I confess, I haven’t really touched iOS shortcuts much since the feature’s big debut last September, but don’t let my laziness dissuade you from fiddling around with them. If you’re just getting started, you should find some awesome premade shortcuts to integrate into your device instead of spending way too much time figuring out how to build your own. That’s fun too, but there’s no need to jump in the deep end just yet.
We’ve previously covered a handful of shortcuts that other Lifehacker users have found interesting, but that’s a mere iOS appetizer compared to the the main course that MacStories’ Federico Viticci recently cooked up. He’s been working on shortcuts — formerly Workflows — since 2014 or so, and he’s built a huge list of his creations (151 shortcuts and counting) that’s worth exploring.
That’s a pretty daunting number, so I’ve gone through his list and extracted a few favourites to get you started.
If you’re like me, you browse the App Store regularly and encounter a bunch of stuff that you might want to download — but you pause, because you don’t want to overwhelm your device with too many apps. While you can save a list of apps to-check-out to Notes or Reminders, you can also use this shortcut to send them directly to Trello as well.
This one is great. Copy an iTunes redemption code in iOS, then tap this shortcut to automatically fill it in on the App Store’s redemption page, saving you the trouble of having of navigate there yourself.
Instead of having to look at your calendar and then tell Siri to remind you in X number of hours or minutes to get ready for an event, you can use this shortcut to tell you how much time is remaining before events in your calendar.
(And if you just want to see a quick list of what’s coming up, view the next five events in your calendar using this shortcut.)
Use this shortcut to send any contact on your iOS device the very last photo you took — screenshots, too, if that’s your flavour.
I haven’t tried this one at all, but the simple fact that someone has created a working mail merge feature via an iOS shortcut is pretty astounding.
Copy a URL to your clipboard, tap this shortcut, and you’ll automatically start downloading it to either your iCloud Drive or any other storage services you’ve set up on your device (via the iOS Files app).
You’ll never accidentally lose your shortcuts again! Tap this shortcut, and everything you’ve created will dump to your iCloud Drive directory for shortcuts.
Photo bloat is real, people. Most of us forget about all of our selfies, food shots, and random photos shortly after we post them to Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, et al. But your phone doesn't. The files sit in the camera roll in your Photos app, taking up valuable storage space that you could be filling with apps, podcasts, or if you're like me, a giant backlog of email. Eventually, things may get so bad that you're scrolling through Photos and deleting a few pictures every time you need space.
Wrap up a bunch of Dropbox files into a simple .zip archive for easier sharing. (And if you want to do this with anything else in iOS, check out this shortcut.)
Rip the text out of any PDF on your device and automatically copy it to your iOS clipboard.
How much did you sleep last night? Get the answer directly from HealthKit.
Dealing with compressed Zip files on a smartphone can be a hassle. There are apps that get the job done, but the process is never quite as seamless as it should be. On a laptop or desktop, unpacking a file is second nature — a click or two, tops.
Assuming your Mac is on the same network as your iPhone or iPad, you can use either of these shortcuts to wake it up or send it into sleep mode. (If you also want to login to your Mac once you’ve woken it up, which is a bit less secure, check out this shortcut.)
Automatically search Google to find the lyrics for whatever song you’re currently listening to.
If you’re a big Apple Music fan — a subscriber, basically — use this shortcut to create a year-end report (or a top-25 playlist) for everything you listened to.
What were you up to over the past few years on this exact day? Use this shortcut to basically recreate Facebook’s “memories” feature on your iOS device.
Sometimes, shortcuts don’t even need an explanation.
As you finish tasks on your great to-do this, use this shortcut to quickly delete anything you’ve completed.
Fire up this shortcut and get talking; whatever you say will go into a brand-new note.
Walking home or to a bar or restaurant alone can sometimes be scary, especially if you’re a woman. One Reddit user came up with an interesting way to use Apple’s Shortcuts feature: to let your friends know you think you’re being followed.
You can ask Siri for the weather each day, but if you want a more granular report, use this shortcut to see what the next few hours are going to look like.
Keep your annoying vocal coworkers from bothering you on Slack with this shortcut. It requires a Slack API to work, but setting this up is worth every second of sweet silence.
No, you’re not rolling a new Dungeons & Dragons character. Instead, this app allows you to set a duration for iOS’ Do Not Disturb mode: until you manually turn it off, until a particular time, or until a specific calendar event has ended.