The best automation is the one you have with you, and that means Shortcuts for iPhone is the biggest opportunity for people to take advantage of Apple’s automation system.
When creating Shortcuts for iPhone, users should try to think of automation opportunities that work well for a small screen, can be carried with you, and take advantage of device-specific features.
With that in mind, here are four areas (with 12 examples for acronym) that it’s good to focus on on your own adventure.
Keeping its origins like the iPod, the iPhone is great for controlling audio playback on your device. With Shortcuts, you can quickly play the right playlist or podcast, then leave your phone in your pocket and keep listening.
Shortcuts like Quick Play can quickly create a queue of 25 songs mixed from the last 12 weeks, the Let Me Pick a Podcast shortcut can let you pick a show without ever opening the Podcasts app, and the Set Background Sounds shortcut can use the built-in accessibility feature to start noise white or ocean sounds.
Similar to the Apple Watch, Shortcuts on iPhone are great for controlling your devices too. You can quickly switch between different settings, it’s easy to have HomeKit hardware controls ready, and you can even send remote commands to your Mac.
Shortcuts like I’m working can change your office lights to the correct brightness and color temperature for working from home instead of setting up for relaxing in the evening, a Reset Connections shortcut can turn your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on/off again, and the Wake My Mac shortcut uses a command about Remote Play your Mac’s screen from your phone.
Shortcuts on the iPhone also present many opportunities to conveniently capture information that can be too cumbersome to enter repeatedly on your phone’s small screen. Shortcuts can accept voice dictation, ask for different types to be entered, and even let you choose from a list or choose from a list to add structured data.
Shortcuts like Dictate Groceries can be used over and over again while searching the refrigerator or pantry to enter new items directly into your grocery list by speaking the name of the item out loud. Something like Log Weight could allow anyone with a non-smart scale to quickly see the digital plate and write down their current weight before they are registered with Health. Next, there are shortcuts like the Log Caffeine shortcut that can use nested menus to let people choose between types like espresso, coffee or soda, while also saving the corresponding values in Health afterwards.
Finally, another great opportunity for automation with the iPhone is the use of location actions, which use the device’s GPS data to detect your location for mapping purposes, calculate distances to other places, and even pull longitude/latitude data.
Shortcuts like Get Travel Time Home can help you estimate how long it will take you to get home as well as the approximate time to arrive (useful if you’re trying to determine if it’s time to leave). Meet at the Halfway Point can find destinations between you and another location so you can split the distance with someone else. Finally, Log this Location can save your exact GPS coordinates to a note for later in case you want to revisit a very specific place.
Take these shortcuts on the go
As you can see, there are a wide range of opportunities for shortcuts that specifically take advantage of how people use their iPhone — and they’re not limited to these use cases either.
In theory, many of the shortcuts that work on your iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac will work also Work on your favorite iPhone. The question is whether you Wants Depending on the screen size or features you need at the moment.
But the best iPhone shortcuts will be those that only take advantage of the phone’s features and work well on the small screen you always have in your pocket. It’s time to find out the best use cases for setting up your iPhone.
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