Tempted as you might be to leave your iPhone at home when you leave the house to protest—and I don’t blame you there, given the increased risk of your expensive device getting destroyed when you get pushed to the ground or shot at with rubber bullets—you might want to reconsider. Your iPhone can be an incredible source of news and a powerful communications device; it can also be a lifesaver, if you’ve taken a few minutes to set it up with some important shortcuts before you head out.
Matthew Cassinelli, who is already pretty well-known in the tech circles for the incredible number of iOS shortcuts he creates, is back at it again. This time, he’s built a helpful shortcut that you should consider installing on your iPhone if you’re going out to protest. (Or, at the very least, it’s a great starting point for any similarly themed shortcuts you might want to build.)
His version is an enhancement of this helpful shortcut originally broadcast to TikTok:
please share this it’s so important pic.twitter.com/JoBmoySMAp— a ☾ (@SOFlALlVE) May 29, 2020
Tap the icon, and Cassinelli’s shortcut will:
Send a text message to one of your contacts, providing your street, latitude, and longitude, along with the message that you’re being arrested
Turn on your iPhone’s rear camera and start taking a video
Save the video to your iPhone when you’re done with your recording
Send said video to your aforementioned contact
I recommend testing out this shortcut with a friend to make sure that any permissions your iPhone needs to run the shortcut are set up. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure it works perfectly on your device. There’s no point to having a fancy “notify your friend in case of emergency” shortcut that doesn’t do everything you expected it to.
And, of course, you can modify any part of this shortcut to suit your specific needs. You might not be getting arrested, per se, but you might want to notify your friends if a protest is getting rougher and you’re right in the middle of it, for example.
Before you can install the shortcut, you’ll need to do three things. First, you’ll need to have run at least one shortcut on your iPhone. It can be anything; just run something. After that, you’ll need to pull up your Settings app, tap on Shortcuts, and turn on “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts.”
Finally, you’ll need to click on this link to get Cassinelli’s shortcut on your iPhone.
Once you’ve installed the shortcut, open up the Shortcuts app, and then tap the triple-dot icon in the upper-right corner of your new “Police” shortcut. In the shortcut’s configuration screen, tap the triple-dot icon in the upper-right corner, where you’ll then be able to rename it and add it to your Home screen and Share Sheet—for easier access.