Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
iMore Offsite

8 ways to get help from Apple Support using Shortcuts

Yours truly for iMore:

Apple’s Support resources are incredibly helpful when you’re running into issues, need to repair a device, or for learning more about how to use your devices.

With an entire Knowledge Base online, the Apple Support app, and their social media pages, there’s a lot of ways to access help pages, get direct support, and browse more to learn on your own — so here’s a set of shortcuts to help you do just that.

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

Apple is releasing tons of “hidden” features in Shortcuts — what about everyday users?

Yours truly for iMore:

As Apple continues to develop the Shortcuts app experience across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even Apple Watch, there are even more features and functionality that’s possible on Apple’s platforms, but only through the Shortcuts app.

As features like custom speaker groups become possible to create and break apart with Shortcuts, iOS often lacks a built-in, Apple-like way to activate the same functionality without using Shortcuts.

To put it another way, Apple is adding features to their OSes that otherwise don’t fit into the platform itself, but they can get away with adding by putting it into Shortcuts.

For example, there’s no elegant way to make combinations of speaker groups besides tapping around in Control Center, so instead Apple can ship it in Shortcuts, the power users are happy, and…everyday folks just…don’t get the feature?

I already got some comments on iMore in reply to my post, and I’d really love to know my readers’ thoughts on this too — please leave yours in the comments!

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

How to create speaker groups for HomePod using Shortcuts

Yours truly for iMore:

In iOS 15.4, Apple added new parameters to the Set Playback Destination action that updated the capabilities from being able to switch destinations to additionally being able to add and remove destinations.

With this functionality, Apple users can create and break apart speaker groups on-the-fly using Shortcuts, something that’s only otherwise been possible by manually selecting and deselecting speakers in the Control Center view.

This article covers four shortcuts that utilize the Set Playback Destination action, making it easy to change speakers, add to a group, remove from a group, and cast to multiple speakers at once:

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

Apple’s developer APIs for Shortcuts are way better this year

I interviewed three app developers about Apple’s latest improvements to the Shortcuts APIs for iMore:

Apple’s newest framework for implementing Shortcuts support in iOS, iPadOS, and Mac apps has been called “modern,” “expansive,” and “much easier,” according to app developers who’ve been testing the new framework since its release at WWDC.

I asked three developers — Alex Hay of Toolbox Pro, Seth Sandler of AffinityBlue (responsible for apps like Tunable), and Josh Holtz of ConnectKit — about the new App Intents framework, what new feature they’re looking to utilize going forward, and how things compare to what was previously available.

Here are their responses:

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

Simple shortcuts to help you take notes on WWDC sessions

I made 7 Shortcuts to help you take notes on WWDC sessions for my iMore weekend piece:

With such a breadth of potential topics, sections to research, and videos to watch, it can be hard to wrap your head around what’s new.

So here’s a set of shortcuts to help you explore the conference material, get set up to take notes, and work with the transcripts in your own documentation.

The shortcuts are linked throughout, plus you’ll find the following list with iCloud links at the end:

  • Open WWDC sessions
  • Search WWDC sessions
  • Browse WWDC sessions
  • Open the Developer app
  • Developer TV
  • Full-screen session
  • Process transcript

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

Why summer is the best time to get into Shortcuts

Yours truly for iMore:

Apple’s Shortcuts can be an overwhelming app, with so many actions, apps, and features to take advantage of that it can take time to set up and get using everything in a way that works for you.

With the upcoming beta releases that ship after WWDC and longer days (in the Northern hemisphere) throughout the summer, the next few months are the best time to get into Apple’s Shortcuts app.

Now that the apps are more stable, there are more actions from the App Store, and no time like the present, here’s why the Shortcuts app is worth digging into:

Read the full story on iMore.

Categories
iMore Offsite

How to use Apple’s new Accessibility Assistant shortcut to assess your needs (and 26 accessibility shortcuts)

Yours truly for iMore:

On Tuesday, Apple previewed new accessibility features coming to their platforms this year, including new navigation, health, and communication tools alongside Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

Among these announcements was the expansion of their Accessibility Assistant shortcut to Mac and Apple Watch to “help recommend accessibility features based on user preferences”.

The new shortcuts have now been released in the “Shortcuts for Accessibility” category in the Gallery for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, along with the 26 Accessibility shortcuts that users can add right away in their Shortcuts app.

Read the full story on iMore.