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Siri Shortcuts

Upgrade #421: Summer of Automation

From Relay.FM:

Before the sun sets on the Summer of Fun, Jason has rounded up three Apple automation experts–Federico Viticci, Rosemary Orchard, and Matthew Cassinelli–to discuss the present and future of user automation on Apple’s platforms. Also, Myke and Jason debate the iOS 16 music scrubber.

Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Upgrade podcast on Relay.FM, speaking with host Jason Snell and fellow special guests Federico Viticci and Rosemary Orchard for a great discussion about Shortcuts.

Listen to the full show on Apple Podcasts or see the episode details on Relay.FM.

Categories
Shortcuts

Shortcuts shows too much personal information and that needs to change

I am writing this post because I am frustrated with the fact that Shortcuts shows personally identifiable information about me when live-streaming about the app, when Apple could easily change the interface to show the same information without exposing me and my girlfriend to personal safety problems.

To fix this Apple needs to overwrite personally-identifiable information in Shortcuts with generic placeholders that the user can understand from context, and they need to add the ability to remove Suggestions.

Every time you go into Shortcuts and try to pick a location, it will show your Home Address in the view — please just change this to say “Home” and do not input the address into the Location field, Home is plenty.

When you first open Shortcuts to a blank shortcut, in the bottom right there are often “Suggestions” based on your recent activity. However, there is no way to remove this information, meaning that recent contacts will always show up there and your friends & family have no choice but to have their names, images, and sometimes phone numbers appear on-screen. I’ve had Apple PR contacts of mine appear in this view when producing public content, for example.

Any suggested actions in the Shortcuts app should also be able to be removed — in my Reminders suggestions, the app is currently recommending that I make a shortcut with my most-recently added reminder, which includes information I do not want on-screen and cannot remove before trying to record my screen.

I originally sent this feedback to Apple on July 24, 2019 as FB6809181. It’s now been three years and I’m basically lucky this hasn’t been a bigger issue so far.

I really hope Apple takes this post to heart and adds these small but significant changes to the Shortcuts app in iOS 16.0 — I really don’t want this to become a much larger and much more personal issue by having my family’s privacy violated because I choose to share about this cool app I like to use.

Categories
Shortcuts

Here are 51 new actions for Shortcuts in the iOS 16 betas (so far)

In the first seed of the iOS 16 developer beta, the Shortcuts app has received 51 new actions that support interacting with Apple’s first-party apps and help take advantage of system features.

The actions provided work with Notes, Voice Memos, Mail, Safari, Shortcuts, Clock, Parked Cars, Image Backgrounds, Personal Hotspot, Files, PDFs, and Reminders, plus there’s an initial batch of bug fixes for actions and new Mac support for Safari Reader and Evernote actions.

This guide was compiled using a list provided by the Shortcuts team during Q&A sessions at WWDC, plus another post on Reddit and one of its comments, plus some of my own research using the developer betas.

I’ve sorted larger groups into sections, plus marked any actions with * do not currently work in the first developer beta.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Offsite

How Apple Is Trying To Fix Siri With App Shortcuts

From my iMore column “How Apple Is Trying To Fix Siri With App Shortcuts”:

With App Shortcuts, everyday folks will automatically have folders of trigger phrases to use with Siri, meaning the work that app developers put into adding Shortcuts support can pay off much easier.
[…]
In many ways, it seems that Siri Shortcuts is Apple’s solution for their Siri problem, and App Shortcuts is an encouraging start. I am looking forward to seeing how people react to the “improved” Siri experience — I’m sure we’ll hear some opinions when the time comes.

Read the full story on iMore.com.

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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
Siri Shortcuts Video

What’s new in Shortcuts stream – Automations, Actions, & Mac Improvements

Join me this Sunday, March 20 at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern/4pm UTC for a stream as we talk about iOS 15.4 and the new Shortcuts features included in the update.

We’ll cover the new sets of actions that are available, how Automations can run without notifying you every time, and lots of little details that are new in Shortcuts & iOS – I want to get you up-to-speed and moving with everything new!

I’ll be covering shortcuts available publicly in my Shortcuts Catalog and some members-only shortcuts as well.

Click here to get notified when I’m live.

Categories
Membership Siri Shortcuts Offsite

Shortcuts.Live: Posting to WordPress (feat. Jason Snell)

Today at 10am PST, I’ll be streaming with Apple blogger/podcaster Jason Snell to walk through using the WordPress XML-RPC protocol to post directly to one’s blog.

We’ll be live on YouTube for a half hour or so, while I recreate Jason’s shortcuts he shared on his website Six Colors for my own WordPress installation.

Join us on the stream and ask questions in the chat, or catch the replay at this link:

See you there!

Categories
Membership Shortcuts Siri Shortcuts Video

Member stream #7: Workflows for Shortcuts creators – Wednesday at 12pm PST

Hey members!

This Wednesday at 12pm/7pm GMT PST, I’ll be hosting a members-only livestream on YouTube to cover some of the meta work involved with being a Shortcuts creator.

I’ll be scraping data from a .shortcut file, plus potentially going into my Airtable logging process and how I save Action data as well.

Members can access the stream live below to get a reminder when it’s live or get back to this post at the right time using shortcuts.live:

Become a member to get access to access to the stream, plus:

  • New shortcuts on an ongoing basis
  • Extra ways to browse the catalog when you’re signed in
  • Prerelease notes & workflows I’m putting together
Categories
Membership Siri Shortcuts

How to run Shortcuts via the Stream Deck

One of the excellent features coming to Shortcuts for Mac is the addition of a scripting capability for the Shortcuts app itself – Apple has added AppleScript support for commands like opening and running shortcuts, even without opening the app at all.

Naturally, I immediately got excited to bring this possibility to life using the Stream Deck, a USB device from Elgato with hardware keys that can be customized to your heart’s extent (including using folders and subfolders):

The Stream Deck software for Mac allows users to add third-party plugins offered by the community, including one such plugin called “Run OSA script” that lets users input a script that gets triggered when the button is pressed:

To take advantage of this plugin, I’d need to write my own AppleScript – something I’m not super familiar with.

Thanks to this tweet from Alex Hay, developer of Toolbox Pro, I knew to use the Script Editor app to look into the capabilities of Shortcuts app by examining its’ AppleScript dictionary – here’s how:

Categories
Siri Shortcuts

All 25 of the Mac-Only Actions Coming to Shortcuts for Mac 🔐

In macOS Monterey, Apple has added 5 sets of actions to the Shortcuts app that are Mac-only – these aren’t available for iPad or iPhone users as they require specific features/apps.

Mac users can now easily automate their window management, interact with Finder, make disk images, perform actions taken from Automator, and take advantage of deeper Mac automation – plus there’s two actions not yet found in the betas.

In this 4,800-word piece (about 20 minutes average reading time), I’ll explain each of them in detail, plus give you my initial thoughts on what bringing this functionality to macOS means for the transition to Shortcuts as Apple’s main automation platform.

Become a member to get access to the post, plus:

  • New shortcuts on an ongoing basis
  • Extra ways to browse the catalog when you’re signed in
  • Prerelease notes & workflows I’m putting together
  • Exclusive livestreams teaching you more about Shortcuts
Categories
Shortcuts Siri Shortcuts Actions

All the New Cross-Platform Actions in Shortcuts for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS 🔐

With the release of iOS 15 and the associated betas across Apple’s platforms, the Shortcuts app has received 2 automation types and 22 new actions that work across iPhone, iPad, and macOS as well as 21 Mac-only actions.

This piece (4,700 words, about 20 minutes average reading time) includes my write up of the cross-platform actions, reordered into custom groups I’ve created – I’ll be covering the Mac-only actions next week.

I’ll also be adding screenshots and example shortcuts in a future version, so members can read up now and I’ll post the full guide once the public betas release.

Become a member to get access to the full post, plus:

  • Members-only shortcuts
  • Extra ways to browse the catalog when you’re signed in
  • Prerelease notes & workflows I’m putting together
  • Exclusive livestreams teaching you more about Shortcuts
Categories
Siri Shortcuts Video Offsite

Automation for AirTags: what the U1 chip means (beyond finding lost devices)

Apple’s new AirTags are their cheapest standalone product, yet I think they’re one of the most interesting released in a while.

And that’s because of the U1 chip inside – now the fourth Apple product besides iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod mini to include one.

This ultra-wideband technology has super-precise tracking technology, which I think could enable a whole new wave of automation capabilities for Apple devices.

I made a video that explains my thoughts on what I’m calling “Spatial Awareness for Siri” – you can watch the whole thing on YouTube in under 3 minutes:

Categories
Shortcuts Membership Siri Shortcuts

My Screenshot Workflow 🔐

Hello members!

This post will walk you through my new Screenshot Workflow, which consists of two shortcuts… and a Mac app!

 

Get access to the full post by signing up for a membership.

Categories
Siri Shortcuts Links

Add my livestream calendar for public & members-only streams

I’ve created a new Google Calendar for all of my livestreams so that folks can add it to their devices and see when I’ll be live for both public and private member streams:

I’ll include links for each event for public YouTube streams, member posts with unlisted streams embedded inside, and my Twitch channel.

Check out the calendar online here and add it directly to your Calendar using the iCal format.