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My iOS shortcuts, aka workflows.


I blogged a small bit about shortcuts on my iD!OTZ blog, and wanted to have a better way of sharing my shortcuts. Ultimately, iOS 12 shortcut URLs serve html pages hosted at Apple's servers, that trigger your browser to open, starts javascript doing some introspection of the environment, which then requests the final payload, which is probably a plist file that gets executed by the iOS Shortcuts app. Until we get a transparent mechanism that extracts these plist files directly, I have chosen to just publish my shortcuts as links directly. As such no versioning of these.

Shortcut functions

To make DRY use of the shortcut possibilities I started creating shortcut functions. I am using the following naming scheme for clarity:

  • '>' in front of a name shows that the shortcut expects an input, either from sharing or clipboard.
  • '>' at the end of a name shows that the shortcut is an input, and does not trigger any explicit action.

I built up the following functions so far:

  • Copy >: Asks for dictation in English and copies to the clipboard.
  • Copy Dutch >: Same but for Dutch input.
  • Get Input >: Checks if there is input already, otherwise takes clipboard content.
  • > Get Addr Obj >: Tries to extract an Address object from the input, which can contain multiple entries (the Apple Maps sharing gives both Text as Url). We prefer a Maps/Url object over the title Text object
  • > Get Location >: Tries to get a Location object from the input. Will show a notification (with sound if no valid Location can be found). Will use first found.
  • Get Contact >: Asks for dicatation of contact’s name and tries to return matching Contact objects (if multiple prompts for selection). Will show a notification (with sound if no matching Contact can be found).

These are used in the following:

Main shortcuts

I spent quite some moments in my car lately, and am disappointed about Siri’s shortcomings when it comes to dictation in other languages and delegating results to other apps. So I created the following shortcuts:

On the fly translation is also handy:

Sending messages is also a pain when I have Siri in English, but when I am in my own country I find myself texting a lot in Dutch. So I created the following:

And because Apple stopped opening Safari with ‘Siri Google ...’ results:

  • > Google That: Expects something on the clipboard, presumably from ‘Copy >’ or ‘Copy Dutch’.