What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #070

Welcome to Issue 70 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — 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:

Editor’s note: Revue, the service I use to send this newsletter, has had email delivery issues lately, leading some readers to get the last issue sent to their Spam folder — if this happens to you, mark the email as Not Spam to help ensure future issues make it to your inbox.

* * *

🆕 New from Matthew

First, a quick update from the latest developer beta — the set of Mail, Books, and Reminders Smart List actions have broken in this version. Unfortunately, this might persist in the public betas (we’ll see next week) so I’ll have to check then and potentially delay my set of shortcuts using those actions if they’re not present.

Otherwise, I have a set of shortcuts coming for the rest of the new actions in the Shortcuts betas for members later this week when it launches!

In the last week, I also published three iMore articles — starting with this awesome set for making speaker groups on HomePod.

I absolutely love these shortcuts and use the heck out of them every day — check out the story:

How to create speaker groups for HomePod using Shortcuts How to create speaker groups for HomePod using Shortcutswww.matthewcassinelli.com

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.

As a follow-up to the speaker groups story, I asked iMore readers whether this kind of feature being available in Shortcuts _only _and not really elsewhere is a problem for Apple. I got some good comments on the post, and I’d love to hear your thoughts there too, or you can reply to this email and let me know what you think!

Apple is releasing tons of "hidden" features in Shortcuts — what about everyday users? Apple is releasing tons of “hidden” features in Shortcuts — what about everyday users?www.matthewcassinelli.com

I want your hottest take — is Shortcuts just a tool for power users or can the “average” user truly get in on all the potential? I wrote about this hard question for Apple to answer on iMore.

For my Saturday shortcuts just yesterday, I also put out this set for interacting with Apple Support — I like the one that lets you search the K-base quickly:

8 ways to get help from Apple Support using Shortcuts 8 ways to get help from Apple Support using Shortcutswww.matthewcassinelli.com

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.

Finally, I linked to this Reddit post on my blog — one Redditor in the r/shortcuts community shared how he used Shortcuts to generate daily reports, impress his bosses, and move up in his company:

How Shortcuts changed one Redditor’s life How Shortcuts changed one Redditor’s lifewww.matthewcassinelli.com

From manual labor to generating daily reports with a huge impact on his business’ bottom-line, here’s the story of how one Redditor’s life change thanks to Shortcuts.

💡 Shortcuts ideas to check out

Mashable put together this piece covering 10 shortcuts from the Gallery — check them out if you haven’t explored many ideas there or need some new ideas for the summer:

Save time with the 10 best Siri Shortcuts | Mashable Save time with the 10 best Siri Shortcuts | Mashablemashable.com

How to use Siri’s handy ready-made Shortcuts, from “Speed Dial” to “Running Late.” Search for these and more in the Shortcuts app’s “Gallery” section.

This post from Caleb Smith covers a method for scheduling text messages for later using Automations in Shortcuts — check out the set of screenshots explaining how he set it up:

Delayed Messages on iOS

When I got my first iPhone in March I was surprised to find that iMessage didn’t support sending messages later at a specified time. This feature is pretty common on some other messaging platforms, so I had come to depend on it in my daily workflow. It’s especially useful in situations where I have a work-related thought at 3AM and don’t want to risk waking up and annoying my co-workers.

In case you haven’t already tried, Shortcuts is great for setting up custom trigger phrases for non-HomeKit lights and turning them on/off with Siri — I have my own set for Hue’s special scenes in a Shortcuts widget on one of my Home Screens:

Kevin Arifin shared a thread where he uses Shortcuts to trigger a high-intensity interval training workout while he plays a video of the workout from YouTube — I hadn’t thought of pairing a workout with a specific video using YouTube like this, great idea:

🔄 Deeper workflows to explore

Kevin van Haren shared a quick thought on Twitter about how he mixes together the Calendar and Fantastical actions for the most-optimal experience — I recommend this as well, since your system calendars are usually synced in the background already so there’s no reason not to use both:

Floh Gro shared a diagram of his workflow for getting stuff into Craft using Shortcuts and various apps at different stages — he’s doing a ton of great work with Craft’s new extensions feature, so definitely give him a follow if you’re into Craft:

📲 Apps to download

Alex Hay, the developer I quoted above, has released a beta for Toolbox Pro 2, the follow-up version to his iOS app that’s coming to the Mac this year.

I’m super excited to get the Mac version working (there’s a bug installing it right now) because I rely on a few actions that limits some of my workflow to iOS-only, so getting those actions on the Mac will be fantastic:

IFTTT, the classic web automation tool, published a piece explaining their Shortcuts integration and the “Trigger Applet” action — this is a great way to tie your web services together with a Shortcuts trigger to kick them off:

Integrate the Apple Shortcuts app with IFTTT - IFTTT Integrate the Apple Shortcuts app with IFTTT – IFTTTifttt.com

The Shortcuts app on Apple is a great way to enhance the way your Apple devices integrate with the world around you. By combining the power of Shortcuts and IFTTT, you can easily connect and manage automations that make your life easier, make you more productive, and save yourself time every day.

Ian Keen released a new version of his TopDrop app that adds Shortcuts actions to interact with the information that you save after dropping it onto the MacBook Pro notch — clever idea:

The QuickScan app shared their update that adds scanning and optical character recognition to Shortcuts — this will be interesting to try out:

🔎 Shortcuts Spotlight

This Tech Employee Tracked His Outfits For A Year Using Shortcuts

Earlier this week, I cam across this week sharing a chart of clothing trends over time, generated by someone using NFC buttons and Shortcuts Automations across the course of a whole year:

The “dude” in question is Andre Nader, a Meta employee who diligently scanned NFC tags sewn into all of his clothes and stored the data in the no-code platform Coda — make sure to check out this whole thread for the summary of his experience:

Andre also wrote up the experience—on Coda, of course—and explained how he sourced the NFC buttons from Alibaba, tracked it all using Shortcuts, and gained a ton of interesting insights that he charted out in the post:

Tracking Your Wardrobe with Coda & NFC Buttons · Automated Wardrobe Tracker Tracking Your Wardrobe with Coda & NFC Buttons · Automated Wardrobe Trackercoda.io

Andre also linked to the source material he used to tap into Coda’s API using Shortcuts, which you can find here if you’re interesting in using the platform as your own customizable back-end (similar to Airtable and Notion):

How to send shower thoughts to Coda using Siri Shortcuts How to send shower thoughts to Coda using Siri Shortcutscoda.io

Capture those fleeting shower thoughts straight into Coda

I’m super impressed with this method, especially his clever way of lowering the barrier of effort — the idea to literally embed the NFC tags into every outfit makes this a lot more practical and therefore actually feasible.

Now the real question is — should I place a bulk order of NFC buttons from China and resell them myself? 😇

That’s all for this week!