What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #007

Welcome to Issue 7 of “What’s New in Shortcuts?”

This week we saw iPhones shipping, I held a few Shortcuts Live streams, and my Home Screen system is almost fully operational.

This week I’m settling into some new office gear I got after talking to Matt Galligan about ergonomics—I’m excited (and comfy)—so expect some impressions of using an iPad with a monitor next weekend.

Until then, here’s what’s new with Shortcuts from this week:


Apple pushed out iOS 14.1 ahead of the new iPhones shipping – and they couldn’t help but add a few new things:

  • “Hey Siri, open the Intercom.”
    New in iOS 14.1 for any HomePod owners is the Intercom feature announced alongside the HomePod Mini – use this shortcut to quickly open into the Home app and tap on the new Intercom icon in the top right to broadcast to your home.
  • “Hey Siri, turn on Apple Music TV.”
    This week, Apple also launched a new always-on (worldwide) channel playing music videos as part of Apple Music Radio – this shortcut opens the deep link so you can tune in at any time.
  • “Hey Siri, measure height.”
    Got a shiny new iPhone 12 Pro? The LiDAR sensor on your device can now quickly measure how tall someone is using the Measure app – I’ll run this shortcut next time I see my brother for sure.


One of the themes with iOS 14 I’ve seen is making the power of your devices easier to access—here’s some ways you tap into the microphone to control your device, for instance:

  • “Hey Siri, show me this music video.”
    Speaking of music videos, this shortcut taps into the Shazam action’s parameters to extract the Video URL they provide and opens the identified song in Apple Music right away – see more Shazam shortcuts too.
  • “Hey Siri, toggle Voice Control.”
    After talking with Jackson Hayes last week about how a car accident left him in need of Accessibility features, I wanted to put up my set of shortcuts that toggle many of the tools available like Voice Control automatically – check out the folder.
  • “Hey Siri, dictate.”
    My Voice shortcuts collection also provides some useful ways to use Shortcuts with Siri – the Dictation action is handy, plus any Scripting actions like Ask For Input and Choose From List or Choose From Menu will read out prompts and accept dictation when run from Siri.


_I’ve been on a big YouTube kick this __week tryin to rebuild my habits, get inspired, and understand how this fall’s technology lineup changes things – check out the full set of YouTube shortcuts now available._

  • “Hey Siri, search YouTube with voice.”
    Going even further with voice, Google’s own voice recognition is super fast as well – this shortcut donated from YouTube will open into the app and let you speak your search; I really like running it from the Shortcuts widget.
  • “Hey Siri, open watch later.”
    Last fall, I published a blog post about opening the deep link for my Watch Later playlist in YouTube – apparently I didn’t use it much, because I just cleared out about 300 videos. But lately I’ve been using the shortcut every day and watching tons more videos I want to enjoy.
  • “Hey Siri, open a YouTube playlist.”
    This presents a menu of YouTube playlists so you can save up videos on a topic and dive in all at once – I always forget to actually use my playlists, so this is a bookmarking tool of sorts.


It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two months since I launched my membership and this newsletter, but I’ve been loving every week – here’s what’s new for members:

  • Easier access to the Shortcuts User Group
    While the eagle-eyed subscriber can probably find the link elsewhere, the members page has shortcuts to join the Shortcuts User Group that I’ve put together in Slack – we just had our first (very casual) group meeting on Zoom this weekend and plan to do more hangouts in the future. Plus, we’ve got lots of threads sharing new shortcuts or answering questions – it’s a great little group so far.
  • Updated Home Screen images
    My Home Screen uploads were either ginormous and impossible to load, or too small to see all the good details – I reuploaded the iPhone screenshots and updated my iPad home screen to latest version too (with as much of the sidebar as visible to give you a preview). I’ll be adding in the full list of apps and stacks for next week.
  • Archive of livestreams
    As I start to do more livestreams, I wanted to provide an easy list to members to access in once place and dive into the various videos available across Twitch and YouTube – members can find it on the Members Only page. I’ll be sure to always announce streams on Twitter, but look out for ways to anyone to subscribe to my schedule in the coming weeks.

Have a wonderful week – I know I will, it’s my birthday week!

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