Welcome to issue 71 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — the public betas are finally here and more of you can play around with the new Shortcuts features!
That being said, I’ve definitely run into some bugs that break my very-specific workflows, so I wouldn’t recommend installing everything unless you have backup devices.
Otherwise, the betas are fairly stable, the new actions are ready to be used, and now’s the best time to dig into your Shortcuts workflows before the busy season — my summer of Shortcuts is really just getting started…
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? Public beta goodness
The public betas for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS released on Monday, marking the first time the iOS 16-cycle features have been available to the general public.
And with that comes a whole new set of actions for Shortcuts — however, a subset of those are broken, so I shared a piece on iMore explaining all the ones that _do _work in the current betas:
In the first public beta of iOS 16, Shortcuts has a whole new set of actions to build with — here’s what’s available (so far) in my iMore column.
With the public now out, I’ve also shared a huge set of shortcuts—75 in total—that work with all the new actions, now available for members in early access before the full release this fall.
For this set, I went through every app, every action, and every parameter in those actions, making dedicated shortcuts for each of them.
Basically, if App Shortcuts will generate an entire folder for third-party apps, then my, ahem, Matt Shortcuts are hand-generated entire folders for first-party actions from Apple — get them here:
My collection of beta shortcuts (for members only) that work with Voice Memos, Notes tags and settings, the Clock app, Personal Hotspot, Parked Cars, Safari views and tab groups, Background Removal, and Shortcuts folders.
I’ve also spent a good amount of time redesigning the Shortcuts Library page, which adds a section for these iOS 16 beta shortcuts, simplifies the overall navigation, and elevates folders to a higher level — it’ll always be a work-in-progress, so check it out and let me know if there’s anything that could be improved:
Browse the Shortcuts Libray to find trusted examples for Apple’s Shortcuts app, all built by a former employee helping new users get started.
Also in the news, this Thursday I saw John Voorhees’ post about Shortcuts’ new Share Sheet option on the Mac—which I admittedly hadn’t noticed yet—that lets you extract the shared content from the app as the Shortcut Input in your shortcuts.
When Shortcuts debuted on the Mac in Monterey, Apple added more ways to run an automation than anyone expected, but there was one big omission. Shortcuts wasn’t included in Monterey’s share menu. That was a big disappointment for anyone (like me) who has built a lot of shortcuts that rely on the share sheet on
Finally, Chris Lawley briefly covered the new actions and features in Shortcuts in his iPadOS 16 preview — I’ve linked to the specific chapter here so you can hear about those updates specifically (~1 minute 30 seconds of coverage):
? Clever workflows
Martin Heusser shared his piece about interacting with Microsoft Teams using their API and the Shortcuts app — this is a great jumping-off point for any office worker whose business uses Teams for communication and wants to automate it:
Hello everybody. I try my best to blog about new and unique Microsoft Teams related stuff at least once a month. If you’re new to my stories, feel free to check out my previous articles here. Today…
David Blue shared this clever setup that involves a-Shell, a specific package library, and his included shortcut — with it, you can type in plain-text versions of keyboard shortcuts and get a properly-formatted version ( like “command option v” to get ⌘ + ⌥ + V):
During the course of my iPhone Keyboarding project, I managed to discover “a command line tool to document and describe keyboard shortc…
Kevin van Haren shared this great screenshot/shortcut that generates example versions for every option in the Format Date action — I use the Custom option all the time but often forget, so this is definitely handy:
If you ever wondered* “what the heck do all these date/time formats available in iOS even look like?” here you go:https://t.co/gg2EkniLfi
(*just me then?)
or just the results (long screenshot with shortcut & results): pic.twitter.com/pR0QZx6dq2
— Kevin van Haaren (@kvanh) July 14, 2022
Zed also shared this great Shell Script shortcut that sets your Mac to Low Power Mode automatically — this is a great script:
Would you like an easy way to toggle Low Power Mode on/off on your Mac (requires macOS Monterey)?
Unfortunately Apple doesn’t make this easy out-of-the box, but you can use a Shortcut pinned to the Menu Bar.
— zed (@zed1291) July 12, 2022
? From the Community
I love this idea for breaking up long Alt Text designed to explain the contents of screenshots — it splits text every 1000 characters to fit within the limit:
@ iPhone/iPad/Mac users
i made a Shortcut that cleans up and then splits text every 1,000 characters without breaking any words 🙂 i use it when i’m tweeting screenshots with lots of text, because Twitter’s alt text character limit is 1,000 per photo. https://t.co/ekFKCSMds6
— Vivian (@muchnerve) July 11, 2022
This shortcut from Lennart on Twitter does the calculation for Body Mass Index when you log your weight — nice to have both options in one go:
Shortcut for logging weight and calculated BMI into Apple Health:https://t.co/hNvOfNuUIP
Faber shared this shortcut for resizing windows using specific dimensions that you type in each time you run the shortcut — in the thread he explains that he uses this for consistent screenshot sizes:
If anyone needs a Mac shortcut for resizing windows to specific dimensions, I made this and I’m kinda proud of it. https://t.co/4BGLLIydDH
— Faber// (@faber_plus) July 13, 2022
I like this shortcut for logging work shifts to the calendar and the explanation for it — sometimes a shortcut still requires a little bit of manual work, but it’s still better than navigating around complex interfaces over and over again when you’re trying to solve a problem like this:
if you need a better way to add shifts to your calendar since workjam sucks, i made a shortcut to help add them. still have to enter dates× yourself but it’s easier than adding them all in the calendar app. ? https://t.co/cLWkQoAa7h
— FruitStandFrustration (@FruitStandVents) July 9, 2022
This shortcut for Toyo generates a bibliography for an extremely specific International Electric Propulsion Conference that’s all about rockets — I have no idea what that is, but the LaTeX offshoot BibText is interesting:
If you are a Mac user, I made a shortcut to generate a BibTex for your desired IEPC paper. You don’t have to manually add all authors anymore.https://t.co/GjPw7tpXKo
— Toyo (@toyofumi_ep) July 10, 2022
? Shortcuts Spotlight
Scotty Jackson and his sweet Shortcuts setups
For folks who don’t know him, Scotty Jackson is a fantastic automator, the cohost of Nested Folders with Rosemary Orchard, and an all-around wonderful Canadian man — this week I want to highlight some of his awesome work:
Earlier this week, I saw this great tweet from the HomeMade Automation account (makers of Signals for HomeKit) that shared Scotty’s Focus Mode setup:
Awesome discussion on the Automators podcast about using colored lights as a signal to yourself that it’s time to change your focus – aided by Signals for HomeKit! @automatorsfm pic.twitter.com/d25iRy0js7
— HomeMade Automation (@HomeMadeAuto) July 10, 2022
Here’s the episode link where you can listen to the full discussion:
In this episode, David and Rosemary are joined once more by Scotty Jackson. They take a look at home automation related to Focus Modes, and whether or not you can automate a podcast.
Scotty has also been publishing a great series of Rapid Logging shortcuts, both for Agenda and OmniFocus — here’s those stories on his blog as well:
I thought it would be good to do a series about how I automate my days as a means of keeping myself on track and conserving energy. The first part of this is in how I set up my day using the Agenda…
When it comes to capturing things as they come in to my life, I love the notion of rapid logging as is done in the Bullet Journal Method.
I shared my Rapid Log Shortcut for Agenda the other day, and it serves its purpose, but I am an OmniFocus user, and so really, my rapid logged tasks need to land there.
Scotty does great work in Shortcuts and is just an amazingly kind & supportive person who deserves all your support — you can subscribe to the member-supported version of his podcast here:
Rosemary Orchard and Scotty Jackson are pleased to present Unnested Folders, bringing the Nested Folders format to supporters’ needs and questions. In special monthly episodes, we dissect your challenges to uncover ideas and potential solutions, as well as new ways of thinking about problems.
That’s all for this week! I’ll be back next Sunday with another issue, plus I’ll be starting in on more advanced shortcuts for iOS 16 on livestreams — it’s going to be fun ?.
Until then, here’s the last issue — have a good week ?