With the launch of iOS 12, Apple launched a new app called Shortcuts. Well, technically, the app isn’t new. Shortcuts is just a rebranded and more capable version of Workflow.
To add any of the below Shortcuts to an iOS device, tap on the “Add” link, followed by Add Shortcut. Alternatively, you can view the steps in each Shortcut before adding it to your device if you want to check out how it works, or make sure it actually does what it promises.
Below are nine Shortcuts that are useful for just about everyone.
Amazon Price History
The next time you’re shopping for something you don’t need right away, use this Shortcut to check an item’s price history. The easiest way to use it is to view the item in the Amazon app (or in Safari) and use the Share button to send a link through Shortcuts.
Do Not Disturb Timer
iOS 12 brings new Do Not Disturb controls, including a new option to set custom DND times. When you run the Shortcut you’ll be asked to select Minutes or Hours, and then enter the amount of time you want DND to remain active.
If you stress over battery life, this Shortcut from Reddit will use your current battery percentage, compare it to your predefined settings, and tailor your device’s performance based to squeeze the last few minutes of power out of your battery.
Install Main Apps
One of the biggest chores when setting up an iPhone ($1,313 at Amazon Marketplace) from scratch is searching the App Store and installing all of your main apps. This Shortcut, also from Reddit, lets you enter the name of apps you can’t live without. The Shortcut will then go through the list, providing links to each app in the App Store for easy download.
Convert Video to GIF
Sometimes an animated image is easier to share, or better suited for a citation than a video. This Shortcut will present your videos to you, for you to select and edit, then create a GIF with it.
Shoot a GIF
This Shortcut opens the Camera app, ready to take a set number of photos (four by default). After the last photo is taken, it combines them into an animated image.
Downloading files on iOS isn’t the easiest process. With this Shortcut, you can share a link to the file to Shortcuts. The app will then download the file, and ask where you want to save it.
Shortened links can be used in nefarious ways to hide the true destination of a URL. If you’re suspicious that a bit.ly link (or any other shortened link, for that matter) is going to take you somewhere it shouldn’t, then use this Shortcut to view the expanded URL.
Backup Your Shortcuts
I found this one on the Sharecuts site, and it’s sure to come in handy should anything happen to your Shortcuts. By default, Shortcuts are synced via iCloud between your iOS devices, but should anything ever happen to your database, you’ll be glad you backed up your Shortcuts.
Where to find more Shortcuts
I found the Shortcuts listed in this post on various websites and services. Some date back to when Workflow first launched. I didn’t keep track of where I found some of the Shortcuts, so if you created one of them listed above, please reach out to me and I’ll give you credit.
That said, I find new Shortcuts, or at the very least inspiration for my own Shortcuts, in the following places:
- Reddit: The Shortcuts subreddit is full of passionate users who are constantly creating, tweaking, and discussing Shortcuts.
- MacStories: Federico Viticci is arguably the most passionate Shortcuts user, and he shares some fairly complex creations on his website. Beyond that, he actually explains how the Shortcut works, often times line by line.
- Sharecuts: A free website that hosts curated Shortcuts from various users.
- Gallery: There’s a gallery section in the Shortcuts app that lists various Shortcuts, some of which I’ve included below.