I love my apple gear and I love their software. I can’t help it, they make a really great experience for their users. But lets be honest here. They aren’t the only ones making great experiences and your experience is likely different from mine. That is perfectly fine.
I’m a tinkerer. I like to tinker. I like to press buttons and see what I can make the computer do. I guess that’s why I’m a Software Engineer. With all of this said, Apple has let us tinker a bit more with iOS/iPad OS 13.1. They added shortcuts. You probably have never opened this app or even know what it does.
Siri Shortcuts shortens workflows. These are the shortcuts that I have:
- Toggle Assistive touch, iPad OS now has mouse support and you can map extra mouse buttons like the forward and back buttons to perform different actions. I have my forward button triggering equal to the home button. But when you don’t have your mouse connected, the assistive touch circle always shows up. So that’s where the shortcut comes in to toggle that on or of.
- Automate launching podcasts when I connect my phone to an Alexa device. I can jump right into the podcast by tapping a notification that shows up.
- Automate “Plex Time” where i set my lights how I like them (I use the Phillips Hue system) and launch Plex on my iPad and on my tv so I can quickly get to watching. Plex can push content to other Plex players that you have without the need of airplay. This is nice because you don’t have to watch the show on your iPad or iPhone to push the content.
- Open Target Wallet (yep, you can make Siri open the target wallet app)
- Open Walmart Pay
- Log Water
- Log Weight
- Tip Calculator
- Find Keys (i have a tile on my keys)
I don’t really find myself using shortcuts a lot. I feel like this is a good start. It does seem to be lacking in several areas. Things I want:
- Allow more automations to actually be automated without need to tap on a notification.
- Make a way to toggle “Silence Unknown Callers” on the iPhone for the moments that I am expecting a call from someone not in my contacts.
- Be able to set multiple playback devices with airplay.
I can’t really think of much more that I want to do with shortcuts with its current state. There is a pretty good library of shortcuts that you can browse in their application. I just haven’t found anything in there that seems life changing. As a Software Engineer, I just want ALL THE THINGS UNLOCKED. But I know when you do that you make it more difficult for non-dev types because it can become more intimidating.
Dear Apple, please continue to expand the functionality of this application. I want to tinker more.