What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #083

Welcome to Issue 83 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — this week has Apple announcement energy in the air, but no news as of yet.

iOS 16.1 is just over the horizon and with it iPadOS & macOS — I’ve written that line too many times, but it’s creeping up now.

Aside from some continued sync issues that I ended up ranting about, the community puttered along quietly in anticipation of what’s hopefully a more-stable period for Shortcuts ahead.

Until then, here’s what’s new in Shortcuts since the last issue:

? Links of the Week

On Tuesday, I guest hosted iOS Today with Rosemary Orchard – we talked about Shortcuts apps, App Shortcuts, and answered some listener questions. Make sure to check out the video to see our demos as well:

iOS Today 623: Supercharge Shortcuts With These Apps – Matthew Cassinelli iOS Today 623: Supercharge Shortcuts With These Apps – Matthew Cassinellimatthewcassinelli.com

Watch my guest appearance on iOS Today 623 with Rosemary Orchard — we talked Shortcuts power user apps, App Shortcuts, and answered listener questions!

The folks at Gadget Hacks hacks have covered every single new feature coming in iOS 16.1 – I like how they actually went through and found each glyph that is missing from the new layout:

iOS 16.1 Has Important Changes for Shortcuts — Here's Everything You Need to Know :: Gadget Hacks iOS 16.1 Has Important Changes for Shortcuts — Here’s Everything You Need to Know :: Gadget Hacksios.gadgethacks.com

The latest iPhone update introduces big features like Live Activities and Clean Energy Charging, but those aren’t the only things you’ll notice different on iOS 16.1. If you build your own shortcuts in the Shortcuts app, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to know about the new software. It’s not a massive feature drop as with iOS 16.0, but they are important changes.

Dan Moren wrote a piece for Six Colors about the limitations of Automations in the Home app and how the Shortcuts integration leaves a lot to be desired – I hope this gets fixed in iOS 17:

Apple’s smart home is still a few bricks short – Six Colors Apple’s smart home is still a few bricks short – Six Colorssixcolors.com

Also from Six Colors, Jason Snell has been going through his archive and linked to Matt Birchler’s piece in how to run Shortcuts from the Stream Deck using Add to Dock and Open App.

I’m personally partial to my AppleScript strategy though if you have more than a few shortcuts to add (so that you don’t have to round-trip through the Dock beforehand):

Shortcuts as Apps – Six Colors Shortcuts as Apps – Six Colorssixcolors.com

The folks at Routine Hub have written up a guide to various shortcuts that help you with tracking prices of places like Amazon or the App Store:

Best Apple Shortcuts for Shopping Online Best Apple Shortcuts for Shopping Onlineblog.routinehub.co Online shopping is increasingly present in our daily lives, from buying tangible products on Amazon or similar stores, to buying digital products, such as games, apps, streaming services, etc. But if we are going to buy anyway, wouldn’t it be better to do it intelligently, and it’s on that premise

Gizmodo has a great piece about Mac shortcuts that are pretty handy, especially when assigned with keyboard shortcuts:

The Best Shortcuts On Mac: Snap Windows, Text to Speech, and More The Best Shortcuts On Mac: Snap Windows, Text to Speech, and Moregizmodo.com

These shortcuts can help you work smarter on macOS.

The folks at Arc Touch have finished their development series about App Shortcuts and put out their third piece recommending best practices for setting it up — make sure to check out parts one and two as well:

7 best practices for creating App Shortcuts and Intents for your app 7 best practices for creating App Shortcuts and Intents for your apparctouch.com

7 best practices for implementing App Shortcuts and App Intents in iOS 16 from the ArcTouch development team.

? Apps of the Week

Grace is a super interesting parental control app that I’ve seen sharing their progress on Twitter and they just released their App Shortcuts this week – I’d definitely check this out if you’re a parent:

I saw this tweet from the folks at Due explaining how to use Shortcuts to simulate a deeper feature set than what’s currently available — nice:

Sindre Sorhus, the developer of the Actions app for Shortcuts, has been taking requests on Twitter for new actions that you want to see in the app – definitely a good opportunity to jump on:

? Ideas of the Week

Steven Robles, who I just had on my stream last week, shared a great Automation for reducing the volume of Instagram every time the app is open, so that auto playing videos dont make sound:

Similarly, I saw this idea on Twitter for turning on grayscale all the time to reduce distractions, but re-enabling color when using specific apps like Instagram:

Mark Gardner came across the Photo Grid shortcut that’s in the Gallery — there’s a lot of handy shortcuts like that one in the Gallery if you haven’t checked:

The tweet is more of a comment than an idea, but I love the sentiment – this is exactly why I love Shortcuts, and why I got deeper into it than I ever have (or will) with traditional coding:

?️ Feedback

Virginia Roberts shared this great idea for opening directly into content in an Apple TV app using Home Screen shortcuts — this would be particularly great for parents, as she notes. I’ve filed this to Apple as FB11698316:

I agree with Mike Flynn that you should be able to love a song in Apple Music – I filed it with Apple as FB11698289 :

I also agree with this user that Shortcuts needs more glyphs – now that they’ve reduced the options in the current betas, I’m running out of options for all of my shortcuts. I’ve filed FB11698279 to get those 100 replaced, as well as FB10211157 from before asking for SF Symbols support:

I also lost my mind a bit last week when hitting Shortcuts Sync issues for the 100th time:

I won’t link to each part of the thread here, but I shared tweets going back to 2019 where I’ve been affected by Shortcuts Sync.

Just for good measure, here’s a list of all the Feedback reports I’ve submitted as well, in case anyone at Apple can see a trend across them long-term:

  • 7/2/19 – FB6448050
  • 7/31/19 – FB6877309
  • 9/6/19 – FB7223826
  • 6/28/20 – FB7815297
  • 10/11/21 – FB9695506
  • 1/4/22 – FB9832942
  • 2/14/22 – FB9904235
  • 2/16/22 – FB9908923
  • 2/18/22 – FB9914525
  • 2/19/22 – FB9916777
  • 2/19/22 – FB9916784
  • 2/20/22 – FB9918777
  • 2/25/22 – FB9929720
  • 4/4/22 – FB9973654
  • 7/29/22 – FB10931366
  • 9/12/22 – FB11503709

Also weird how I took a break from this newsletter after February 14th…

Alright, that’s it for this week’s news!

I’ll be taking some time off soon for my birthday at the end of the month (exact dates TBD), so don’t fret if you’re missing an upcoming issue from your inbox — I’ll be back soon ?