LaunchCuts Adds Folders, Search Filters, More to Shortcuts

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Writing for MacStories, Federico Viticci reviewed LaunchCuts, a launcher for shortcuts that can organize them into folders, gives you search filters, and more.

…LaunchCuts’ sole purpose is to offer an alternative view for your shortcut library with folders and powerful search filters. If you have less than 20 shortcuts installed on your iPhone or iPad, you’re likely not going to get much benefit out of LaunchCuts’ advanced organizational tools; but if you’re like me and use hundreds of different shortcuts on a regular basis, and especially if your library has grown out of control over the past few years, you’re going to need the assistance of LaunchCuts to make sense of it all.

App Store: US$7.99

MusicBot is the Shortcuts Companion to Apple Music

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Federico Viticci recently announced his shortcut called MusicBot, which he says is the all-in-one assistant to Apple Music.

I created MusicBot for two reasons: I wanted to speed up common interactions with the Music app by using custom actions in the Shortcuts app; and I also wanted to build a series of “utilities” for Apple Music that could be bundled in a single, all-in-one shortcut instead of dozens of smaller, standalone ones.

I haven’t used this yet but Mr. Viticci is a master of shortcuts so I’m confident it’s a great tool to use.

How to Call Your Legislators With a Shortcut

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Matthew Cassinelli was part of the team that created Workflow, which Apple acquired and turned into the Shortcuts app. He recently created a shortcut that lets you enter your zip code and automatically call your legislators.

Hello. You can use this tool to immediately call your senator/representative based on your ZIP code. Contact them now.

Finally a Way to Batch-Rename Files on iOS

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Every since I bought an iPad Pro I’ve been able to conduct most of my work and personal life on my iPad. But I still need my MacBook Pro for a couple things, like using Automator to batch-rename files (renaming multiple files simultaneously). This isn’t possible to do on iOS, until now. A shortcut I found on RoutineHub lets you do this. It lets you rename your files in custom formats, like alphabetically, prepending text, sorting by date modified, etc.

Finally a Way to Batch-Rename Files on iOS

Google's AMP URL Technology Spreads to Images

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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google invention that is meant to speed up web pages on mobile devices. But since it wraps the page in a Google-controlled container, it’s a harmful technology to the open web. The company has started to bring AMP URL technology for Google Images.

When you select an image, you’ll see a preview of the website header at the bottom of the screen. You can keep scrolling through Google Images, or swipe up on the preview to load the AMP (accelerated mobile pages) version of the site.

Earlier I found a shortcut that can clean AMP URLs. Or, use an alternative search engine like DuckDuckGo.

File Apple Feedback Using Shortcuts

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Matthew Cassinellli shared a shortcut to let people file Apple feedback using the Shortcuts app. He says it’s for iOS 13 beta users.

…this shortcut has you describe the problem first, asks you to list the steps to reproduce it, has you enter your expected results versus what actually happened, and copied it all to the clipboard.

Then, it uses Open App to go into Feedback, you fill out the menial parts of the form, and paste in your completed description.

Get Apple News Original URLs Using This Shortcut

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A Mac app called StopTheNews has been making the news rounds lately. It lets you open Apple News original URLs directly in Safari. I wanted to share a shortcut that does the same thing on iOS.

Share an Apple news article to this shortcut, and get the original URL back. Prompt at the end lets you pick between copying the URL to your clipboard or sharing it somewhere else.

Unlike macOS, you can open an Apple News article in Safari on iOS. Then from Safari you can copy the URL. But this shortcut removes that step, so you can share the article to the shortcut, then copy the URL to the clipboard or share it elsewhere.

These Academic Shortcuts Help You Maximize Your Research

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Last night I came across a website called Appademic, which shares academic shortcuts that can help students and researchers. One example is a shortcut that gives you better BibTeX citation keys for Pandoc.

This is the long awaited iOS Shortcut for Zotero to extract Better BibTeX citation keys for Pandoc. I know a fair few people have been waiting on this, apologies it has taken so long to post. If you need more detail, read on, otherwise the shortcut can be downloaded below.

Scriptable Can Make Shortcuts and Siri More Powerful

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Scriptable is an automation tool that enables you to write scripts that integrates with native features of iOS such as files, calendars, reminders, documents and much more. An extensive support for Siri Shortcuts enables you to present images, tables and more in Siri as well as making Siri read out loud a text when you run a script from a Siri Shortcut. Your scripts can be run from the Scriptable app, from a Siri Shortcut or from other apps using the share sheet extensive or Scriptable’s URL schemes. Features include writing and running JavaScript; auto complete of variable names, functions, keywords and properties as you type; access lots of native iOS features from your JavaScript code, including managing files, calendars, reminders, contacts, photos, location, pasteboard, web views and more. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Scriptable Can Make Shortcuts and Siri More Powerful

What Will Happen to Automation in macOS?

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The next version of macOS will include more UIKit (iOS) apps. Rumored to be among them is Apple’s Shortcuts app. So what happens to Automator, AppleScript, and AppleEvents?

So what happens when iOS apps comes to the Mac this fall? It seems impossible that Apple will allow them to be controlled by AppleScript and Automator…Will “classic” Mac apps get the ability to be controlled via Shortcuts, too? Or will there be a schism between the two different classes of apps?

But whatever happens, it’s clear that iOS and macOS are going to face the future of user automation together, not separately.

How to Use JavaScript When Creating Shortcuts

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Redditor u/keveridge put together a nice guide on how to use JavaScript when creating Shortcuts. JavaScript lets you perform complex actions that would be hard to do with regular shortcut actions.

We make use of the Safari web browser, running within the shortcut, in order to execute the JavaScript. To do so, we:

  • make an HTML file that contains our code and provides an output;

  • pass the contents of the file to Safari as a Data URL;

  • use Get Contents of Web Page to render the page provide the output to the shortcut.

Long Press Shortcuts for iOS Safari

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I’ve covered iOS 12 tips and tricks that you might have forgotten. Now I’d like to resurface a tip from 2017 about shortcuts for iOS Safari.

You might not know it, but Safari has some hidden shortcuts tucked behind some of the icons. This will let you perform certain actions a little faster, like quickly access the desktop version of a website, add a bookmark, and even close multiple tabs at once.

Here's a Wallpaper Generator Shortcut For Those Apple Logos

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Redditor u/wexford001 made a neat wallpaper generator shortcut. It uses the Apple logos (all 370 of them) that Apple created for tomorrow’s event. Every time you tap the shortcut it generates a random image based on your device. There are both white and black versions, in case you have an iPhone with an OLED screen.

All the code to actually get the image from imgur was the work of u/hinapupina in his “imgur downloader” shortcut. I modified it a bit, but i don’t understand it well enough to have done this on my own. Thanks!

You can download the shortcut for white wallpapers here, and the black version here.

Here’s a Wallpaper Generator Shortcut For Those Apple Logos