I’ve been fascinated by iOS automation for a number of years and I’ve tried almost all the apps that offer extended automation features.
However, I always found the promise of automation more exciting than actually spending the time to create and devise my own shortcuts but there are a few simple ones that I’ve found extremely useful that I get plenty of mileage out of so I thought I’d share them here.
DND While Meditating
I meditate every day with Headspace and have done for over a year now but a couple of times I’ve been interrupted by a phone call or some other alert.
To counter this I set up a shortcut I can activate from the Shortcuts widget where I choose a number of minutes to set do not disturb before opening Headspace into the daily meditation.
Apps needed: Headspace
Day One Coffee Log
I drink a lot of coffee (weird flex) and I like to keep a log in Day One of the different drinks I sample.
This shortcut asks a few questions about the coffee, for a ranking, and any notes I have before creating a Markdown table to be imported into Day One.
The good thing about this shortcut is that it can be tweaked really easily to review anything from music, films, books, or anything else really.
Apps needed: Day One
Movie Showtimes on IMDb
Truth be told I use this shortcut more to load up IMDb than actually looking for movie times but it does serve two purposes.
Usually me and my wife are watching a film or TV show and recognise an actor or actress and can’t put our finger on where we’ve seen them so I’ll fire up this shortcut and jump into the search field to find out more about them.
Apps needed: IMDb
This one isn’t mine but it’s a fantastic demonstration of what Shortcuts can do. It’s made by Federico Viticci of MacStories. I think it’s fair to say that he is an evangelist for Shortcuts and being an iOS-first user and he regularly shares some intricately made shortcuts.
I’ve used it some recent blog posts where I’ve needed to show the apps I’ve been writing about and the shortcut makes a complicated task take just a few taps. I also made the image at the top of this post using this shortcut.
There’s two versions of it; one for just iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches) and another that also includes MacBook Pros and iMacs.
You know when you’re out and you’re trying to use your phone but it’s acting slow only for you to realise it’s because it’s trying to connect to a wifi network with a poor signal when it’d be much quicker to just use 4G?
This shortcut is a toggle that completely kills wifi so it won’t be searching for any networks to join so your phone will just rely on data.
I use it when I’m leaving the house and then turn on wifi from Control Centre when I get back home.