Apple has taken Siri's shortcuts to a new and fun level, with the introduction of automation. Here is a look at how to get started and what you can do with Siri shortcuts.
Starting with iOS 12, Apple introduced the ability to use shortcuts to perform daily tasks on the iPhone and iPad. You can start Siri Shortcuts by tapping or asking the voice assistant. In iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple has taken Siri's shortcuts to a new and fun level, with the introduction of automation. It's time to take a look at Siri's shortcuts.
What are Siri shortcuts?
Siri has come a long way since its first release on the iPhone 4s in 2011. Today, several Apple devices have the built-in voice assistant, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, Apple Watch, HomePod and more . On iPhone and iPad, Siri automatically tracks your digital routines in all applications, then uses this information to suggest ways to perform daily tasks from the device's lock screen or in the search.
For example, Siri might suggest stopping every time you drive through your favorite restaurant or FaceTiming to your friend on a Tuesday night. These indications are activated because you have visited the location frequently in recent months and usually call your friend every week.
Recommended shortcuts have a new home on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. On iOS 12, you can find Siri shortcuts in the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. No longer. Now you will see them in the free Siri Shortcuts app. If you do not have the application installed on your device, you can find it in the App Store. You will also find recommended shortcuts in native and third-party applications.
Search for Siri shortcuts
The Siri shortcuts application, of course, is the best place to start with Siri shortcuts. The application has three sections, My shortcuts, Automation and Gallery. In My shortcuts, you will find shortcuts that you have created or that we recommend. Those of the last group are added automatically; when you delete them, new ones appear based on your digital routines. Automation is where you will find the latest Siri Shortcuts feature. It is here that you can create mini programs where devices can automatically react to changes in certain conditions.
You will then get more information about My shortcuts and automation. However, let's start with the Gallery.
Say hello to the Siri Gallery
Think of the Gallery as an application store for shortcuts. In this case, however, the shortcuts are all free. On this screen, you will find a wide selection of recommended shortcuts and automations. Some of these are based entirely on your digital history, while others come from installed applications. The Gallery is where you will find new and highlighted shortcuts recommended for all iOS and iPadOS users.
For example, let's look at the section of the Gallery called Great With Siri. In this section, you will find shortcuts such as Morning Briefing, Dinner Time, Do Not Disturb (DND) until I leave, and more. With the first one, you can activate your phone to play today's date, current weather forecast and more. You can do it by saying: "Hello Siri, morning briefing."
To activate a shortcut:
- Click recommended shortcut in Gallery.
- Touch Get direct access .
- Follow the instructions to create the shortcut.
Once you create the shortcut, you can execute it using the Siri command or by tapping on My shortcuts.
There is no limit to the amount of Siri Shortcuts you can use. Find the ones you think you could enjoy and check them out!
My Siri shortcuts
As already noted, in the My shortcuts tab of the Siri Shortcuts application, you will find recommended and created shortcuts. From here, you can also create new shortcuts from scratch.
- To start a current shortcut, touch it and follow the instructions.
- Touch Edit in the upper left of the screen to delete the current shortcuts.
- To edit an individual shortcut, touch the … next to it.
- Touch Create shortcut to develop something new.
What is a Siri shortcut action?
Siri's shortcuts are made up of a series of building blocks called actions, which are individual steps in a task. You can mix and match actions to create shortcuts that interact with applications and content on your iOS or iPadOS device. Actions can also interact with content and services on the Web.
To create a new custom shortcut using the Shortcuts application for iPhone or iPad:
- First, create a new shortcut in My shortcuts .
- Second, add actions in the shortcut editor.
- Third, run your new shortcut to prove it.
- Tap + in the upper right of My shortcuts tab to create a new shortcut or tap Create shortcut .
- Select Add action where a list of action categories appears. On this page, you can search for applications and actions, or use any of the suggestions listed.
- Tap an action on the list to add it to your shortcut.
- To add another action, touch Add action again, then choose an action.
- Touch Next when you finish adding actions to your workflow.
- Enter a name for your personalized shortcut. This name is the one you will use to ask Siri to run the shortcut.
- Touch Done .
- To test your new shortcut, touch … next to the name of the shortcut.
- Choose the arrow in the lower right to execute the shortcut.
- Touch Ready again to save your new shortcut.
What is automation?
Automation, new for iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, is a type of shortcut activated by an event, rather than manually. You can use the Shortcuts application to set up personal or home automation and then activate the automated shortcut for your arrival, your departure, a setting on your iPhone, a time of day and more. You can find Automations in the Gallery or create new ones in the Automation tab.
To create a new automation:
- Touch the Automation tab in the Siri Shortcuts application on your Apple device.
- Choose Create personal automation or Create home automation .
- Personal automation includes tasks performed based on events, trips or configurations. For example, you can play a song through the Music application every time an alarm sounds; or when CarPlay connects, a message arrives at your partner.
- Think of Home Automation as another layer for Apple HomeKit. You can, for example, turn on the lights in your home every time someone leaves or arrives. Or make your smart camera turn on at a time of day.
Third party solutions
Does the idea of creating Siri shortcuts seem overwhelming? Can't find something you like in the Gallery? There is another option to consider. There has already been a steady increase in third-party solutions. These shortcuts take two forms. Many are integrated into applications, while others are imported online.
We have applications
Apple wants developers to take advantage of Siri shortcuts and incorporate them into their applications. Among the most popular:
- Pandora music: take advantage of custom-created phrases to play songs from your favorite stations or custom playlists.
- Carrot time: use shortcuts to know the current weather and the extended forecast. The "interact" shortcut allows you to chat with the annoying weather forecaster.
- Tripit: Trips will love these integrations, which include the ability to find travel plans, flight status information and baggage claim, and much more.
- : Yes, you can find your car keys with Siri Shortcuts and your voice.
Sites like MacStories have been augmented to help promote Siri Shortcuts by introducing useful tool packages. At the time of publication, its Shortcut Archive presents 178 shortcuts across several topics. There is also the ShortcutsGallery.com online. Both solutions, like everything related to Siri Shortcuts, are free!
Much to see
Here we have only scratched the surface of the Siri Shortcuts and hope to publish more detailed instructions in the coming months. Meanwhile, you should take a look at this excellent new tool on your iPhone or iPad and start adding or creating some shortcuts. You will be happy to have done it.