Apple introduced Shortcuts when iOS 12 was released. At the time, Workflow was one of the highly regarded automation applications in the iOS ecosystem. But not long after, Apple continued to buy it and reintroduced many new features in a series of new apps called Shortcuts. Essentially, the Shortcut application allows users to create workflows with different actions to automate their daily routine tasks in an efficient manner. In turn, more work can be done in less time.
A few months ago, Apple introduced iOS 13 with some major and minor updates and improvements to iOS 13, the most important of which was the demanding Dark Mode. In this new update, Apple has also made significant changes to the Shortcuts application, some of which are designed to provide finer-grained control over individual actions to allow users to automate tasks more efficiently. One of the changes is that in iOS 13, the Shortcuts app is now pre-installed and no longer requires users to download from the App Store. The other is the addition of a new “Automation” tab on the app, which sounds a lot like it provides the ability to automate certain tasks in the background without any prompting.
In this article, we ’ll dive into automation to help you better understand automation, and then help you create your first custom automation shortcut.
Before we start creating custom automation shortcuts, let’s first look at the types of automation shortcuts available and the different triggers they each provide.
The new shortcut application provides two options for automation-creating a personal automation and setting up a home center. The Create Personal Automation option enables you to create custom automations for performing tasks. This automation can run on your iPhone or iPad. On the other hand, Set Up Home Center enables you to create home automation for all users at home.
In this guide, we will focus only on personal automation and help you create one yourself.
First, make sure you are using the latest version of iOS, iOS13. Next, open the Shortcut application. On the app’s home screen, you will see three different tabs at the bottom: My Shortcuts, Automation, and Gallery. By their name, you can see how different shortcuts are arranged in the application. My Shortcuts shows all the shortcuts that have been added to the list of shortcuts, while the Gallery tab provides a set of shortcuts organized by different categories for you to browse and add to the list in. The third one is the Automation tab, which we need to stick with in this article.
After opening the application, click on the “Automation” tab. Here you will see a screen that gives you the option to choose between creating a personal automation or setting up a home center.
Click Create Personal Automation and you will now see a screen with various trigger events listed under three different categories: events, trips, and settings. Depending on the trigger you choose from here, your next action will depend on an event trigger, a travel trigger, or a set trigger.
To help you distinguish better, here is what each triggering condition does −
- Event triggers – Linked shortcuts only run when an event is triggered. This event can be any specific time of day, or it can be an alert action (stop, snooze, etc.).
- Trip triggering – Linked shortcuts are triggered based on when your location changes (ie your trip). These triggers can be triggers that are triggered when you arrive at a location, leave a location, before commuting, or even when you connect your phone to a car via CarPlay.
- Settings trigger – When certain changes are made to the device settings, a shortcut to the connection will be triggered. The settings that cause these triggers can be the following: Turn airplane mode on or off, connect to a specific WiFi network, establish a Bluetooth connection with a specific device, turn do not disturb mode on or off, enable or disable low-power mode, NFC, or even Launch an application or shortcut.
Now that this is no longer a problem, let’s create some of our own custom automation shortcuts to better understand their functionality −
The first shortcut we will create will turn off WiFi, Bluetooth and mobile data, and reduce the brightness and activate DarkMode. let us begin.
1. In the Shortcuts application, click the Automation tab and select Create Personal Automation.
2. Scroll down to the Settings trigger and click on Low Power Mode.
3. On the next screen, click “Open” and then “Next”.
4.Next, on the Action screen, click the Add Action button.
5. Search for Wi-Fi settings, and then tap it. When you’re done, click “Open” on “Turn on Wi-Fi” to turn it off. Repeat for Bluetooth and mobile data.
6. Now, in the same way as step 5, search for “Set Appearance” and switch it to “Dark”. Similarly, search for “set brightness” and use the slider to make adjustments.
7. Finally, click Next and then click Finish. Also, make sure that the “Ask before operation” switch is turned off.
To see the actual effect of this work, pull out the control center and enable low power mode. Once enabled, you will see Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data will be turned off automatically. Similarly, the appearance will be changed to “Dark” and the brightness will be reduced to the specified level.
Almost the same as the above automation shortcuts, you can use the supported triggers to create almost any shortcut. NFC tags are a very interesting automation shortcut that can easily perform various ordinary actions. However, for this shortcut to work, you need an iPhone X or later out of the box, which provides support for NFC. In addition, you also need some NFC tags.
Now let’s create an NFC shortcut that lets you place your phone on a tag,
1. Open the Shortcuts app and click on the Automation tab.
2. Click the plus sign in the upper right corner. If there are no other shortcuts, click “Create Personal Automation”.
3. Scroll down to the Settings trigger and click on NFC.
4. Tap to scan on the NFC tag.
5. On the next screen, name your NFC tag.
6. Click Next, and then click Add Action.
Here you can add any action to the shortcut. For example, you can play music, turn on / off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, launch applications to perform certain actions, and more. After that, after tapping the phone on the NFC tag, the shortcut will automatically trigger and perform the specified operation.
That’s it for this article. We plan to do more tutorials on “Shortcut Automation” soon. Stay tuned!