What’s New in Shortcuts – Issue #089

Welcome to Issue 89 of “What’s New in Shortcuts” — this week we saw the final beta release of iOS 16.2, which means the imminent public release (likely this Tuesday).

After the release is out, I’ve got plans to stream while playing around with the updates to the battery and wallpaper actions, plus any other changes we can find.

Speaking of streams, I had a fun time last week previewing the amazing Things actions coming soon and built a whole set for folks testing the beta — all the details below.

Plus, the ChatGPT shortcuts are getting even better, there’s a few good shortcuts ideas I’ve saved for future streams, and I’ve linked to five apps you should check out — enjoy:


🆕 New from the Catalog

Last Thursday, I streamed about Things’ upcoming actions from their latest beta — I’m super excited about this update and very grateful the team gave me permission to test it live:

Shortcuts Live: Building with the Things 3 beta – Matthew Cassinelli Shortcuts Live: Building with the Things 3 beta – Matthew Cassinellimatthewcassinelli.com

I’m streaming about the excellent new actions in the Things beta — tune in now! Hey folks! I’m working with Things in Shortcuts today — they’ve just announced their newest beta that includes iOS 16 actions for Shortcuts. That means powerful Find and Edit actions, advanced filtering, and full templating capabilities.

After the stream, I shared my initial thoughts on how these types of actions should be standard for every app looking to have complete Shortcuts support:

Together with the chat, we built 11 starter shortcuts that take advantage of the new actions that are now available for members — check out the link on the page/in the YouTube description to sign up for Things’ beta and get access yourself:

Things beta Archives – Matthew Cassinelli Things beta Archives – Matthew Cassinellimatthewcassinelli.com

The team at Things granted me permission to stream and share my shortcuts for the beta of their upcoming release — which adds powerful new actions for Shortcuts based on the latest developer APIs.

And finally, my work the last few weeks on the Shortcuts Catalog back-end is starting to pay off just in time for the New Year — I’ve optimized my uploads dramatically, plus did some much needed connecting:

📰 Articles of the Week

This blog post from Rick Myers cover this excellent birthday present reminders shortcut — this one is designed for OmniFocus, but you could repurpose it to your own task manager:

Birthday Present Reminders Shortcut for macOS Birthday Present Reminders Shortcut for macOSrichardmyers.me

Don’t forget to buy birthday presents until it’s too late! Use this shortcut to generate reminders for everyone who has a birthday set in your contacts.

This story is from Shannon Smith of Automaticc covering how she’s using a combination of Alfred workflows, Shortcuts for Mac, and hotkeys on her Stream Deck to automate her early mornings — this is a great example of the breadth of tools Mac users have at their disposal:

How to Save Time with Alfred, Stream Deck, and Apple Shortcuts – Data for Breakfast How to Save Time with Alfred, Stream Deck, and Apple Shortcuts – Data for Breakfastdata.blog

Most people automate parts of their job because they find it boring. I did it because I have four kids. I used Alfred, Stream Deck, and Apple Shortcuts to automate my workflow and make the start of my day easier.

The folks at Zapier have put together a guide for sending data using Shortcuts — I’m definitely bookmarking this for a future stream so I can put some together live so you all can learn how too:

"Hey Siri, start a Zap": How to use Apple Shortcuts with Zapier Hey Siri, start a Zap”: How to use Apple Shortcuts with Zapierzapier.com

If you’re an Apple user, you can pair the Shortcuts app and Zapier to automate business-critical processes wherever you are.

📲 Apps of the Week

The folks at Sofa have added Shortcuts support to their entertainment-tracking app — MacStories put out a review of all the features too. I’m also bookmarking this for a future stream since this is the type of info I’ve been logging recently:

I saw this support article for Marcos Tanaka’s Play for YouTube go out that’s a helpful guide for scraping videos from a channel — folks can use my YouTube RSS shortcuts to find channel IDs as well:

YouTube Channels and Play YouTube Channels and Playmarcosatanaka.com

Click the button below to add the shortcut to your Shortcuts app: Get Shortcut. In the Shortcuts app, click the button Add Shortcut to complete.

SuperWidget, who I posted about in last week’s issue, has been tweeting out ideas for how to fill out their widget with data — including using Shortcuts:

I also came across this tweet from the developers of QuickScan sharing a slew of features they added for their latest version, including a Scan action for Shortcuts:

This next app doesn’t technically support Shortcuts, but I wanted to give it honorable mention as I used their Network Log activity monitor to see the WordPress connections they were making and mimicked it in Shortcuts to post to my website — it’s become a core backbone of my Shortcuts Catalog and I’m super thankful they made that feature (not to mention it’s a great blogging app):

MarsEdit 5: Microposting, Markdown Highlighting, and More! - Red Sweater Blog MarsEdit 5: Microposting, Markdown Highlighting, and More! – Red Sweater Blogredsweater.com

I’m excited to share that MarsEdit 5.0, a major upgrade to our beloved Mac blogging application, is now available on the MarsEdit site and has been submitted for review on the Mac App Store.

And in similar fashion, Ferrite for iPad does not directly have Shortcuts support, but there are plenty of file-related workflows one can build around this audio-editing app — I used it to edit most episodes of my previous podcast Supercomputer and I love it:

🤖 More fun with ChatGPT shortcuts

Federico Viticci took all the excellent ChatGPT shortcuts one step further and made this excellent video showcasing a conversation with the assistant… Siri’s kids are growing up a little too fast:

This other ChatGPT shortcut from Roman Pshichenko caught my eye too because of the analysis feature — I’d love to train a tool like this to automatically make small tagging decisions like this for me:

Finally, I saw this clever implementation that takes a ChatGPT conversation and uses Shortcuts to generate a shareable webpage that hosts the conversation — this seems much better than screenshots which are often not accessible:

💡 Shortcuts of the Week

Marco Dengel does some amazing work in Shortcuts and just shared his Spotify Playlist creator that taps directly into Spotify’s API — while Spotify is out there complaining that Apple won’t support them, they’re actually holding back on supporting features like this that are incredibly feasible to create:

This shortcut from “Lotta Flames” is super clever — I’ve downloaded album artwork before, but never thought to try for the Animated Artwork that’s new to large-scale artists on the platform:

This shortcut from Jonathan Sick is a great, simple automation for anyone looking to get into the Christmas spirit — it starts the Indie Christmas playlist when his alarm goes off in the morning:

I love the spirit of this tweet below, because sometimes I convince myself not to experiment with some ideas because they’re not “useful” — but as I’ve shown many times in this newsletter, the basis of one idea can easily seed another and sharing those online is the best way to make that can happen:

For all you very online people, you might’ve seen this viral video of a guy trying to melt ice on his car window with boiling water (and breaking it). Underneath, another user posted the video for The Price Is Right losing horn — and Chris Wagner posted his Game Over shortcut that plays the same sound on-demand:

That’s all for this issue!

Heads up: next week will be my last issue of the year — after that, I’ll be back Monday, January 2nd at the start of the New Year.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m done for the year… make sure to look out for new posts on the blog soon.