Ricky Mondello works on app and website authentication as well as password management at Apple. They recently created a shortcut that lets you quickly access iCloud Keychain, so instead of opening Settings and scrolling down to tap on Passwords, it’s a one-tap method to directly open the Passwords section. Separately from that, this is also something you can do yourself using the Settings Shortcut Generator. You can quickly jump to a variety of different places within Settings. One that I recently created is jumping to Settings > Privacy > Photos to manage app access to photos.
A welcome change in iOS 14 users involves Shortcuts. It’s now possible for certain automations to run entirely in the background.
Andrew Orr and Bryan Chaffin join host Kelly Guimont to discuss the iPad/iOS 14 release, and the biggest updates and changes to your devices.
Data Jar is a great app I discovered a while back and weirdly haven’t written about yet. This app helped me unlock my automations that require dictionaries. Data Jar lets you store key-value pairs and let them persist outside of Shortcuts. While I was trying to build a dictionary into my Shortcuts, I found that they couldn’t be updated using native actions; the data had to be stored elsewhere. The app lets you store text, numbers, Booleans, lists, dictionaries, and files. It’s free with an optional tip jar to support the developer Simon B. Støvring.
Redditor u/SpamSencer created a Clear Clipboard shortcut that does exactly what the name says: It automatically clears your clipboard. With iOS 14 Apple introduced a feature that shows when an app accesses the clipboard, like TikTok and Microsoft. You could even set it up as an automation so that whenever you open any app of your choosing, the shortcut will run (an iOS 14 feature). You’ll just have to painstakingly tap on every app you have installed if you choose to automate it.
One task that was always easier on macOS was to rename multiple files at once using Automator. The Files app on iOS/iPadOS doesn’t have a lot of bulk actions. But I finally cracked it with Shortcuts to let you batch rename files on iOS and iPadOS. My shortcut lets you do three specific things: prepend text, append text, and replace text in a file name. If I think of more things to do with file names in the future, I’ll update the shortcut.
Andrew uses these five shortcuts nearly every day to help him automate his digital life, like a web clipper for Apple Notes.
YouTube-dl is a command line tool that lets you download videos from websites, although it’s commonly used for YouTube as the name suggests. With a-shell, a terminal emulator I covered, it’s possible to install the downloader on your iPad and iPhone. Someone also created a shortcut for youtube-dl (Reddit post here, shortcut link below). Note that it currently crashes on the iOS/iPadOS 14 betas. It’s possible to install youtube-dl in a-shell with the command “pip install youtube-dl.” Since I’m running the betas, I’m going to tinker with using a-shell.
From the creator of popular Shortcuts app “LaunchCuts” comes a new tool called MFC Deck. It turns your shortcuts into widgets displayed on a dynamic control deck. These widgets can display different information depending on context, just like a real widget. There are plenty of actions these widgets can do, like running multiple actions from a single NFC tag, rate limiting, triggers, and more. They live on your Apple Watch, in Siri voice responses, and in iOS 14 Home Screen widgets. MFC deck is currently open for TestFlight beta, so it’s not ready for actual release yet. If these features sound interesting then sign up today.
The fear of police brutality is growing at a fever pitch. Jeff Butts shows how your iPhone can record your interaction with police.
Andrew uses shortcuts every day to complete tasks and they make his life easier. He has some improvements to Shortcuts in mind for iOS 14.
I can’t remember where I found this decision maker shortcut, but the author’s credits remain inside of it. It’s called Decide For Me, and it’s an interesting tool in which you input decisions you’re trying to make, like what kind of pizza you want, and it uses a bit of math to choose for you. I haven’t used it much yet but I can see myself using it here and there for fun.
Andrew Orr joins host Kelly Guimont to discuss Shortcuts on iOS, how they’re different from Siri Shortcuts, and some useful examples.
Last week Andrew shared how to add a shortcut to your home screen. Today he writes how to create custom icons for home screen shortcuts.
A feature of the Shortcuts app is sharing them with others. So what happens when you see a warning about Untrusted Shortcuts?
Andrew came up with a tip to help you save time when you use an iPhone and iPad. Create home screen shortcuts for app categories.
Rosemary Orchard describes herself as a geek, nerd, and programmer. She works full time as a developer of web applications, but her real loves are automation and productivity. She’s also a book author and podcaster.
Rosemary told me the story about how she started with computers and programming. After a bad experience with a Toshiba notebook and Windows Vista, she bought a MacBook Air for her university work—and loved it. At this point, she was still pursing human languages, but in time gravitated towards, instead, creating computer software that would make peoples lives easier. And she never looked back. We talked about her Web app development, her books (one on Shortcuts) and finished with how she learned to podcast. Today she does two. You’ll enjoy hearing how Rosemary’s career has developed.
Andrew created a shortcut to get app screenshots from the App Store in a higher quality than what it defaults to when you download them.
LaunchCuts is a launcher for Apple’s Shortcuts app that adds extra functionality. With LaunchCuts 1.2 it adds even more features, such as: Customization: Personalize the look of your folders with icons and colors; Custom App Icon: Choose from five different app icons for LaunchCuts; Quick Actions: Easily access up to three folders or shortcuts from iOS Home screen; Enhanced Keyboard Support: Control nearly every aspect of LaunchCuts from the keyboard; New Shortcut Actions: Analyze and Filter Shortcuts actions give you more visibility into your library of shortcuts; and a whole lot more. App Store: US$7.99
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