What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #085

Welcome to Issue 85 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — it’s been quite a week in the wake of new leadership at Twitter, but thankfully the Shortcuts community kept up their efforts in sharing good ideas.

Before we get to that all though, I saw in the news that Twitter will be shutting down Revue (the service I use to send these newsletters) by the end of the year.

Right now, I’m not sure what tool I’ll use to replace it — but I will import my subscriber list over so there shouldn’t be a change there, and I will let you all know of any news before I switch over.

However, I will have to rethink how I deliver the material, as Revue uniquely allows me to embed links and tweets easily/natively into the email — something other services don’t provide, especially for free. As such, this change means I may have to reconsider what I can feasibly offer.

I don’t have anything to share now, but I wanted to be transparent ahead of the change — plus, if you have any thoughts on what I should do, feel free to respond to this email and let me know:


🆕 New in the Catalog

I’ve had the Apple Watch Ultra in my hands since last Tuesday and have already gone very deep on the Action button.

There’s lots of ways to detect what’s currently happening using Shortcuts and change your shortcuts’ behavior depending on the context, so I’m defining these all as separate shortcuts and sharing them soon.

Unfortunately, I’m running into memory issues with my favorite one — so right now mine is just set to “Honk” like the Untitled Goose Game — but I tweeted out a teaser for all the filters I’ve been setting up:

I have also built out a set of Apple Watch faces, organized my shortcuts built for Apple Watch, and made lists of all the apps that I’m using on the Watch.

This is all coming for members this week, but things got a bit delayed after I ran into some bad sync bugs and my whole library got unsorted once again — it took me over 8 hours to fix it all, plus I had to take some time working on other projects just for my mental sanity:

🔗 Links of the week

The folks at 9to5Mac have written about HazeOver, the window-dimming tool for Mac, that just got updated Shortcuts support — I’m also considering their Focus Filters support which sounds like a great use of that feature:

'HazeOver' dimming tool for macOS updated with support for Shortcuts and Focus Filters HazeOver’ dimming tool for macOS updated with support for Shortcuts and Focus Filters9to5mac.com

HazeOver is a productivity tool that lets users dim background windows to focus on just one task – which can be useful for those working on a large display with multiple windows open at the same time. The app was updated this week with many new features, including support for macOS Ventura, Shortcuts, and Focus […]

Over on MacStories, John Voorhees has written about Timery 1.5 and the slew of features added to the Toggl-powered time tracking app — the app’s actions now takes advantage of advanced filtering options in Shortcuts too:

Timery 1.5 Update Released with Lock Screen Widgets, Live Activities, New Shortcuts Actions, and More - MacStories Timery 1.5 Update Released with Lock Screen Widgets, Live Activities, New Shortcuts Actions, and More – MacStorieswww.macstories.net

Timery has been updated with a long list of new features and improvements that fans of the app are going to love. Lock Screen Widgets and Live Activities First off, Timery has added iOS 16 Lock Screen Widgets and Live Activities. The Lock Screen widgets can display your current time entry, the total amount of[…]

I hadn’t seen this video, but Matt Keelan linked to this video from Proper Honest Tech explaining how to set up Shortcuts for beginners — I love seeing 18+ minute videos like this:

📲 Apps to check out

Pedro José Pereira Vieito, developer of Shortcuts-powered apps like HomeBot, has released MenuBot, a tool to control custom menu bar items using Shortcuts — I’m definitely digging into this and making my own:

Derm Diary is an interesting app that just got updated for iOS 16 with Shortcuts support — you can track and share changes in your skin to keep track of anything health-related:

Geoff Hackworth, developer of the handy Adaptivity app for developers, has released a version of his personal app that he uses for Bin Day — now you never need to remember which day to take out the garbage:

Charty, the Shortcuts-powered charting app, has announced version 2 coming soon with a new design supporting Apple’s fancy new Swift Charts — I’m super intrigued:

I hadn’t heard of this app Routine before, but it looks like a blend of Notion plus a daily to-do manager — I love seeing they have Shortcuts support early on:

The folks at 1Blocker have updated to iOS 16 and added support for Shortcuts — now you can automate your Firewall with Siri:

This app Altilium looks super interesting — it’s a tool for optimizing energy outputs for cardiac devices, and now has support for Shortcuts:

🗳️ Feedback of the Week

David Swift shared his frustration with the lack of cross-platform support for many of Shortcuts’ actions — Set Playback Destination in particular I am waiting for as well:

Gordon Anthony, a blind author, has been complaining about running Shortcuts from Siri since iOS 16 — I am similarly often unable to run my shortcuts using their trigger phrase:

Konrad Kolakowksi, developer at One Minute Games, shared his frustration with the idea of building a shortcut as complex as those that Federico Viticci releases — I know what he means, since I’ve been struggling lately with basic performance issues that make building anything complicated take way longer:

🤖 Shortcuts of the Week

Raspberry Pi users might find this shortcut handy if they’re having problems on macOS Ventura — Alasdair Allan, the writer responsible for the Raspberry Pi documentation, set up a Services shortcut to copy their binary files over to the Pi device

Wel von Hören shared this short thread explaining how to use App Automations to trigger the greyscale color filter on your device — as always, this is a great technique:

I also pleasantly came across this thread from Spencer Chang wherein he shared the shortcut he’s using mark moments of joy in his life — what a great idea:

Finally this Reflect on the Day shortcut Jit Gosai looks great for taking time to look back on what you’ve accomplished each day. I also noticed something interesting — his Comment is showing up as a Description on the web version of the shortcut, which seems to be a new functionality for shared shortcuts:

🐦 Tweets of the Week

Finally, to wrap things up, here’s a few users who got bit by the Shortcuts bug this week 😊:

That’s all for this issue!

I’ll let you all know more about the status of the newsletter soon — thanks for bearing with me in the meantime.