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iMore Offsite

Why everyone should be using Share Sheet shortcuts

Yours truly for iMore:

Shortcuts for iPhone, iPad, and Mac is one of Apple’s most versatile apps — it connects actions you take on your device together, connects apps and the content inside in new ways, and the variety of ways to run shortcuts from across the system makes it a multitool like any other.

One of the more powerful ways to use the Shortcuts app is by sharing from an app into a shortcut using the Share Sheet, which takes the content and uses it as the “Shortcut Input” at the start of your shortcut.

This powerful tool allows Shortcuts users to initiate their shortcuts from inside other apps, allows users to interlink their apps and content together in their workflows, and provides a key use case that allows users to get a lot more value from learning how to build Shortcuts — here’s how to take advantage of the Share Sheet in your shortcuts:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Newsletter Offsite

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #38

From Issue 38 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

Welcome to Issue 38 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — this week I shared my Pro Apps Shortcuts Wishlist, how to best use Shortcuts on iPhone, and worked off the CardPointers’ developer’s tweets to explain how App Shortcuts in iOS 16 will look.

Eve also updated their Motion sensor to add luminosity-based Home Automations, a new Playpen app for parents launched in beta, and your NATO alphabet needs just got resolved.

Plus, I’m livestreaming with Rosemary Orchard this Friday — you should join us Friday for the stream.

Read the full issue on Revue.

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iMore Offsite

12 ways to get the most out of Shortcuts for iPhone

Yours truly for iMore:

The best automation is the one you have with you, and that means Shortcuts for iPhone is the biggest opportunity for people to take advantage of Apple’s automation platform.

When building Shortcuts for iPhone, users should try to think about automation opportunities that work well for a small screen, can be carried around with you, and take advantage of the device-specific features.

With that in mind, here are four areas (with 12 example shortcuts) that are good to focus on in your own adventure:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Livestreams Offsite

Shortcuts Live with special guest Rosemary Orchard

Join me and special guest Rosemary Orchard on Friday, August 12th at 10am PST to talk everything Shortcuts, especially her recently-updated book Take Control of Shortcuts (2nd edition).

Rosemary is the cohost of Automators on Relay FM with David Sparks, iOS Today on TWiT with Mikah Sargent, and her independent show Nested Folders with Scotty Jackson — she has a depth of knowledge about automation, smart homes, productivity, development, and everything in-between.

Come say hi in the chat and ask us questions as we talk all about Shortcuts!

Get notified here when the stream goes live.

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iMore Offsite

Five apps Apple could automate to win over pro users

Yours truly for iMore:

Apple’s Shortcuts app is the best way to automate processes across its devices and develop professional workflows to get things done.

With iOS 16, Apple is adding many more actions for its own apps and improving its Shortcuts support with deep new actions. However, these updates have been limited to more everyday apps like Safari, Mail, and Reminders — but Apple’s pro-level apps haven’t received similar updates.

This piece covers five first-party apps that “pros” use to get their work done and some starter actions that Apple should add for each of them:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Newsletter Offsite

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #37

From Issue 37 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

Welcome to Issue 37 of “What’s New in Shortcuts”!

This week we saw the second Public Beta of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS — which meant an awesome new Shortcuts action called Find Tabs for Safari, plus more for Mail and Reminders too.

I streamed for over an hour as I played around with the new actions, so make sure to jump through the chapters and see what we built off the chat’s ideas.
I also published a few strong opinions on iMore, Rosemary released her second edition of Take Control of Shortcuts, and I learned about a new Easter egg in the Shortcuts app…

Read the full issue on Revue.

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iMore Offsite

Shortcuts gains powerful Find Tabs action for Safari, more in second public beta

Yours truly for iMore:

On Thursday, Apple released iOS 16 public beta 2, which includes a set of new actions for the Shortcuts app that work with Safari, Mail, and Reminders.

These actions include Find Tabs, Find Tab Groups, Find Bookmarks, Open Bookmarks, Find Reading Lists, Open Reading List Items, Search Mail, Open Mailbox, Open Smart List, Create Reminders List, and Search Reminders.

Read the full story on iMore.

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iMore Offsite

Apple isn’t doing enough for new Shortcuts users — here’s how they can fix it

Yours truly for iMore:

When it comes Apple’s Shortcuts app, many new users are caught off guard. They hear about the potential, but the app is very complicated. When presented with a blank slate, many often don’t go further figuring it out.

For such an important app in Apple‘s ecosystem, the company needs to do a lot more to onboard first time Shortcuts users and get them familiar with the app and how to build in it. Here are three areas the company could improve on and why those matter for newbies:

Sometimes you need to call it like it is — I’ve written about some of these before, but I want to see a lot more so new users can get further quicker.

Read the full story on iMore.

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Newsletter Offsite

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #36

From Issue 36 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

Welcome to issue 36 of “What’s New in Shortcuts!” — this week is a quieter mid-summer period where we didn’t see any news, but there’s always new shortcuts ideas popping up on Twitter.

Plus, I published a few stories for iMore, showed off my Focus Modes on TWiT, and got deep into some design changes that I’ll be showing off in a few weeks:

Read the full issue on Revue.

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iMore Offsite

Here are 7 ways to get started with Shortcuts for Apple Watch

Yours truly for iMore:

The Shortcuts app for Apple Watch is a small but powerful way to access the vast array of capabilities from the apps on your device, all from the convenience of a few taps on your wrist.

Some of the ways Shortcuts on Apple Watch can be most useful, however, are not immediately obvious — there’s a lot of potential in Shortcuts, but honing in on the best use cases and avoiding too much complexity is important for a good Watch-based experience.

This piece covers seven areas where you can build Shortcuts for Apple Watch that are worth exploring, have powerful actions to take advantage of, and work well when running from your favorite Apple Watch:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Guest appearances Podcasts Offsite

iOS Today #611: Setting up Focus Modes on your iPhone

This Tuesday, I had the pleasure of being as a guest on iOS Today with Mikah Sargent:

Personalize your custom Focus modes in iOS 15 or iOS 16, from silencing specific notifications to switching screens based on location.

  • Home Screen customization
  • Lock Screen customization
  • Focus activation scheduling
  • Using particular colors for context

Watch the full episode on TWiT or  on Apple Podcasts.

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iMore Offsite

14 Shortcuts for Safari Views, Tab Groups, and Focus Filters to use with iOS 16

Yours truly for iMore:

Safari has gained six actions of its own so far in the betas:

1. Open View
2. Open New Tab
3. Open New Private Tab
4. Create Tab Group
5. Open Tab Group
6. Set Safari Focus Filter

[…]

Currently only available for developers and public testers (but coming to everyone this fall), these actions are aimed at interacting with different “views” in Safari, plus creating tabs and doing basic Tab Group management.

 

To help you take full advantage of these, here are 14 shortcuts built out with each potential option across the actions so that you don’t have to build them yourself:

Read the full story on iMore.

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Newsletter Offsite

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #35

From Issue 35 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

The public betas are finally here —that means more of you can play around with the new Shortcuts features!

That being said, I’ve definitely run into some bugs that break my very-specific workflows, so I wouldn’t recommend installing everything unless you have backup devices.

Otherwise, the betas are fairly stable, the new actions are ready to be used, and now’s the best time to dig into your Shortcuts workflows before the busy season — the summer of Shortcuts is really just getting started…

Read the full issue on Revue.

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iMore Offsite

iOS 16 public beta adds 46 new Shortcuts actions for Focus Filters, Background Removal, Parked Cars

Yours truly for iMore:

If you’re installing the public beta, developer beta, or just curious about the new features for Shortcuts coming to iOS 16, you’ll be glad to know that Apple added 46 new actions that add deeper access and advanced functionality to the Shortcuts ecosystem.

The main set of actions for Shortcuts focuses on Notes, Voice Memos, and Safari, plus Shortcuts itself. Additionally, Apple added new actions for Clock, Files, and Parked Cars, plus more for features like Focus Filters, Background Removal, and Personal Hotspot, and PDFs.

Here’s the full list of what’s new (so far) in the public betas:

As a follow to my post covering the full set of actions coming in iOS 16, I wrote about the current set in the public betas — actions for Books, Mail, and Reminders aren’t working, so I’ll be publishing a follow-up on iMore when they become available in future betas.

Also of note — almost none of these work on the Mac either (yet?).

Read the full story on iMore.

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Newsletter Offsite

What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #34

From Issue 34 of my Shortcuts newsletter:

We are very close now to the public beta, and with that comes a new set of actions to play around with until the launch of iOS 16.

Now that we’re on the third round, the developer betas are a bit more stable and I’ve gotten past some of the high-level bugs (the kind that tend to affect users with as many shortcuts as I do). However, as I note below, a few new actions ended up breaking too…

Otherwise, this week I published a handful of fun stories, found some great ideas and apps on Twitter, and got extremely jealous at an awesome NFC workflow — here’s what’s new this week:

Read the full issue on Revue.