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News

15,000 ways you can use the Action button on Apple Watch Ultra

Source: Apple Newsroom

Today, the Apple Watch Ultra reviews dropped — and I’ve seen lots of coverage mention that the Action button can be set to run any shortcut.

This 9to5Mac article explains “What you can assign to the Action button, secondary actions, third-party apps” with a list of “Native options for the Action button can start/launch”:

  • Workout
  • Stopwatch
  • Waypoint
  • Backtrack
  • Dive
  • Flashlight
  • Shortcut (from Shortcuts app)
  • None

However, being able to use “Shortcut (from the Shortcuts app)” really means a lot more than that one line.

 

Back at WWDC ’22 during the keynote presentation, Apple’s Senior Director of Siri and Language Technologies, Robby Walker, said this line about the Shortcuts app (at ~0:16:30 in):

“There are over 15,000 apps that work with Siri using SiriKit and Siri Shortcuts.”

That means the Action button can be set to any shortcut  using any of the:

• 15,000+ apps with Shortcuts support,

• 300+ native actions available for custom shortcuts,

• automatically-generated App Shortcuts from your apps

I’ve shared over 800 shortcuts myself in my Shortcuts Library, documented all 300 actions that Shortcuts users can build with in my Action Directory, and have extensive coverage of App Shortcuts so far in iOS 16 — there’s so much opportunity for that dedicated Action button.

As I’ll explain in an upcoming post, the Scripting actions in Shortcuts can also be used to make your chosen Action button shortcut fully dynamic. With a bit of setup in Shortcuts, you can program one shortcut to serve multiple purposes depending on the time of day, day of week, Focus mode, or any other condition that can be detected — sign up here for my newsletter to get updated once that post goes live.

I’m super excited to test this out and get my hands on an Apple Watch Ultra — I missed the preorder, however, so I suppose I’ll be outside my local Apple Store this Friday…

Categories
News

You can set the new Action button on Apple Watch Ultra to anything in Shortcuts

Source: Apple Newsroom

Today in Apple’s “Far Out” keynote presentation, the company released their new Apple Watch Ultra with a new dedicated Action button that can be used for physical access to key goals in apps at the appropriate time.

According to Apple engineering manager Michael Gorbach’s post on Twitter, the Action Button is powered by the new App Intents APIs that were released at WWDC and power the upcoming App Shortcuts feature as part of iOS 16 — and Shortcuts users can assigned a dedicated shortcut to the button as well:

I’m super excited to see this capability come to Apple Watch Ultra — and I hope Apple Watch gets an Action Button in the future 🙇🏻‍♂️

Categories
Siri Shortcuts News

Learn about App Shortcuts from Apple’s WWDC’22 developer sessions

At Apple’s worldwide developer conference during their State of the Union address1, Apple launched App Shortcuts and the AppIntents API, features designed for “zero setup” of shortcuts from third-party apps for use with Siri.

If you’re a developer looking to implement Shortcuts support in your app, Apple has now released all four sessions at WWDC ’22 covering what’s new in these Shortcuts APIs — here are the links:

  1. Dive into App Intents
  2. Implement App Shortcuts with App Intents
  3. Design App Shortcuts
  4. Meet Focus Filters
Categories
Siri Shortcuts News

Announcing the expanded Shortcuts Library with 600 shortcuts and 150 bundle shortcuts

I am incredibly excited to announce the relaunch of my Shortcuts Library in its expanded form, including over 600 custom shortcuts!

What’s new

The Shortcuts Library is updated from last year’s release, in which I consolidated my original larger library into 50+ shortcuts that each covered large areas of what’s possible with Shortcuts.

With the new release, I’m distributing 600 single shortcuts in the main library across 100 folder groups, plus I’ve developed a method to compile each folder into 150 bundle shortcuts made out of all the single shortcuts in that folder.

Categories
Apps News

Apple adds Shortcuts for Mac support to Pages, Numbers, Keynote

Today, Apple released updates to their iWork suite of apps that adds actions in Shortcuts for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on macOS, bringing powerful first-party actions that Mac users can take advantage to automate their work:

New First-Party Actions

Across all three iWork apps, there are now actions for “Open” and “Create” – plus Numbers has added “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table” and Keynote has added “Open in Rehearsal Mode” and “Open in Show Mode.”

The Create actions all also include the templates/themes available in the iWork apps, which makes it quick to generate 40+ samples from Pages, Numbers, and Keynote each for a total of over 120+ templates.

Here’s the full list of actions:

Categories
News

Apple posts Shortcuts changelog for iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3

On Wednesday, Apple published an update in the Apple Support knowledge base detailing new features and issues fixed in Shortcuts in the latest iOS and macOS releases.

Changes to know about

In the post, Apple lists all of the new features added to the Shortcuts app, from Automation changes, new actions, and lots of smaller details:

The second half also lists the fixes that were made for existing issues – general improvements to the editor, tweaks for broken actions or performance problems, and fixes for scripting both in the app & using Shortcuts’ command-line utility:

Apple is listening

The post itself has significance as well, as it marks Apple providing direct communication for the Shortcuts app about new features and problems.

Categories
Newsletter Siri Shortcuts Links Offsite News

Announcing my new “What’s New in Shortcuts” newsletter

As part of my new Shortcuts Catalog1, I’ve created a brand-new newsletter called What’s New in Shortcuts?.

This free newsletter is designed for anyone interested in learning more about Siri Shortcuts, covering:
* feature updates as they’re discovered,
* interesting ways to use Shortcuts related to topical stories, and
* creative new shortcuts or apps with Shortcuts actions.

In addition, What’s New in Shortcuts acts as a way to subscribe to learn about future updates to my Shortcuts Library, Action Directory, and upcoming additions to the Shortcuts Catalog.

What’s in the newsletter?

Your email each week will consist of a short-and-sweet series of bulleted lists explaining ways you can use Siri, the Shortcuts app, and related technology, all written out as trigger phrases like “Hey Siri, remind me to vote early.”

Each line will link out to a page in the Catalog, directly to an iCloud URL for a shortcut, or to an article on my site or someone else’s2.

At the bottom, you’ll also find member updates around any new pre-release shortcuts or bonus content available for the Shortcuts Catalog – check out my membership page to learn more3.

Plus, if you aren’t a member, there will still be free shortcuts every week.

And that’s it!

How do I get the emails?

Subscribe now and you can easily stay up-to-date with all the best ways to use Apple’s new automation tools in your daily life – from myself and the growing Shortcuts community4.

New emails go out weekly on Fridays — just after the “What’s New in Alexa” emails 😈 — so there’s time to read up and experiment with things over the weekend.

Sign up today and look the next issue soon – I’m looking forward to sharing more with you all!


  1. Official announcement post coming once iOS 14 releases! 
  2. Fire up your blogs and get to sharing your shortcuts! For real, I want to link to everyone’s websites in this newsletter.

    Then, make sure post them as a good shareable tweet so I can retweet as well and DM it to me

  3. Members are automatically added to “What’s New in Shortcuts”, so no need to subscribe here if you’ve signed up – any duplicates will be accounted for as well. 
  4. Make sure to check out Club MacStories from Federico Viticci & friends, sign up for the new Tablet Habit newsletter from Jeff Perry, and get the email digest for the Automators forums as well! 
Categories
Links News

Apple execs talk updates on The Talk Show, WVFRM with MKBHD

Every year for the past few years, John Gruber of Daring Fireball has interviewed an Apple executive or two on his podcast The Talk Show, just after WWDC and often in a venue right nearby the conference.

This year, as with everything else WWDC, it was done online, with special guests Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Apple, and Greg Jozwiak, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing.

Federighi and “Joz” filmed from Apple Park (in seemingly separate rooms, as one does nowadays) over the web with Gruber for over an hour and a half, which you can watch on YouTube: