APP OF THE DAY
Siri’s got the shortcut
Get stuff done quicker with the new Shortcuts app. Tap to read how.
Do more with your apps
In iOS 12, Siri is getting some serious new skills. Called shortcuts, they’re designed to help you accomplish everyday tasks with a single tap or Siri request.
Siri can now identify actions you do repeatedly and suggest a shortcut to streamline the process. For example, if you exercise first thing in the morning, Siri might recommend that you start your routine via an app at just the right time. You’ll see a pop-up on your lock screen asking if you want to get going.
Siri can also remind you to dial in to a conference call on your calendar – then place the call for you, all from your lock screen.
Even better, with the new Shortcuts app, Siri now has the power to take action across multiple apps. Here’s how to get the most out of it.
Browse the gallery
In the Gallery, you’ll find thousands of pre-made shortcuts that cover a range of categories, like Photography and Morning Routine.
There are many easy ways to save time here. A shortcut called “Home ETA” calculates your commute time and texts your loved ones an estimate of when you’ll arrive. “Live Photo to GIF” turns your Live Photos into GIFs you can share on social media.
You’ll also find shortcuts for calculating how a bill should be split, playing your New Music Mix in Apple Music and much more. Tap your favourites to add them to your Library. You can launch them from this screen – or from the handy Today widget.
Add shortcuts to Siri
You can also assign each shortcut a unique phrase Siri will recognise. For example, you might add ‘home time’ to a shortcut and Citymapper will show your current journey, any expected travel delays and a reminder of your route. Launch it by saying, “Hey Siri, home time.”
To assign a phrase, select the shortcut and tap Add to Siri. Then pick a couple of words that are easy to remember.
Or use the new Add to Siri button available in many apps to assign a phrase to a custom shortcut a developer has made. Kayak’s “Trip Info” shortcut, for example, quickly pulls up your flight and hotel details.
Create your own
The Shortcuts app can create shortcuts too. Simply tap the plus button in the upper right corner of the Library to open a drag-and-drop editor.
You have a huge number of actions to choose from. Many integrate with pre-installed apps like Mail, Calendar, Camera, Maps and Safari, as well as third-party apps like Evernote, Trello and Giphy.