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iOS and iPadOS 13: The MacStories Review

Following years of a judicious union between platforms, it’s time for iPad to embark on its own journey.

In looking back at major iOS releases from the recent past, it’s easy to see how building and positioning these annual updates has become a careful balancing act for Apple.

In last year’s iOS 12, we saw the company focus on improving performance, providing users with tools to understand their device usage habits, and adapting Workflow to the modern era of Siri and proactive suggestions. The strategy was largely successful: iOS 12 was regarded as Apple’s most reliable iOS release of late – a reputation that has resulted in a 90% adoption rate a year later; and the Shortcuts app – the highlight of last year from a user feature perspective – is becoming a built-in (and thus more powerful) app in iOS 13.

For all that Apple accomplished in iOS 12, however, some areas of the experience inevitably had to be put on the back-burner. Besides improvements to Reminders and Files, iOS 12 lacked a long-awaited dark mode (which was rolled out on macOS instead) as well as more substantial tweaks to the ever-evolving iOS 7 design language; chief among iOS 12’s absentee list, of course, was iPad. Even though Apple had trained users to expect major additions to the tablet platform on a biennial schedule (see iOS 9 and iOS 11), the lack of meaningful iPad features in iOS 12 spurred a contentious discussion when it became apparent that new iPad Pro hardware was so far ahead of its software, it legitimized asking whether investing in that hardware was even worth it.

The annual debate that surrounds which features make it into each major iOS release is symptomatic of a complicated truth: iOS isn’t just the operating system that runs on iPhones anymore, and these annual releases are more than a mere collection of updated apps. iOS is the platform for an ecosystem of devices – from our wrists and speakers to cars and TV sets – and its changes have repercussions that ripple far beyond an updated Reminders app or a new icon set.

This, of course, has been the case for a few years at this point, but the nature of iOS as an all-encompassing platform has never been as evident as it is today in iOS 13. For the first time since I started reviewing Apple’s annual iOS updates, it feels like the company is now keenly aware that a new iOS version has to cover an array of themes that can’t be pushed back for scheduling reasons. A single area of attention isn’t enough anymore – not for the Apple of 2019 as an economic, political, and social force, and not for iOS, the engine powering devices that aren’t just screens for apps, but bona fide lifestyle computers.

As a result, there’s something for everyone in iOS 13 and all the recurring themes of Tim Cook’s Apple are touched upon this time around. iOS 13 improves Face ID recognition and promises improvements to app download sizes and performance. Apple is sending strong signals on its commitment to privacy as a feature with a new sign-in framework for apps and enhancements to location tracking controls and HomeKit cameras. iOS’ design language is getting its biggest update in years with dark mode, new tools for developers to express colors and embed glyphs in their user interfaces, updated context menus, and redesigns aimed at facilitating one-handed interactions. We have notable improvements to built-in apps, including the rebuilt Reminders and Health, an overhauled Files app, and hundreds of quality-of-life tweaks that, in big and small ways, make iOS more capable and efficient.

No stone is left unturned in iOS 13 – and that includes iPad too.

The iPad experience has always been largely consistent with the iPhone – particularly since Apple unified core iOS interactions around a screen without a Home button – but also distinct from it. iOS 13 makes this distinction official by splitting itself in a second branch called iPadOS, which uses iOS as the foundation but is specifically optimized and designed for iPad.

It was clear when the new iPad Pro launched in late 2018 that it told only one part of a bigger story about the role of the tablet in Apple’s modern ecosystem. With iPadOS, Apple is ready to tell that full story: while the iPad has always been an extension of iOS, sharing key similarities with the iPhone hardware and software, it’s been evolving – arguably, a bit too slowly – into a different breed of computer that is fundamentally distinct from a phone.

We’ve been able to observe this divergence starting in iOS 9 with Split View multitasking and Apple Pencil, and the transition continued with iOS 11 and its drag and drop-infused environment. It was only natural (and well-deserved) for the iPad to begin advancing in a parallel direction to iOS – informed and inspired by it, but also capable of growing on its own and tackling problems that an iPhone doesn’t have to solve.

From this standpoint, there are two sides to iOS 13: on one hand, an underlying tide that raises all platforms, featuring a distillation of themes Apple comes back to on an annual basis; on the other, a fork in the road, opening a new path for the iPad’s next decade. And against this backdrop, a single question looms large:

Can Apple balance both?

Read more



    PCalc 3.9 Adds Dark Mode and the Latest Shortcuts Features, Expanding the App’s Automation Capabilities

    Last year when Siri shortcuts debuted on iOS 12, developer James Thomson added one of the first and best implementations for creating custom shortcuts with his calculator app PCalc. However, iOS 12 required PCalc to rely on the system clipboard as a means of passing inputs to calculations and then outputting the results, which added complexity to shortcuts that used PCalc actions. iOS and iPadOS 13 free PCalc of that constraint, and with the addition of parameter support and the conversational Siri shortcuts coming in iOS and iPadOS 13.1, PCalc’s automation features are vastly more powerful.

    Federico’s review of PCalc 3.8 featured a shortcut called PCalc Currencies, which is a terrific example of what a PCalc-based shortcut looked like in iOS 12. The shortcut coverts Euros to US Dollars and British Pounds. The first step is to pass the number of Euros to the shortcut from the system clipboard and then create a variable to store that value. Next, the shortcut uses PCalc’s conversion action to calculate the US Dollar equivalent, store it in a separate variable, and then do the same for pounds. The final step displays the results using each of the three currency variables. In total, the shortcut uses twelve actions, many of which involve moving data on and off the clipboard.

    PCalc Currencies for iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right).

    PCalc Currencies for iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right).

    With PCalc’s new Shortcuts actions, we can reduce the number of actions from twelve to just four. It’s a fantastic demonstration of the power that iOS and iPadOS 13 add to third-party shortcut actions and the reduction in complexity that can be achieved with even a relatively simple shortcut. Okay, let’s update Federico’s shortcut.

    Read more


    Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer

    For the past seven years, I’ve considered the iPad my main computer. Not my only one, and not the most powerful one I own, but the computer which I use and enjoy using the most.

    I’ve told this story on various occasions before, but it’s worth mentioning for context once again. My iPad journey began in 2012 when I was undergoing cancer treatments. In the first half of the year, right after my diagnosis, I was constantly moving between hospitals to talk to different doctors and understand the best strategies for my initial round of treatments. Those chemo treatments, it turned out, often made me too tired to get any work done. I wanted to continue working for MacStories because it was a healthy distraction that kept my brain busy, but my MacBook Air was uncomfortable to carry around and I couldn’t use it in my car as it lacked a cellular connection. By contrast, the iPad was light, it featured built-in 3G, and it allowed me to stay in touch with the MacStories team from anywhere, at any time with the comfort of a large, beautiful Retina display.

    The tipping point came when I had to be hospitalized for three consecutive weeks to undergo aggressive chemo treatments; in that period of time, I concluded that the extreme portability and freedom granted by the iPad had become essential for me. I started exploring the idea of using the iPad as my primary computer (see this story for more details); if anything were to ever happen to me again that prevented being at my desk in my home office, I wanted to be prepared. That meant embracing iOS, iPad apps, and a different way of working on a daily basis.

    I realized when writing this story that I’ve been running MacStories from my iPad for longer than I ever ran it from a Mac. The website turned 10 last month, and I’ve managed it almost exclusively from an iPad for seven of those years. And yet, I feel like I’m still adapting to the iPad lifestyle myself – I’m still figuring out the best approaches and forcing myself to be creative in working around the limitations of iOS.

    On one hand, some may see this as an indictment of Apple’s slow evolution of the iPad platform, with biennial tablet-focused iOS releases that have left long-standing issues still yet to be fixed. And they’re not wrong: I love working from my iPad, but I recognize how some aspects of its software are still severely lagging behind macOS. On the other hand, I won’t lie: I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of “figuring out the iPad” and pushing myself to be creative and productive in a more constrained environment.

    In addition to discovering new apps I could cover on MacStories, rethinking how I could work on the iPad provided me with a mental framework that I likely wouldn’t have developed on a traditional desktop computer. If I was in a hospital bed and couldn’t use a Mac, that meant someone else from the MacStories team had to complete a specific, Mac-only task. In a way, the limitations of the iPad taught me the importance of delegation – a lesson I was forced into. As a result, for the first couple of years, the constrained nature of the iPad helped me be more creative and focused on my writing; before the days of Split View and drag and drop, the iPad was the ideal device to concentrate on one task at a time.

    Over the following couple of years, I learned how to navigate the iPad’s limitations and started optimizing them to get more work done on the device (I was also cancer-free, which obviously helped). This is when I came across the iOS automation scene with apps such as Pythonista, Editorial, Drafts, and eventually Workflow. Those apps, despite the oft-unreliable nature of their workarounds, enabled me to push iOS and the iPad further than what Apple had perhaps envisioned for the device at the time; in hindsight, building hundreds of automations for Workflow prepared me for the bold, more powerful future of Shortcuts. Automation isn’t supposed to replace core functionality of an operating system; normally, it should be an enhancement on the side, an addition for users who seek the extra speed and flexibility it provides. Yet years ago, those automation apps were the only way to accomplish more serious work on the iPad. I’m glad I learned how to use them because, at the end of the day, they allowed me to get work done – even though it wasn’t the easiest or most obvious path.

    When Apple announced the iPad Pro in 2015, it felt like a vindication of the idea that, for lots of iOS users – myself included – it was indeed possible to treat the iPad as a laptop replacement. And even though not much has changed (yet?) since 2017’s iOS 11 in terms of what the iPad Pro’s software can do, the modern iPad app ecosystem is vastly different from the early days of the iPad 3 and iOS 5, and that’s all thanks to the iPad Pro and Apple’s push for pro apps and a financially-viable App Store.

    We now have professional apps such as Ulysses, Agenda, Things, Keep It, and iA Writer, which, in most cases, boast feature parity with their Mac counterparts; we have examples of iOS-only pro tools like Pixelmator Photo, LumaFusion, Shortcuts, and Working Copy, which are ushering us into a new era of mobile productivity; and both from a pure iPad-hardware and accessory standpoint, we have more choice than ever thanks to a larger, more inclusive iPad lineup, remarkable Pro hardware, and solid options to extend the iPad via keyboards, USB-C accessories, and more.

    Seven years after I started (slowly) replacing my MacBook Air with an iPad, my life is different, but one principle still holds true: I never want to find myself forced to work on a computer that’s only effective at home, that can’t be held in my hands, or that can’t be customized for different setups. For this reason, the iPad Pro is the best computer for the kind of lifestyle I want.

    However, the iPad is not perfect. And so in the spirit of offering one final update before WWDC and the massive release for iPad that iOS 13 will likely be, I thought I’d summarize seven years of daily iPad usage in one article that details how I work from the device and how I’d like the iPad platform to improve in the future.

    In this story, I will explore four different major areas of working on the iPad using iOS 12 system features, third-party apps, and accessories. I’ll describe how I optimized each area to my needs, explain the solutions I implemented to work around the iPad’s software limitations, and argue how those workarounds shouldn’t be necessary anymore as the iPad approaches its tenth anniversary.

    Consider this my iPad Manifesto, right on the cusp of WWDC. Let’s dive in.

    Read more



      CleanMyMac X: Your Mac, as Good as New [Sponsor]

      CleanMyMac X by MacPaw is your complete Mac maintenance solution. Redesigned with a beautiful, intuitive interface that makes it a pleasure to use, CleanMyMac X frees up wasted storage space, protects against malware, optimizes your Mac’s performance, and more.

      It all starts with Smart Scan, the all-in-one center for analyzing, optimizing, and protecting your Mac. Here you’ll find sections to clean up unwanted and unnecessary files that are cluttering up your Mac’s drive. CleanMyMac also scans for malware, protecting your Mac against malicious third-party code and vulnerabilities like cryptocurrency miners, browser hijackers, and adware. There’s an optimization section that can free up RAM and manage login items, launch agents, and memory-hungry apps too.

      At each step of the process, you’ll have CleanMyMac Assistant at your side. It’s an intelligent advisor providing explanations of everything CleanMyMac does and recommending courses of action.

      CleanMyMac X has an app update module that scans your installed apps for available updates too. It’s a fantastic, centralized way to see all the apps on your Mac that have updates whether or not you bought them on the Mac App Store. When you want to uninstall an app, CleanMyMac X is there to help, deleting hidden files and any other cruft that an app would otherwise leave behind when you delete it.

      You owe it to yourself to make sure your Mac is running smoothly and safely with enough storage to get your work done, so don’t wait. Go check out CleanMyMac X today. There’s a free trial waiting to help you get make your Mac as good as new.

      Our thanks to CleanMyMac X for sponsoring MacStories this week.


      Shortcuts 2.1 Brings New Weather and Clock Actions, iCloud Sharing Improvements, and More

      In a release that largely focuses on performance improvements and digital well-being tools to curb notification overload and smartphone addiction, Apple’s Siri shortcuts initiative in iOS 12 stands out as one of the most exciting developments in modern iOS history. Perhaps even more impressive than developers’ adoption of Siri shortcuts though has been the response to Apple’s Shortcuts app, which enables the creation of custom shortcuts that can integrate with apps, system features, and even Siri.

      In addition to a thriving community that continues to prove how combining users’ imagination with automation can elevate iOS productivity, Apple itself has so far shown a remarkable commitment to the Shortcuts app by listening to the community and ensuring a smooth transition from Workflow. Traditionally, Apple’s App Store apps receive major updates then linger for months before the next big set of changes; with Shortcuts, Apple has kept the TestFlight beta channel active, pushing for the same development pace that characterized Workflow before its acquisition.

      The result is Shortcuts 2.1, released today on the App Store with a variety of bug fixes, iCloud improvements, and, more importantly, new actions that integrate the app even more deeply with iOS 12. If you’re not familiar with the Shortcuts app, I recommending reading the dedicated section from my iOS 12 review first; if you’re an existing Shortcuts user and rely on the app for key aspects of your iOS workflow, let’s dig in and take a look at what’s new.

      Read more


      Shortcuts Archive

      Welcome to the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, the official repository for shortcuts created by Federico Viticci and the MacStories team.

      Since the original release of Workflow in 2014, we’ve created hundreds of automations to help readers use their iOS devices more efficiently. The goal of this archive is to offer a complete catalogue of our old workflows as well as new custom shortcuts for Apple’s Shortcuts app.

      Each shortcut in this archive has been created, updated, and tested by Federico and the MacStories team. Shortcuts are organized in categories, and you can jump directly to a specific category by using one of the section links below.

      For more details on downloading and using shortcuts, see this section below.

      Want even more exclusive shortcuts? Check out Club MacStories.

      Archive Details

      Total number of shortcuts in archive: 210

      Last update: Jan 22, 2020


      Jump to section:


      Apple TV

      Wake Apple TV

      Wake an Apple TV on the local network and show the remote control for it on an iOS device. Best used as a widget for fast activation.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Apple TV+ Launcher

      Launch different sections of the Apple TV+ service in Apple’s TV app. The shortcut supports the Apple TV+ front page and individual shows, and can be customized to launch more shows or movies.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Wake TV and Set Lights

      Wake up an Apple TV on the local network and, if it’s past sunset, dim the lights in the room.
      Check if the current time is after predicted sunset time for today.
      Add a HomeKit scene that will dim the lights.

      Get the shortcut here.


      App Store

      Scan iTunes Gift Card

      Scan an iTunes gift card, extract its text, and open the App Store to redeem the associated promo code. You can import an image of a gift card from the clipboard or take a new picture. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Today

      Open the Today page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Arcade

      Open the Apple Arcade page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Apps

      Open the Apps page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Games

      Open the Games page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Subscriptions

      Open the Subscriptions page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save App Store Screenshots

      Search the App Store for an app and save screenshots from the product page to the Photos app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save App to Trello

      Save an app from the App Store as a card in Trello. The app’s icon, title, and other metadata are used to compose a rich card in Trello.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Open the Search page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store Story as Safari Reader Article

      Read an App Store story (from the ‘Today’ tab) as a text-only webpage, cleaned up by Safari Reader. To run the shortcut, copy a link to an editorial story from the App Store first.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Release Notes

      Copy the release notes for the latest version of an app shared from the App Store. By default, the shortcut searches the U.S. App Store, but you can change the country to your locale.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Redeem iTunes Code

      Redeem an iTunes code contained in the system clipboard. The shortcut will prompt you to pick a code you previously copied before launching the App Store’s redemption page, where the code will be already filled in.

      Get the shortcut here.

      App Store: Updates

      Open the Updates page of the App Store.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save App Store Icon

      Search the App Store for an app and save its icon to the Photos app.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Calendar

      Calendar Locations

      Get a list of upcoming calendar events that contain locations.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Travel Time to Next Calendar Event

      Calculate travel time to get to the next calendar event that has an address attached to it. The shortcut can be configured for different transportation methods and can be invoked from Siri or the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Days Until…

      Calculate how many days are left until a date you can type in natural language. The shortcut was designed in English, but can be adapted to other languages as well.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Upcoming Events

      View your next five calendar events in a list. The selected event will be opened in the system Calendar app. This shortcut can be used from the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Create Calendar Event from Template

      Create a new calendar event choosing from a list of templates. Templates are represented by a Dictionary action at the beginning of the shortcut and they support customization for calendar name, location, duration, notes, alert time, and the all-day setting. The shortcut will only ask to confirm the event’s title and start date. This shortcut was originally created for members of Club MacStories.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Fantastical Schedule (Multi-Platform)

      View Fantastical’s schedule for today using native app shortcuts for the iPhone and iPad versions of the app. The shortcut doesn’t require any user interaction to choose platforms.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Time Until Important Event Location

      Calculate how much time you have until an important event comes up. If you specify a location to filter important events, driving time to the selected address is also calculated by the shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Contacts

      WhatsApp Launcher

      Open a WhatsApp conversation for a selected contact. The shortcut needs to be configured for contacts that have a Country in their contact card’s Address field; the country and its phone prefix (country code) have to be added in a list at the beginning of the shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Multilingual iMessage Dictation

      Dictate an iMessage to a friend from a widget. The dictation language is set automatically based on the recipient’s address stored in their contact card. iMessages are sent in the background, but you’ll be asked to confirm the message before sending it.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Quick Contact

      Create a new contact from the Shortcuts app or Siri. The new contact is created using the Name, Email Address, Company, and Notes field.

      This shortcut requires the app Quickness to be installed.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Share Song with Contact

      Add the currently playing song to an Apple Music playlist and tell one of your favorite contacts about the addition by sending them an iMessage.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Invert Names

      Given a list of last and first names separated by a comma, the shortcut inverts their position and returns a plain text list of first names followed by last names.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Message Last Photo

      Quickly send the last photo you’ve taken on your device to a contact over iMessage. The shortcut supports both photos and screenshots, but you can add filters to remove one of the two media types.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Email

      Mail Merge

      A mail merge shortcut that supports multiple variables for email addresses and a second piece of information for each recipient. Each email address is automatically paired with the corresponding variable in the second group. Supports customizable message and subject templates.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Evernote

      Twitter to Evernote

      Convert a tweet URL into an embeddable rich text version that contains the original text and links of the tweet. The rich text is then appended to an existing note in Evernote. The shortcut cleans up shortened Twitter links, maintains author names, and lets you customize the list of Evernote notes to append tweets to.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Append a link to an existing note in Evernote. The link is either passed to the Shortcuts extension or read from the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Evernote Scratchpad

      Quickly append text or an audio recording to a note called Scratchpad in your Evernote account. Audio will be recorded using Shortcuts’ native microphone access and recording UI; the audio file supports inline playback within Evernote.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save Quote to Evernote

      Save selections from Safari webpages as highlights in Evernote. Ideal for articles that will have multiple highlights, which will be appended to the same note. The shortcut integrates with the ShareQuote shortcut to make it easy to share highlights with iOS extensions later.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save to Evernote and Share

      Save any file shared with the Shortcuts extension to Evernote as a new note. At the end of the shortcut, an Evernote link to the note is copied to the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Search your Evernote account for a specific note and copy its link to the system clipboard. Your can choose whether you want to copy the shareable URL or the local Evernote URL scheme for that note.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Evernote Article

      Turn any web article into a clutter-free Evernote note that maintains formatting but removes extra visual elements from the original webpage. The shortcut has to be run in the extension from Safari or Safari View Controller.

      Get the shortcut here.

      EverSafari

      A comprehensive menu to save webpages from Safari as notes in Evernote. The shortcut supports saving links as rich text, .webarchive files, PDFs, plain text, or attachments. The shortcut can either create new notes or append to an existing note. See comments below for instructions on how to store a list of your favorite Evernote notebooks, tags, and notes.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save Safari Webarchive Evernote

      Generate a .webarchive version of the current Safari webpage and save it in the Evernote app. The shortcut needs to open Evernote for iOS and is also supported in Safari View Controller. The title of the original webpage is copied to the clipboard for easy pasting in Evernote’s title field.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Files

      Extract All Files from Archive

      Extract all files from a compressed archive passed as input and save them into the same folder in iCloud Drive/Shortcuts. The name of the archive is used to create a new destination folder in Shortcuts’ iCloud Drive container.

      Get the shortcut here.

      iCloud Drive Clipboard

      Copy items items previously clipped to the Clipboard.txt file in iCloud Drive back to the system clipboard. The shortcut can be executed from the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Pick a file from iCloud Drive (or other document providers) and create a shareable iCloud Mail Drop URL to let other people download the file.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Rename and Save File

      Rename the file passed as input to the shortcut and save it somewhere else with app extensions. Designed to compensate for the lack of file renaming in the ‘Save to Files’ extensions in iOS 12.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Document OCR

      Perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on a document. You can import a document from Files or a scanned image from Photos. Recognized text is copied to the clipboard and can be shared with app extensions. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Clip to iCloud Clipboard

      Clip any kind of text contained in the system clipboard to a Clipboard.txt file stored in iCloud Drive. This shortcut is designed to allow you to keep a record of previously copied bits of text and easily sync them across devices. The shortcut can be executed from the widget, and it also supports rich text and URLs.

      Get the shortcut here.

      FS Bookmarks

      Create bookmarks for files and folders stored in iCloud Drive (and third-party file providers) that you can reuse as direct launchers. FS Bookmarks requires Scriptable, and it generates launchers that reopen files and folders directly in the Files app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Compress Dropbox Files

      Pick multiple files from Dropbox and share them as a single .zip archive.

      Get the shortcut here.

      File Downloader

      Download a file from a URL stored in the system clipboard. The downloaded file can be saved in iCloud Drive or other storage providers with a native Files interface.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Preview Folder Contents

      Preview the contents of a folder stored inside iCloud Drive/Shortcuts. The shortcut lets you filter items by name; if no name is entered, all files contained in the folder are returned. You can choose to preview a selected file with Quick Look or share it with extensions.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Zip and Share

      Compress the input items into a .zip archive and share the archive file with app extensions. You can enter the name of the archive manually.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Scan Document

      Scan a document using iOS’ native document scanner. The shortcut lets you choose whether you want to share the scanned file as an image or run OCR on it to extract text. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Pick File

      Pick a file from iCloud Drive and share it with other apps through extensions.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Share Dropbox Photo

      Select an image from the photo library and upload it to Dropbox. The shortcut returns a public Dropbox link to the image that can be shared with other people.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Extract Individual Files from Zip Archive

      Given a compressed archive passed as input via the share sheet, this shortcut can extract the archive and save individual files contained inside it to iOS document providers.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Shortcuts Backup

      Create a .zip archive containing a backup of all your shortcuts. The backup file is saved under the /Backups/ folder of Shortcuts’ iCloud Drive directory.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Health

      Export Blood Pressure

      Generate a report of your last blood pressure measurements, sorted by date, and export them as a text file. The HealthKit action can be customized to return larger or smaller subsets of measurements.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Log Waist

      Log your current waist circumference in HealthKit by entering a numeric value. The shortcut can also be used from the widget. By default, the shortcut converts centimeters to millimeters.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Log Menstruation

      Check if you recently logged menstruation or if you might be due to log it again and prompt to log bleeding if that is the case.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Log Weight

      Log your current weight in HealthKit by entering a numeric value. The shortcut can also be used from the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Asleep Time

      Read the HealthKit database to find out how much you slept last night.

      You can modify the shortcut to customize Siri’s response based on how much time you slept.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Median Heart Rate

      Calculate your median heart rate for the past two weeks.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Last Coffee

      Check how long ago you had your last coffee based on when caffeine was last logged in HealthKit. You can use this shortcut in the widget and Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Water Today

      Check how much water you’ve drunk today based on water entries logged in HealthKit. You can use this shortcut in the widget and Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Glass of Water

      Log a small glass of water in HealthKit. By default, the shortcut logs 150 milliliters of water to the Health app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Log Espresso

      Log a cup of espresso as caffeine intake in HealthKit. By default, the shortcut logs 50 milligrams of caffeine to the Health app. The shortcut can also be used from the widget and Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Home

      Shuffle Playlist on HomePod

      Shuffle a playlist on a specific HomePod, with a specific volume level, and dim the lights. The shortcut needs to be configured based on speakers and HomeKit devices in your home.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Electricity Price

      Uses the ComEd Current Hour Average electricity price API for Northern Illinois to return the average price of electricity for the current hour in USD.

      Get the shortcut here.


      JavaScript

      Video Speed Up

      Speed up a native video player in Safari choosing from a list of speed presets.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Full Screen Video

      Enable full-screen mode for a native video player in Safari.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Mac

      Sleep Mac

      Put the display connected to a Mac on the same local network as your iOS device to sleep.

      Get the shortcut here.

      HomePod Speaker Volume

      Change the volume of multiple HomePods (or AirPlay speakers) connected to iTunes at once. The list of preset volume levels is customizable. The shortcut can also be run from the iOS widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Check youtube-dl Formats

      Use youtube-dl to check the available download formats for a YouTube link copied to the clipboard on iOS. The shortcut assumes youtube-dl has been installed on a local Mac under the /usr/local/bin folder.

      Get the shortcut here.

      iTunes Current Song

      Get the album artwork of the song currently playing on iTunes on the Mac.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Set Active Speakers and Volume

      Change the volume of individual HomePods (or AirPlay speakers) connected to iTunes and choose which ones should be currently active. The shortcut lets you select one or multiple speakers as well as enter an exact volume level.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Wake Mac + Login

      Wake the display connected to a Mac on the same local network as your iOS device and paste your password in the login screen by simulating keystrokes.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Play iTunes Playlist

      Choose a playlist to start playing with iTunes on a Mac. The shortcut requires you to enter the exact name of playlists you want to play once, upon configuring the shortcut for the first time.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Wake Mac

      Wake the display connected to a Mac on the same local network as your iOS device.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Set Mac Clipboard

      Set your Mac’s clipboard to the contents of the current iOS clipboard. The shortcut cleans up the iOS clipboard by escaping line breaks and quotes.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Toggle iTunes

      Toggle the player state of the iTunes app on a Mac on the same local network as your iOS device.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Markdown

      Spreadsheet to Markdown Table

      Convert a spreadsheet to a MultiMarkdown table. For the best experience, select a table in Numbers, copy cells, then run the shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Safari Markdown Selection

      Convert a rich text selection from a Safari webpage to Markdown and copy the plain text to the clipboard. The shortcut needs to run as an extension in Safari.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Markdown Table of Contents

      Extract section headings from Markdown text shared with the extension and generate a Table of Contents for headings between H2 and H6. The final list supports indentation and is copied to the clipboard as Markdown.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Strip Out Markdown

      Take Markdown from the system clipboard and put a cleaned-up version without markers back into the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Preview Markdown

      Preview Markdown text passed to the Shortcuts extension as converted HTML. The shortcut works from any app that can pass Markdown-formatted plain text to the share sheet, and it’ll open a rich preview inline using a native web view.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Media

      Handoff to HomePod

      Hand off audio playback (for Music and Podcasts) from your current device to a HomePod of your choice. You can customize the list and names of HomePods (based on your setup) in a menu.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Plex Inspect Section IDs

      Find the IDs for media sections of your Plex library running on a local server. These IDs can then be used with another shortcut to refresh (scan) individual Plex media sections such as Movies or TV shows. The shortcut requires your Plex token and returns raw XML data. The shortcut was originally created for Club MacStories members.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Handoff from HomePod

      Hand off audio playback (for Music and Podcasts) from a HomePod of your choice to the current device. You can customize the list and names of HomePods (based on your setup) in a menu.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Pause HomePods

      Pause all HomePods (or AirPlay 2 speakers) around the house in one go. The shortcut supports adding as many ‘Pause’ actions as necessary for each speaker you want to pause.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Search YouTube

      Type a search query and open search results in the YouTube app. The shortcut supports both keyboard input and conversational mode in Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Round Avatar

      Create a round avatar based on someone’s Twitter profile picture. To run this shortcut, save a profile image from Twitter first.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Encode to Audio and Share

      Encode the file passed to the shortcut as audio and apply custom metadata to it such as artwork, artist name, and album. The audio file is then shared with extensions.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Play HomePod

      Set the playback destination to a specific HomePod on your local network and start playing audio.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Plex Scan Section

      Refresh (scan) individual Plex media sections such as Movies or TV shows from Shortcuts or Siri. The shortcut requires your Plex token to communicate with a Plex server running on the same local network as the iOS device. The shortcut was originally created for Club MacStories members.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Music

      Apple Music Wrapped

      Create a detailed report for the music you’ve listened to in the past year. The shortcut can optionally create a Top 25 playlist for your most played songs and generate a PDF report. The shortcut is primarily designed for Apple Music subscribers.
      To calculate number of plays, the shortcut looks at songs that have been played in full without skipping and added to your library in any given year.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Find Lyrics

      Get the title of the currently playing song and search for its lyrics on Google.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Playlists

      Start a playlist in Apple Music with shuffle enabled. The shortcut needs to be configured with the names of your playlists from the Music app. The shortcut supports adding friendly names for playlists if you don’t want to display their actual names.

      Get the shortcut here.

      MusicBot

      MusicBot is the all-in-one Apple Music assistant, powered by Shortcuts. Entirely customizable and designed for Apple Music, MusicBot speeds up access to your favorite music and comes with dozens of features to help you play albums, browse songs, check out new releases, and even listen to Beats 1 radio or ambient sounds by Apple Music. Additionally, MusicBot lets you create your own collection of favorite albums and new music releases, comes with AirPlay 2 support, and provides you with Smart Mixes – intelligent playlists to discover songs you love from your Music library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Notes

      Find Notes (with Menu)

      Open frequently used notes choosing from a list of titles or manually search for a specific note in the Notes app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Dictate Note (with Menu)

      Use iOS’ native speech-to-text to dictate a note in a language of your choosing from the Shortcuts widget. The list of supported languages can be customized in the shortcut. Starting with Shortcuts 2.2, it is possible to save dictated text to Notes in the background – directly from the widget – without showing the Notes composer. The Notes action can be replaced with other note-taking apps such as Evernote or Drafts.

      Get the shortcut here.

      View Recent Notes

      Bring up a list of recently modified notes and quickly reopen one of them.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Append to Note

      Quickly append text to a note called Scratchpad in your Notes app. Audio will be recorded using Shortcuts’ native microphone access and dictation feature.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Dictate to Note

      Quickly append text to a Scratchpad note in Apple’s Notes app using dictation.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Attach to Bear Note

      Append a file or image to the bottom of a note in Bear. The shortcut will either present the native Files or Photos picker before launching the Bear app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Photos

      Combine Images

      Combine multiple images into a single image. The shortcut supports images passed as input via the extension as well as picking images manually from the photo library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      On This Day

      Search your photo library for old photos taken on this day in previous years. The shortcut can look for photos from multiple years, with multiple photos per day. If more than one photo is found, photos are resized to square and combined in a grid.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Home Screen Icon Creator

      Create a custom icon on your iOS home screen for any app URL scheme, shortcut, contact, or solid color. This shortcut uses the same technique of Apple’s Shortcuts app to save an icon to the home screen, but extends it with the ability to fully customize the launcher, including icons and launch images. (Due to a limitation in iOS 13, you’ll have to force-quit instances of Home Screen Icon Creator-based launchers in the app switcher for the launchers to work again>)

      Get the shortcut here.

      iPhone 11 Lens Inspector

      Visualize the lens used to capture a photo. The shortcut can run inside the Photos app and supports the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro’s wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Share Clipboard Image

      Share an image from the system clipboard with app extensions. The shortcut supports both images and photo media contained in the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Apple Frames (iOS-only)

      Add device frames to screenshots for iPhones (6, 7, 8, X, XS, and 11 generations in standard/Plus/Max sizes), iPad Pro (11” and 12.9”, 2018 models), and Apple Watch S4/5 (40 and 44mm). The shortcut supports portrait and landscape orientations, but does not support Display Zoom. If multiple screenshots are passed as input, they will be combined in a single image.

      Get the shortcut here.

      OCR with Prizmo Go

      Perform OCR on an image (either captured from the camera or selected from Photos) using Prizmo Go. The shortcut can ask Prizmo Go to perform standard OCR or Cloud OCR. You can choose to copy extracted text to the clipboard or send it as a text file to DEVONthink.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Live Photo to GIF

      Convert a Live Photo to an animated GIF and preview it in Quick Look. The GIF can be saved to the Photos app directly from the preview.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Get Images from Webpage

      Count the number of images contained in the current Safari webpage. This shortcut can run in Safari and Safari View Controller from the share sheet.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Apple Frames

      Add device frames to screenshots for iPhones (6, 7, 8, X, XS, and 11 generations in standard/Plus/Max sizes), iPad Pro (11” and 12.9”, 2018 models), Apple Watch S4/5 (40 and 44mm), MacBook Pro (Retina 13-inch), and iMac (5K). The shortcut supports portrait and landscape orientations, but does not support Display Zoom. If multiple screenshots are passed as input, they will be combined in a single image.

      Get the shortcut here.

      iPhone 11 Lens Browser

      Filter your photo library by the lens used to capture a photo. The shortcut is optimized for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, and it supports the wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses. By default, the shortcut looks at the last 300 photos from your library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Markup Screenshots

      Markup multiple screenshots in a row using iOS’ native screenshot annotation tools. You can choose to save or share the edited version. Optionally, the originals can be deleted.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Preview Photo Metadata

      Preview photos shared from Photos’ share sheet in a custom preview page. The preview contains the photo, its timestamp, plus metadata including an interactive map. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      iPhone 11 Lens Browser (Extended)

      Filter your photo library by the lens used to capture a photo. The shortcut is optimized for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, and it supports the wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses. By default, the shortcut looks at the last 50 photos from your library and opens a custom preview showing metadata for each photo. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Podcasts

      Overcast Play Menu

      Start playback of a specific show or playlist in Overcast 5 using dictation. Best experienced as a widget. The shortcut requires configuration of Siri shortcuts in the Overcast app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Podcast Episodes

      Start playing an episode from a podcast in the user’s Podcasts library. The shortcut allows you to customize the playback destination.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Overcast Clip to Files

      Save a video clip shared from Overcast in the Files app. The shortcut will extract the video file from the Overcast clip (shared via the share sheet) and rename it with the title of episode being shared.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Play Random Podcast Episode

      Play a random episode for a random podcast in your Podcasts app library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Subscribe to Podcast

      Search and subscribe to a new show in Apple’s Podcasts app. The new show will be added to your library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Overcast Controls

      Navigate chapters or copy links for the Overcast episode you’re currently listening to. Best used as a widget.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Task Management

      Things Natural Language Parser

      An advanced shortcut that lets you create multiple tasks at once in Things using natural language parsing. The shortcut has its own special syntax to add tasks with natural language, and takes advantage of Things’ JSON Import for multiple tasks.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Scan GoodTask Subtasks

      Scan the Reminders database for tasks that contain subtasks based on the GoodTask syntax.

      Get the shortcut here.

      ReScheduler

      Reschedule any reminder to a later date. You can pick multiple reminders at once and change their due date by choosing from some presets or typing a date manually. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Append Notes to Things Task

      Append notes to an existing task in the Things app. The shortcut can append links or text passed to the share sheet, but it also lets you type or paste your own notes manually. To use the shortcut, you’ll have to add your Things URL token and paste the unique IDs of existing Things tasks.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Create Webpage Reminder

      Create a reminder for the webpage currently open in Safari or Safari View Controller using the webpage’s original title and URL. You can type a due date in natural language. The shortcut needs to be executed from the action extension.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Today ReScheduler

      Reschedule reminders due today (or overdue) to a later date. You can pick multiple reminders at once and change their due date by choosing from some presets or typing a date manually. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Save a link from the clipboard or shared via the extension to 2Do as a new task. You can pick from multiple lists and optionally define a tag to be automatically applied to the new task. The original link is embedded in the task as a ‘Visit URL’ action.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Webpage to Things

      Turn a Safari webpage into a rich task in Things. The shortcut can add a task with a specific tag, into a specific project, under a specific heading in Things using the webpage’s original title and URL as the task’s metadata. Additionally, you can type a due date in natural language before creating the task in Things.

      Get the shortcut here.

      New Reminder+ (Extended)

      A custom menu to create new tasks in the Reminders app. You can keep running the shortcut to add multiple reminders in a row. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Remove Completed Reminders

      Purge completed reminders from the Reminders app (and iCloud) with one tap. The shortcut displays a confirmation prompt before deleting reminders.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Things Checklist Template

      Create a task with a checklist in Things based on a fixed template that is stored in the Shortcuts app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Log Completed Reminders

      Save the number of reminders completed on the current day as a new row of a Numbers spreadsheet. The completed count will be saved alongside the current date, allowing you to chart your progress over time in Numbers.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Add Reminder with GoodTask Subtasks

      Create a new task in the Reminders database with subtasks based on the GoodTask syntax. Subtasks have to be entered on multiple lines and they’ll be added to the reminder’s note field. Subtasks can be previewed natively in the GoodTask app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      New Reminder+

      A custom menu to create new tasks in the Reminders app. You can keep running the shortcut to add multiple reminders in a row.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Search Reminders For…

      Search your Reminders’ note fields for a specific text query. By default, the search query is chosen from a list of pre-assembled options.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Searches the Reminders app for tasks that contain URLs in their note field. Optionally, you can add more filters (for dates, Reminders lists, etc.) to narrow down the list of results. The shortcut lets you open multiple URLs from multiple reminders at once in Safari.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Text

      Clean Up Rich Text

      Remove unnecessary styles from rich text stored in the system clipboard. This shortcut will maintain formatting for bold, italics, and links, but it’ll remove other elements such as custom fonts, font sizes, colors, and more. The cleaned up rich text will be put back in the clipboard at the end.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Word & Character Count

      Display a count of words and characters contained in the system clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      ShareQuote

      Share the text shared as input via iOS extensions. The shortcut is best used as a function of other shortcuts or as a simple launcher with apps such as Drafts or Launch Center Pro.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Copy Blank Characters

      Generate a string of invisible characters based on the Braille Pattern Blank Unicode character (U+2800). This is a workaround to create shortcuts with invisible names on the iOS home screen. The shortcut lets you choose how many times you’d like to repeat the blank character to avoid issues with multiple shortcuts having the same name.

      Get the shortcut here.

      PDF Extract

      Extract text from a PDF document picked from Files using iOS’ native text extraction APIs. The resulting text is copied to the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Append to Clipboard

      Get text from the share sheet and append it to the system clipboard as a new line.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Create a rich text hyperlink based on a URL from the system clipboard. This shortcut is ideal for creating underlined links for apps that do not support rich link creation such as Notes or Apple Mail.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Create a rich text link to open one of your shortcuts in the Shortcuts app. The rich link can be pasted in apps like Notes, Mail, and other apps that support tappable links.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Time Tracking

      Timer Running

      This shortcut returns details for any currently running timer in your Toggl account.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Start Toggl Timer

      Start a new timer in your Toggl account. The timer can be assigned a specific description, task, and tag using variables.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Prepare Toggl Template

      This shortcut extracts a project ID and task ID from a project in your Toggl account. These IDs are needed to configure shortcuts that start timers. To access your Toggl account over the API, enter your email:password combination below. The shortcut communicates directly with the Toggl API.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Check Timery

      Check your currently-running timer and total time logged for the day. Timery for Toggl is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Start Timer for Event

      Start a Toggl timer (with the Timery app) based on an event name found in a specific calendar (or multiple calendars). You have to specify the event name in a list and replace the Siri shortcuts for Timery if you don’t have the app installed.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Stop Timers

      This shortcut stops any currently running timer in your Toggl account.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Twitter

      Open in Twitter Apps

      Open a Twitter link in Tweetbot, Twitterrific, or the official Twitter app. Both profile links and individual tweets are supported. The shortcut can be run inside the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Tweet Song

      Share the song you’re listening to on Twitter. The shortcut shares the song’s name, artist, and artwork.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Search Twitter User’s Mentions

      View all the mentions, @replies, and quoted tweets sent to a specific Twitter user in a single screen. The shortcut is based on Twitter’s advanced search syntax and opens the native Twitter app for iOS.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Weather

      Today Weather Forecast

      Display a weather forecast for your current location and the current day.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Weather Now

      Get the current weather for a specific location provided as a street address. The shortcut can be used in the app, widget, or Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Netatmo Weather Today

      Return information from a Netatmo Home Weather Station, which includes indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and data from air quality sensors.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Weather Report

      Display a list of forecasts for the next few days, provided by the iOS Weather app. You can pass your street address to quickly return forecasts.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Dark Sky Check

      Use the Dark Sky API to display a short summary of current weather conditions and the forecast for today. The shortcut requires a free Dark Sky API key, which has to be saved in iCloud Drive. It also requires pasting your coordinates in the first Text action. Once configured, the shortcut can be used with the widget or Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Hourly Forecasts

      Display a list of hourly forecasts for the current location.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Web

      Add Clipboard Row to Google Sheet

      Send a link from the iOS clipboard to IFTTT, which will add it as a new row in a Google spreadsheet. Requires setup of an IFTTT applet to turn a webhook request into a Google Sheets row.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Get Article Hero Image

      Use Shortcuts’ native support for parsing web articles to identify the featured (hero) image of an article and save it to the Photos app. The shortcut needs to run as an extension in Safari or Safari View Controller.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Custom RSS Reader

      Preview headlines and excerpts from your favorite blogs in a custom preview powered by RSS feeds. Toolbox Pro is required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Tech News

      Get the latest Apple news from one of your favorite tech blogs. Headlines can be previewed in Siri or the widget, and you can read articles using Safari View Controller.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Convert Historical Currencies

      Convert between currencies using the Fixer.io web service. The shortcut requires a private API key to operate. The shortcut supports historical exchange rates and lets you convert between currencies using the current date or any past date. You can type dates with natural language. The converted amount is copied to the clipboard at the end.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Parse JSON Feed

      Parse any JSON feed and display a list of recent posts to choose from. You can pick any post from the list to instantly open it in Safari.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Given a selection in Safari, the shortcut finds all image links contained in the selected portion of the page and offers to open them as new tabs. Selected image links are also copied to the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      PiP Video

      Enable Picture in Picture mode for a native video player in Safari. Only works on iPad.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Safari Reader Article to Mail

      Share an article from Safari via Mail with a clean presentation powered by Safari Reader. You can also run the shortcut from a widget or the Shortcuts app by copying an article’s URL first.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Share Long URL

      Expand a short URL into the long, unfurled version. Optionally, you can share a textshot associated with the URL by picking a photo from the library.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Inspect RSS Feed

      Find the RSS feed for a Safari webpage and inspect its raw XML contents inside the Shortcuts extension.

      Get the shortcut here.

      RSS: Subscribe in Fiery

      Find the RSS feed for a Safari webpage and subscribe to it. This shortcut requires the app Fiery Feeds to be installed.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Trigger IFTTT Webhook

      Trigger a webhook-based IFTTT applet from Shortcuts. Requires an IFTTT Maker developer key. The shortcut can be executed from Siri or the widget as well.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Create separate PDFs for each hyperlink contained in a Safari selection. Ideal for list of links that have to be converted to multiple PDFs (such as the Club MacStories newsletter archive). The resulting PDFs are saved into iCloud Drive.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Publish to WordPress

      Publish a Markdown post to WordPress via the Shortcuts action extension. The shortcut can extract the h1 Markdown header from a post and use it as title. Optionally, you can publish both standard and “linked list” post types by adding a custom field supported by your WordPress installation.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Find RSS Feed

      Find the RSS feed for a Safari webpage and copy its URL to the clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Other

      Articles by Topic

      Filter articles saved in Reeder’s Read Later account by topic. The shortcut relies on iOS’ Natural Language Processing framework to extract organization names from text. You can modify the list of topics to include the ones you prefer. Toolbox Pro and Reeder are required for this shortcut.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Morning Routine

      A comprehensive shortcut for your morning routine. This shortcut can read you the news, list your upcoming agenda, turn on HomeKit scenes, and much more. By default, the shortcut requires the AutoSleep app to process sleep data (AutoSleep is only available on iPhone), LookUp for the word of the day, and GoodTask for Reminders lists. It also uses the Today Weather Forecast shortcut. Optionally, the shortcut can also integrate with Apple Music, Overcast, and Deliveries. More details about this shortcut are available in the MacStories iOS 12 review.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Image to Ulysses Sheet

      Add an image to an existing sheet in Ulysses. Images can be shared via the share sheet or picked manually in the Shortcuts app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Convert Temperature

      Convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit with a menu that lets you pick a starting unit. The shortcuts supports interactions (including entering numbers) in the widget as well.

      Get the shortcut here.

      DND Menu

      Enable Do Not Disturb choosing from three different types of expiration times: until manually turned off, until a calendar event is over, or until a specific time.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Add Attachment to Agenda

      Append attachments to existing notes in the Agenda app. The shortcuts supports both images and documents from Files, and it can be executed from the share sheet (for input files) or the Shortcuts app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Pay for Lunch

      Send money to a friend who paid for lunch. The shortcut will add the local business’ name in the payment’s note field.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Convert Length

      Convert between centimeters and inches with a menu that lets you pick a starting unit. The shortcut supports interactions (including entering numbers) in the widget as well.

      Get the shortcut here.

      DEVONmenu

      A comprehensive shortcut to save a variety of file types into DEVONthink To Go. The shortcut can save Safari webpages, images, text, PDFs, videos, MP3s, and more, with the ability to add more supported file types manually. In most cases, files will be previewed natively in DEVONthink.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Linked Post → Ulysses

      Create a template for a linked post to an article in Ulysses. The text selection from a Safari webpage is used as a Markdown blockquote. The original title, author name, and URL of the webpage are also preserved in the sheet.

      Get the shortcut here.

      LookUp Definition

      Look up a word definition using LookUp 6.0. The shortcut lets you choose among different definition types, and it can also add a word to a collection.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Show Clipboard

      Show the contents of the system clipboard. The shortcut can also show the type of the clipboard’s contents, and it can run as a widget or Siri command.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Start Workday

      Start your workday by turning on a HomeKit switch, setting Hue lights to a focus mode, and waking up your Mac using the ‘Remote for Mac’ app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Keep It Menu

      An advanced shortcut for Keep It to save new notes in the app as either text or file attachments, which are previewed natively in Keep It. The shortcut can run from the Shortcuts app or as an extension. In addition to saving text notes and files, the shortcut can also save Safari webpages as web archives, live links, or PDF documents. At the end of shortcut, multiple references to Keep It notes can be saved as tasks in Reminders. This shortcut was originally created for members of Club MacStories.

      Get the shortcut here.

      DEVONmenu (with Things Parser)

      A comprehensive shortcut to save a variety of file types into DEVONthink To Go. The shortcut can save Safari webpages, images, text, PDFs, videos, MP3s, and more, with the ability to add more supported file types manually. In most cases, files will be previewed natively in DEVONthink. At the end, the shortcut offers the ability to save each DEVONthink item as a task in Things using the Things Natural Language Parser syntax.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Copy Latest from Yoink

      Copy the most recent item saved in the Yoink app. Can be used from the Shortcuts app, the extension, the widget, or Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Change System Volume

      Quickly change your device’s system volume by picking a numeric value from a list. You can customize the list to contain your favorite volume presets, which support decimal values. The shortcut can be used from the widget as well.

      Get the shortcut here.

      PCalc Currencies

      Run multiple currency conversions in Siri using a number from the clipboard. This shortcut requires the PCalc app to be installed. By default, it works with EUR, USD, and GBP currencies.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Focused Work Session

      Start a 20-minute focused work session by setting a timer, enabling Do Not Disturb, and starting time tracking with the Toggl iOS app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Travel Time to Home

      Calculate travel time to get home. The shortcut can be configured for different transportation methods and can be invoked from Siri or the widget.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Make PDF

      Create a PDF from an item shared with the Shortcuts extension via the share sheet. The PDF is previewed with Quick Look, from where it can be saved into other locations using the share sheet.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Linked Post → Drafts 5

      Create a template for a linked post to an article in Drafts 5. The text selection from a Safari webpage is used as a Markdown blockquote. The original title, author name, and URL of the webpage are also preserved in the note.

      Get the shortcut here.

      DEVONimage

      Save one or multiple images in DEVONthink To Go for iOS. Images can be passed from the share sheet or picked manually from Photos or Files. At the end of the shortcut, a plain text reference with a DEVONthink URL for the newly created items will be copied to the system clipboard.

      Get the shortcut here.

      DEVONsearch

      Search your DEVONthink To Go database (or specific group) for one or multiple files matching a series of keywords. The shortcut can either perform a basic search or a NEAR-operator search; results can be displayed in Shortcuts (with a ranking score) or in the DEVONthink app.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Clip to Yoink

      Save the contents of the system clipboard to Yoink. Can be used from the Shortcuts app, the extension, the widget, or Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Search Pocket

      Search your last 50 unread Pocket items for a particular search query, which you can type directly in the shortcut. The result you pick will be opened in Safari.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Open Settings

      Open a specific page or sub-section of the Settings app. This shortcut contains over 120 Settings URLs, and you can choose which one to open from a list. You can also create standalone shortcuts for each URL.

      The shortcut works in the app, widget, and Siri.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Snooze Slack 1 Hour

      Snooze your Slack notifications for 1 hour. The shortcut supports setting a different duration for Slack’s do not disturb mode and can also turn off snooze if already enabled. Requires a test API token.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Get Coordinates

      Get your current coordinates and copy them to the clipboard. The shortcut uses native location access to identify your position on Earth. Best used with Dark Sky shortcuts for weather data.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Given a link to an item copied from the iTunes Store, this shortcut lets you easily transform it into an affiliate link, which you can share with extensions.

      Get the shortcut here.

      Choose and Turn On Alarm

      Choose one of your existing alarms from the Clock app and turn it on.

      Get the shortcut here.


      Downloading and Using Shortcuts

      Anyone is free to download, modify, and redistribute shortcuts from the MacStories archive. Our shortcuts are provided for free and out of love for the Shortcuts automation community. In fact, we encourage readers to download shortcuts and optimize them to their needs. No attribution is necessary, but we always appreciate it.

      If you’re new to the Shortcuts app, you can find our coverage here; we also recommend going back through the Workflow archives for additional context. All of our workflows have been updated for the Shortcuts app and are included in this archive.

      For an introduction to the Shortcuts app, we highly recommend Apple’s official Shortcuts guide. We also think the Reddit community at r/shortcuts is a good place to find other users interested in Apple’s Shortcuts.

      Unless strictly necessary to communicate with a third-party web API, our shortcuts do not rely on any external framework and/or dependencies to automatically update shortcuts or perform API calls that are not mentioned in the shortcut’s description. You can find our Terms of Use below.

      The archive will be regularly updated with new shortcuts over time. Updates will be shared on Twitter via the @viticci and @macstoriesnet accounts.

      Terms of Use

      The shortcuts in the MacStories archive have been tested as of the date each was added to MacStories.net for compatibility with the then-current versions of Apple’s iOS operating system and the Shortcuts app. Please feel free to use these shortcuts and adapt them to fit your specific needs.

      However, please keep in mind that MacStories.net, its editors, and its writers (the “MacStories team”) cannot and do not guarantee that the shortcuts will remain compatible with future updates to iOS or the Shortcuts app. Moreover, the shortcuts linked on this page are provided free of charge and as-is without any express or implied warranties including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. The MacStories Team makes no specific promises about the shortcuts, the specific functions of the shortcuts, or their reliability, availability, or ability to meet your needs. In addition, the MacStories Team will not be liable to you for any lost profits or other consequential, special, indirect, or incidental damages arising out of or in connection with your use of the shortcuts.


      iOS 12: The MacStories Review

      After years of unabated visual and functional changes, iOS 12 is Apple’s opportunity to regroup and reassess the foundation before the next big step – with one notable exception.

      We left last year’s iOS 11 update with a palpable tension between two platforms.

      On one hand, following a year of minor changes to the iPad and a hardware refresh that came in later than some expected, Apple once again devoted plenty of attention to reimagining the tablet’s role in the world of modern computing. iPad updates in iOS 11, despite having their fair share of critics, largely did not disappoint. On the other hand, the iPhone – by and large still Apple’s crown jewel – had to play second fiddle to a platform that was more in need of a strong, coherent message. And so despite blessing the iPhone with the same features of its larger multitouch cousin (at least most of them), Apple seemed content ceding the smartphone’s spotlight to the iPad. There was a healthy array of new functionalities for both, but iOS 11’s “Monumental leap for iPad” tagline pretty much told the whole story.

      iOS 12, available today for the same range of devices that supported iOS 11, feels like a reaction to changes that have occurred around Apple and consumer technology over the past year.

      While iOS 11 may go down in Apple software history as the touchstone of the iPad’s maturity, it will also be remembered as one of the company’s most taxing releases for its users. You don’t have to look far into the iOS 11 cycle for headlines lamenting its poor stability on older hardware, plethora of design inconsistencies (which were noted time and time again), and general sense of sluggishness – issues that may have contributed to a slower adoption rate than 2016’s iOS 10.

      There were debacles in Apple’s PR and marketing approach as well: performance problems with battery and power management were handled poorly during a key time of the year, culminating with a year-long discounted battery replacement program and a somewhat rushed battery-related addition to iOS’ Settings. Then, of course, there was the much derided iPhone X ad clearly showing one of the many reported iOS bugs on TV, which had to be fixed with an updated commercial before the actual software was fixed. No matter how you slice it, it’s been a rough few months for Apple in the realm of public perception of its software.

      At the same time, toward the beginning of 2018, technology observers witnessed the rise of Time Well Spent – an organization and, perhaps more broadly, a public movement demanding that tech companies prioritize enabling healthier relationships with mobile devices. The principles underlying Time Well Spent, from battling smartphone addiction and notification overload to including superior parental controls in mobile OSes, may have originated as a natural consequence of breakneck technological progress; as some argue, they may also be a byproduct of global socioeconomic and political events. Time Well Spent’s ideas found fertile soil in Silicon Valley: earlier this year, Facebook made key changes to its news feed to improve how users spend time on the social network; Apple made a rare commitment to better parental features in a future version of iOS; Google went all out and turned digital well-being into a suite of system features for Android.

      It’s important to understand the context in which iOS 12 is launching today, for events of the past year may have directly shaped Apple’s vision for this update.

      With iOS 12, Apple wants to rectify iOS’ performance woes, proving to their customers that iOS updates should never induce digital regret. Perhaps more notably though, iOS 12 doesn’t have a single consumer feature that encapsulates this release – like Messages might have been for iOS 10 or the iPad for iOS 11. Instead, iOS 12 is a constellation of enhancements revolving around the overarching theme of time. Apple in 2018 needs more time for whatever the next big step of iOS may be; they want iOS users to understand how much time they’re spending on their devices; and they want to help users spend less time managing certain system features. Also, funnily enough, saving time is at the core (and in the very name) of iOS 12’s most exciting new feature: Shortcuts.

      iOS 12 isn’t Apple’s Snow Leopard release: its system changes and updated apps wouldn’t justify a “No New Features” slide. However, for the first time in years, it feels as if the company is happy to let its foot off the gas a little and listen to users more.

      Will the plan work?

      Read more



        PCalc 3.8 Adds Support for iOS 12’s Siri Shortcuts, Including Powerful Clipboard Commands

        PCalc, James Thomson’s advanced calculator for iPhone and iPad, has been updated this week to version 3.8. I’ve been testing PCalc 3.8 for the past couple of months on my devices running iOS 12, and it features one of the best implementations of Siri shortcuts I’ve seen from a third-party developer yet. Even more than the app’s excellent widget, shortcuts have enabled me to integrate PCalc features into different aspects of my daily workflow, including conversations with Siri via my HomePods.

        Read more


        Soulver: A Notepad Calculator for Doing Calculations and Figuring Stuff Out [Sponsor]

        If you’ve ever sat down with a pen and piece of paper to work out calculations, you’ll understand the power of Soulver immediately. The Mac and the iOS apps are part text editor, part calculator and work the way you think by letting you combine text and numbers on the same page.

        For anyone who spends more time in a text editor than a spreadsheet app, Soulver is perfect. By mixing text and figures, a Soulver document becomes a roadmap making it easy to retrace your steps when you revisit your work later. Instead of guessing what all the numbers on a page mean, you can give each a descriptive label and add other text providing context. Writing calculations in plain English is faster than using a spreadsheet too because you don’t have to stop to consider what formulas to apply to which cells.

        Best of all, Soulver approximates how you’d solve the same problems with a pen and paper, making it intuitive, but also better because the calculator is built right into the page. As you type on the left side of a document, Soulver keeps track of the math on the right-hand side with syntax highlighting that makes the calculations simple to follow.

        Soulver is smart too. It keeps a running total of all lines in a document, and it can look up currency conversion rates, stock prices, and commodity values for things like gold and oil. The app handles all sorts of conversion rates too from weights to cooking units and much more. Students and programmers will appreciate features like the built-in trigonometry functions as well as the ability to calculate values in binary and hex.

        To learn more, check out Soulver’s website or download both versions today from the Mac App Store and iOS App Store.

        Our thanks to Soulver for sponsoring MacStories this week.