range (or until you change the output audio device on the system).

So basically when my carer puts my AirPods in my ears, then as long as my iPhone is unlocked when she does so, even if it locks afterwards I can still access my messages, calendar events and more.

View the original tweet, read the story from 9to5Mac, and check the original in-depth story on Colin’s experience with Accessibility and Apple products also from 9to5Mac.