Everything iPhone users need to know about Siri Shortcuts

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Apple has launched an app that can dramatically shorten even your most complicated phone tasks. The Shortcuts app creates Siri-controlled workflows that function similarly to IFTTT (if this, then that) right on your smartphone.

Using this setup, you can say “Hey Siri, share my ETA,” and your device will automatically calculate travel time. It can even send that information to a contact. These workflows can be activated and controlled directly from the Shortcuts app.

GearBrain is hopeful that Shortcuts will rival IFTTT, and that smart home device manufacturers make their software compatible with it. Shortcuts does work with Apple’s Home app, but it can only tell Apple Home to run scenarios that you have already built using the Apple HomeKit.

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How does ‘Shortcuts’ work?

Shortcuts is a proverbial middleman that distributes your orders to other apps. You can use Shortcuts either by tapping on its lock screen widget, or (once configured) asking Siri to do everything for you. Just make sure that the instructions you write for Siri aren’t already being used by another app.

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How to find and modify an iOS shortcut

Here’s a quick guide to creating a navigation shortcut on your iPhone:

Update your device to iOS 12 and download the Shortcuts app. Open Shortcuts and tap the “Gallery” button in the lower right-hand corner

Tap on the Home ETA shortcut, then select the “Get Shortcut” option. Enter your home address and a recipient’s information. The Home ETA shortcut will appear in your library. Tap on the three dots in the corner of the shortcut.

You can adjust your home address and tell Maps your mode of travel while using this menu. You can also write the message that will be sent as an automatic notification to your recipient. This template already includes the data that Shortcuts pulls from other apps, so don’t delete it.

You can also use this interface to select which contact your message is sent to. Tap on the ‘Text’ icon above the keyboard and your message will reappear here. Tap on the settings icon below “Done” in the upper right-hand corner to link your shortcut to Siri. Finally, select “Add to Siri'”and record your activation phrase.

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Shortcuts can be complicated

Shortcuts may seem confusing at first, but don’t worry — the app just takes practice. You can even use Shortcuts to make workflows from scratch rather than with a template. Because Shortcuts can control almost any Apple app, you can incorporate calculators, timers and other programs into your workflows as needed.

Shortcuts hasn’t been out long, but it’s already making waves in the smartphone world and other device manufacturers are taking note. Hopefully, Shortcuts will soon allow Siri to become a key component of the smart home, too.

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This article originally appeared on GearBrain and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: depositphotos.com.

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