What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #014

This is the week! Once iOS 14.3 drops, millions of people will update their smartphones and suddenly be able to create their “app ideas” by adding them as shortcuts to their Home Screen.

The main change? The limitation where “custom icons always open into Shortcuts first” is now gone!

Shortcuts added to the Home Screen actually behave like you’d expect, opening into apps immediately – plus they run all the scripting actions perfectly, just like the Shortcuts widget.

I’ve tried to capture my excitement in a video – look for it soon on YouTube. But until then, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts this week:


Apple Fitness+ comes out tomorrow, Apple’s releasing AirPods Max, and M1 Macs are still shipping out to new users every day – here’s how to take advantage of Apple’s latest updates:

  • “Hey Siri, get started with work
    For anyone who’s springing for a pair of AirPods Max—I’m reviewing them but I’ll certainly be returning them—I created a pair of shortcuts (#1, #2) for sitting down at your desk to focus (HomeKit, Noise Cancellation, and Do Not Disturb), then another for taking a break by reversing all those. Make sure to grab them if you have AirPods Pro too!
  • “Hey Siri, set up for a TV workout.”
    Ahead of the official launch of Apple Fitness+, I created a shell shortcut to wake my Apple TV, open an app, and show the Remote Control – make sure to add in the Fitness app once it’s available. Also feel free to repurpose my “Check my rings” shortcut from Issue 3 too or check out the full Apple One folder.
  • “Hey Siri, copy from my Mac
    This week I discovered the app Shortcut Remote Control that pairs an iOS app with a Mac app and allows for basic remote commands like media controls, system utilities, Safari commands, and running AppleScripts. This shortcut lets me copy any input from my Mac and immediately paste after running the shortcut – get the $0.99 app to try it yourself.


Alongside Apple Fitness+, Apple will be releasing iOS 14.3 – if you haven’t been tracking through the last few issues, here are the links back to each:

  • Home Screen shortcuts don’t have to open the app – and Set Wallpaper is back!
    Get more details about how Shortcuts can be added to Home Screen from Issue 11 along with my set of shortcuts for using Set Wallpaper. Plus, I explained the best actions in Home Screen shortcuts in Issue 13.
  • Reminders, Contacts, and Notes got “Edit” actions – will other apps?
    In Issue 10, I mentioned the new capabilities for Shortcuts users to edit information from the core built-in apps – plus I shared some shortcuts built with them for members. Will these “edit” capabilities extend to developers so third-party apps can do the same? Hopefully we’ll get that soon!
  • Check out the new data for the Health app
    Apple seems to be expanded the Health app capabilities further than we’ve seen before with iOS 14.3—presumably due to the Fitness+ integrations—but check out Issue 12 for the details on what’s new and a shortcut to explore the data yourself.

?** SHORTCUTS 2077**

Just like the new Cyberpunk game, Shortcuts sure can be futuristic – and just as buggy ?:

  • “Hey Siri, go cyberpunk
    The game that’s dominating the holiday season chatter—whether that’s good or… not—is Cyberpunk 2077, a futuristic role-playing game with an expansive world and a variety of unique characters. Despite the bugs, it’s still fun – I use this shortcut to change the LIFX strip behind my desk to a scene based on the game’s color scheme and turn on Do Not Disturb.
  • “Hey Siri, when did I make these reminders?”
    Listening to Back to Work this week, I heard Merlin Mann talking to Dan Benjamin about how he wished he was able to track when he created a reminder – that time between creating it and right now can be a relevant piece of information to know. This shortcut grabs just that – listen to the episode (particularly around 25 minutes) to hear the discussion.
  • “Hey Siri, convert stream time zones for Myke
    This week I saw Myke Hurley share his usual teaser for his keyboard streams and I noticed it’d be a good opportunity to automate the time zones – so I made this shortcut to let him pick a time and share it in the same style.


I realized this week that I’ll probably be linking to Stu Maschwitz and Federico Viticci regularly, so make sure to sign up for both their memberships too if you haven’t yet – and join r/shortcuts too:

  • Automations for Small Wins
    Stu has another shortcut called Small Wins that he put together as an automation after seeing the idea on Twitter from Jordan Morgan. Stu also continues with a good thread about the various types of shortcuts one can designs beyond single Siri phrases. Check out the full thread.
  • ShortSwitch and Apple Frames from MacStories
    Federico has created a cool new shortcut that hooks into the temporary code generated by a Nintendo Switch to let you import videos and screenshots. Plus, he’s shared an update to his Apple Frames shortcut for iPhone 12 mini and Pro Max sizes.
  • Double tap to change wallpaper
    Reddit user u/fraanbm had the great idea to combine the Back Tap feature with the new Set Wallpaper action so you can randomize your background at any time. Combine that with a Wallpaper album and you can change yours with a double tap too.


My long-coming video on my iOS 14 Home Screens is coming soon – members will get the full context for the 13 screenshots of my Home Screens they can see now.

Beyond that, I’ve put up new members-only notes on the Home Screens on widgets & wallpapers, plus two shortcuts I used to make the video that I won’t be sharing elsewhere:

  • Every app on my phone with widgets
    I’ve updated the list of Widget apps available on my device, along with new checks for the ones that I’m actually using – check it out on Craft via the members-only page.
  • Get the wallpapers I’m using
    In my video I discuss a series of Automations for my wallpapers – members can find links to each of those wallpapers on the Extras page, plus two other simple sets of Apple-related wallpapers I’ve found online. Also, look for the “Default wallpaper” shortcut that lets you restore your favorite default wallpaper by storing it in base64.
  • How to grab from multiple folders to share shortcuts
    For my Shortcuts Home Screen video, I used a few shortcuts to whittle down my own list of shortcuts and decide what to share. Members can check out the exclusive shortcuts on the Extras page, along with a brief write-up of how I used them for the video.
    I’m super excited that iOS 14.3 will finally be out – if you found this email and the links useful for understanding the update, consider sharing it with someone who’d find it useful!

Otherwise, I’ll see you on YouTube soon… ?

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