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’ve had the Apple Watch Ultra for one day and I’ve already found 17 different filters for making context-based shortcuts that you trigger with the Action button ?
— Matthew Cassinelli (@mattcassinelli) November 2, 2022
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:
Hello folks, I’m having another round of Shortcuts Sync bugs and this drains my energy like none other.
Please send cute animal pics ASAP ?
— Matthew Cassinelli (@mattcassinelli) November 2, 2022
? 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 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 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:
Introducing MenuBot: Customize Your Menu Bar With Shortcuts!
Each Menu Bar menu added with MenuBot is powered by a shortcut that is run at a specified interval. MenuBot populates the menu using the shortcut text output.
— Pedro José Pereira Vieito (@pvieito) November 1, 2022
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:
Derm Diary 1.2 supports powerful new features when you update your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch:
• Lock Screen Widgets ?
• Advanced Shortcuts actions and App Shortcuts ⚙️
• Focus Filters ?
• Customisable iPad toolbars ?
• Continuity Camera ?
— Derm Diary (@Derm_Diary) November 6, 2022
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:
If you’re prepared to pay a few dollars and enter your own schedule, you can get a much nicer-looking app on the iPhone: Bin Day Alert. It has a much richer notification configuration, widgets, Siri shortcuts, an Apple Watch app and it preserves your privacy (no network accesses) pic.twitter.com/UKSHDm2MWj
— Geoff Hackworth (@geoffhackworth) November 5, 2022
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:
Hello everyone! I’ve got news! ??
Charty 2.0 is officially under development!
Here’s what you can expect:
– Modern interface
– Beautiful new charts
– More customization options
– Improved Shortcuts Actions
– Entirely new app
Here’s a thread ? with more info and screenshots! pic.twitter.com/CuohtaEvCN
— Charty (@chartyios) November 3, 2022
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:
Our latest iOS release came with an array of new updates including Apple Widgets support, Siri commands for creating tasks and the ability to use Routine with Apple Shortcuts.
— Routine Calendar (@routinehq) November 2, 2022
The folks at 1Blocker have updated to iOS 16 and added support for Shortcuts — now you can automate your Firewall with Siri:
The latest update adds support for new iOS 16 Shortcuts. Set up powerful workflows with our Firewall actions that can turn it on & off or pause. https://t.co/yTJcedbxce
— 1Blocker (@1BlockerApp) November 7, 2022
This app Altilium looks super interesting — it’s a tool for optimizing energy outputs for cardiac devices, and now has support for Shortcuts:
We’ve been working hard to make Altilium more powerful and easier to use!
Shortcuts app support creates a new pre-configured session at the tap of a button.
Let us know what you think! #cardiacdevices pic.twitter.com/oAucgHv2sL
— Altilium (@Altiliumapp) November 6, 2022
?️ 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:
Spending time on your mac making #shortcuts for simple repetitive actions is:
A. Worth it
B. “This action is not supported on Mac” pic.twitter.com/VuBqZ4bp5j
— Dave Swift (@davidswift) November 3, 2022
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:
Is it just me, or has Siri become even worse after updating to iOS 16? He/she sometimes won’t even open an app when asked. As for invoking shortcuts, that’s a total waste of time. It hardly ever works. Is this just a Voiceover thing,?
— Gordon Anthony (@BlindGordon) November 5, 2022
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:
As a programmer, I absolutely have no idea how such complex shortcuts can be made with current state of Shortcuts app ? https://t.co/GGXyEdTO4b
— Konrad Kołakowski (@vashpan) November 5, 2022
? 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
I’ve hacked together a quick macOS Shortcut. If you add it as a Quick Action then you can just right click on your UF2 and select Quick Actions > Copy to RPI-RP2 and your UF2 will be copied to your Pico. #macOS #Apple #RaspberryPi #VenturaProblem https://t.co/bpne10FZhW pic.twitter.com/zYmPMje1Tf
— Alasdair Allan (@aallan) November 1, 2022
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:
HOW TO MAKE YOUR PHONE LESS ENGAGING
GREYSCALE is one of the best tools for being less distracted
Color Filters have *finally* been added to Shortcuts. That means you can now use some apps in color & others in greyscale (!!)
How it works: pic.twitter.com/kPfX2ZGUsj
— Welf von Hören (@welfvh) November 7, 2022
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:
have started keeping a note in my phone where i had a timestamp every time i am intimate with the feeling of an indomitable joy of / gratitude for life
— spencer chang (@spencerc99) November 6, 2022
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:
?Any iOS users looking for a way to reflect on your day?
Then check out this shortcut (automation) that makes it easy to do using your notes app and even pops up a reminder the following day on what you need to do. https://t.co/nlrikgEItw
— Jit Gosai (@JitGo) November 1, 2022
? Tweets of the Week
Finally, to wrap things up, here’s a few users who got bit by the Shortcuts bug this week ?:
Life is too short to go to the window and check the weather.
Use the Shortcuts app to notify you every morning.
— Harrison Riehle (@HarrisonRiehle) October 31, 2022
Apple Shortcuts are life changing! This was a journal entry that was automagically tweeted… who needs a SM posting tool when you have Siri ??
— Dylan Wilson (@DilllZen) November 1, 2022
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.