Welcome to Issue 82 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — this week we saw some critical bug fixes in the iOS 16.1 betas, a lot of ideas from the Twitter community, and great resources popping up elsewhere online.
Especially with Shortcuts reaching a more stable footing than in the past few months, I got the sense that I was finally actually experiencing the full iOS 16 release in a regular week.
I’ve still only really used Stage Manager on iPad a handful of times, I finally gave in and set up “Open Folder” shortcuts for all of my folders—a strategy that 100% only makes sense for me alone—and truly tapping into App Shortcuts is taking time after bugs in the betas preventing all of them from showing up.
I’m excited for the iPad and Mac releases to drop in a few weeks and be able to really settle into this full release — it’s definitely making my daily work more productive.
Until then, here’s what’s new since last time:
? New in the Shortcuts betas
After playing around with the Shortcuts betas, I noticed two changes and shared about them on Twitter — first, we have updated groups for symbols, and second, keyboard shortcuts on the iPad:
For the first time since I hand-picked the groups of icons while working at Workflow, Apple has updated the symbol groupings for the glyphs available for your shortcuts. They’re grouped into categories like Communication and Weather, plus single icons can appear in multiple places if it makes sense categorically — very nice.
The only downside I’m seeing so far is that not every icon has made it over in the transfer, and I’m really missing full access — I tweeted that I hope this means we’re getting proper SF Symbols support soon:
Shortcuts has new symbol groups for the glyphs on your shortcut icons! ?
My extremely specific muscle memory is broken, but there’s much more logical organization — it even has duplicates if an icon belongs in more than one group ? pic.twitter.com/rtSlh1m3Dh
— Matthew Cassinelli (@mattcassinelli) October 5, 2022
Later that afternoon, I also noticed that the same keyboard shortcuts that have been available in the Mac app are now appearing for the iPad as well — I really, really love using these and I’m super glad I can speed up my building experience when using the Magic Keyboard on my iPad:
Shortcuts for iPad now has the same keyboard shortcuts as the Mac ? pic.twitter.com/4RMsaMre35
— Matthew Cassinelli (@mattcassinelli) October 5, 2022
? Links of the Week
On Wednesday, I streamed with Stephen Robles of the AppleInsider podcast to talk about his shortcuts for producing their show — Stephen came prepared with an awesome batch of advanced shortcuts he’s made, so definitely check them out:
Join me and special guest Stephen Robles of AppleInsider as we work on shortcuts for managing a podcast — we went live Wednesday, October 5th.
Marco Dengel also happened to tune into our stream and shared his set of Apple Marketing Tools shortcuts based on their API — he shared links to the shortcuts in this thread:
Yes, that‘s actually what the Browser does under the hood on Apple‘s Marketing Tools site.
Here‘s an example shortcut that uses the api to search the AI Podcast, its latest episode etc. – everything you tried to live code in the Podcast. ? https://t.co/ShExkzysUr
— Marco Dengel (@marco79) October 6, 2022
I saw this post explaining how to change resolutions on the Mac using shell scripting in Shortcuts — this is something I run into all the time with my 4K monitor that’s actually best for daily work in 1440p, so I’m building off these this week for sure:
Use Jake Hilborn’s displayplacer: Shortcuts menu showing multiple display resolutions This is like getting a custom basic version of switchresx (or the broken easyres) for free. The shortcut itself will be custom to your monitor ID and the resolutions it’s capable of. Mine looks like this: You can run displayplacer list to get the exact…
I always love seeing folks tap into APIs using Shortcuts and found this repository from this thread that signs into CrossFit using Wodify, a gym membership software — if you use this shortcut, it’s definitely up to you to tell everyone that you use it ?
Ask Siri to sign you into CrossFit. Look ma, no hands! – GitHub – adamroyle/wodify-shortcuts: Ask Siri to sign you into CrossFit. Look ma, no hands!
I love this video from YouTuber Jeff Wu giving people a good guide to get started with Shortcuts on Mac — he’s very clear, walks you through all the features, and has great energy. I’m definitely using his “Hide desktop icons” shortcut:
? Download my Shortcuts here: https://www.jeffsu.org/macbook-shortcuts-appAlthough the Shortcuts app is already pretty popular on the iPhone, very few peopl…
Speaking of the Mac, this video helps you get started with the StreamDeck using the Shortcuts plugin by Sentinelite — I’ve been going very deep on my StreamDeck lately and I recommend checking this video out if you’re using the plugin method (I use AppleScript):
In this video I show you how you can easily trigger your Mac OS Shortcuts App with the Stream Deck, using a great little plugin by Sentinelite.
This post on Medium also covers some daily-life shortcuts that are great for regular setups and getting into the zone right away:
I keep repeating this to myself because it makes me think, especially when I notice that I am doing repetitive tasks that might be automated and save me a ton of time. It has been more than three…
In a follow up to last week’s developer guide for App Shortcuts, the folks at ArcTouch also published a guide to making those shortcuts discoverable inside your app — I’m glad these folks are putting together these clean guides to any developer can get started:
Top 5 tips how to make App Shortcuts and App Intents discoverable so users can take advantage of Siri in an iOS app.
? Apps of the Week
Hook is a super interesting Mac app designed to create deep links from all your apps and, well, hook them together — last week, they added Shortcuts support with the following actions, which I’m just starting to play around with myself:
- Add Bookmark
- Get Bookmark From Active Window
- Get Bookmark By Request Handle
- Focus On Bookmark
- Hook Bookmarks Together
- Unhook Bookmarks
- Get Bookmarks Hooked To URL
Following very helpful feedback from beta testers (thank you!), we recently released Hook 3.8. Hook Pro users can now create Apple Shortcuts to automatically connect and navigate their most important information! For example, you can create new items and hook them together; focus on particular book
This tweet from Drafts is perfectly aimed at me (and, by extension, my readers) — it’s a shortcut to pick from your list of shortcuts and add it into Drafts. That way, you can easily install any shortcuts inside Drafts and run them using the text from your draft as input:
— Drafts (@draftsapp) October 3, 2022
The folks at TelevisionTime have also added Shortcuts support (alongside a bunch of other updates) to make interacting with your show queue easier:
Television Time 1.9.2 is now out ? Adding support for Shortcuts, Shared with You (iOS 16), a new look for Stats, Year in Review for Plus, faster Trakt sync, iCloud sync fixes, and more.
— TelevisionTime (@TelevisionApp) October 4, 2022
Rich DeMuro, a tech reporter for KTLA, shared this great Shortcuts-powered app Soro that I’ve linked to before while requesting native features from Sonos — check it out if you’ve got their speakers:
Sonos needs to build these features into their native app to take advantage of Siri Shortcuts
— Rich DeMuro (@richontech) September 30, 2022
I just saw this app pop up today too and will be looking into it this week — it’s called Power Widget and lets you create custom widgets that hook into Shortcuts:
✨Power Widgets 2 is available now with:
LockScreen widgets, a redesigned editor, stability improvements, Shortcuts compatibility, and more!
— Power Widgets (@PowerWidgets) October 9, 2022
? Shortcuts of the week
This tweet at the end of a thread shared a shortcut for editing text directly on a webpage so it displays differently (just for you) — definitely good for mocking up your own copy for any website:
it’s a shortcut which lets you edit the text on webpages : https://t.co/gc8fGV4Xwk
— SSC Napoli Suisse???? (@SSCNapoliCH) October 3, 2022
David Blue shared this shortcut for formatting links from LookUp for iOS into Markdown — this app is great for, well, looking up words and storing them in custom research groups:
— ? ? ? ? ? (@NeoYokel) October 2, 2022
This thread is super interesting and honestly beyond me at the moment, but I wanted to link to it for anyone else to check out and so I can come back to it later — they go deep into a series of hooks out to the web using Shortcuts:
This tweet from Kyle Hughes highlights how he’s been using his Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra to dictate into Day One — I jokingly questioned his use of “actually-useful” in describing his shortcut and he followed up how he’d be using it previously ?:
I made an actually-useful Shortcut for my Action Button: dictate text and use it to create an entry in @dayoneapp. Their support for the new and powerful App Shortcuts made this very easy. pic.twitter.com/iH8J5xIRWJ
— Kyle Hughes (@KyleHughes) October 4, 2022
? Ideas of the week
I’m a huge fan of threads about Shortcuts automations because you can usually set them up and get a bunch of value without doing anything else — this one from Xiwen Chang is no exception:
All iPhones are equipped with great little app called Shortcuts.
I use it like a personal assistant to optimize my life with automation.
Here’s my list of automation for a healthier life, more battery per charge and better carplay experience.
— Xiwen Cheng (@xiwenc) October 8, 2022
This tweet from Nate Heagy is exactly the kind of mindset I have with Apple’s platforms now — most apps can actually benefit from Shortcuts support in unique ways, even games. I liked this so much I told Nate his tweet is basically the premise of a future column of mine:
Most apps should have app intents/shortcut actions, even games. I could use one with Knotwords to check if I’d played all of today’s daily puzzles and if so to launch SpellTower instead.
— Nate Heagy (@nheagy) October 3, 2022
I didn’t actually mention this in my column last week, but for anyone who wants Shortcuts on their Lock Screen, you can put the widget in the Today view and have it one swipe away:
I recently tried creating my own Siri Shortcuts on iOS to automate some of my daily tasks. I also added them to the Today View so I can launch them right from the lock screen.
It’s interesting how visual scripting can make my iPhone perform multiple tasks with just one tap.
— Akshay Parakh (@akshayparakh95) October 3, 2022
This idea from Marlon Wayne also speaks to a great way to use Shortcuts — take the same muscle memory you’ve built up and simply reroute it to a better place. You could even put shortcuts on the Home Screen under the Twitter or TikTok icons and have them redirect you to something more positive during work hours, for example:
Changing my default habits. New Siri Shortcut will not allow me to open Twitter, IG, or TikTok on phone. Automatically switches to Notion tasks list.
— marlon wayne (@m_rlons) September 30, 2022
I also saw this tweet from Rod Christiansen sharing his food tracking setup using FoodNoms — looks like a handy set that’d work great in a Shortcuts widget:
Your app is literally my entire food tracking system with shortcuts pic.twitter.com/Ke5FkUpWWF
— Rod Christiansen (@RodChristiansen) October 2, 2022
Nate Heagy has a similar setup as me—him for his monitor and mine for a video light—using a smart plug as an on/off switch for a device that otherwise doesn’t have one:
I gave up and setup a Hue power plug and a Shortcut to turn my monitor off and on again to reset the built-in hub when it stops responding. pic.twitter.com/GAhPVM2HcW
— Nate Heagy (@nheagy) October 5, 2022
This tweet from @spookyusr Caleb was shared jokingly, but he’s spot on — here’s a shortcut I just put together that takes you to the cancel URL:
I have taken out so many audible trials I probably need a Siri shortcut called “cancel audible”
— caleb (@spookyusr) October 5, 2022
Have you ever seen one of those ideas that instantly makes you jealous you hadn’t thought of it first? Yeah, “Apple juice” got me here:
I love this Apple Shortcuts App. I set it up so that Every time I plug up my phone, Siri says “Thanks for the apple juice.” I want to change it to something else, but I don’t know what yet ?
— Bye Felicia✌? (@FeFeFromTheBlk) October 5, 2022
?️ Feedback of the Week
Names for Automations is something I’ve wanted from Apple since 2019 — and filed FB6809057 three years ago asking for it — and this user is still echoing it today.
I still think the main issues with “Show When Run” automations is the user’s inability to understand what steps are going to occur based on the automation notification alone — a few app icons doesn’t cut it.
Please Apple, let us name our automations (FB6809057), make them shareable (FB9838471), and give us an “Open Automation” action (FB11503213).
John Fischetti has brought up the point that a Set Lock Screen action would be very welcome for Shortcuts users in iOS 16 — right now a “workaround” is assigning Focus Modes to Lock Screens or the Watch faces and setting those, but that requires a fairly specific setup:
This idea from Eunjae Lee is spot-on — there should be app-level filters or sections on the App Store informing you of widget support, Shortcuts support, and specifically App Shortcuts support as well; users shouldn’t have to guess:
App Store should have a dedicated section to notify if the app offers widgets or Shortcuts support. I’m tired of reading through walls of text or installing to see whether or not they do.
— Eunjae Lee (@eunjae_lee) October 9, 2022
That’s all for this week!