Until very recently, Apple apps were among the only ones that would play nicely with Siri on iPhones. If you wanted to take advantage of the digital assistant to, say, compose an email, you would need to go with Apple Mail instead of the email client you actually use. As of iOS 12, this is no longer the case.
If you ask Siri to check the weather on your iPhone right now, you'll get information from the stock Weather app in iOS — even if you have and prefer other weather apps installed. But that doesn't have to be the case. Thanks to Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 and later, you can set specific phrases that Siri will respond to for any compatible weather app you want.
Although the Clock app in iOS has undergone some design changes over the years, you still can't set more than one timer on your iPhone. Oddly enough, Apple's own HomePod speaker added this feature, mimicking the timer on Amazon's popular Echo smart speakers. Fortunately, through Apple's Shortcuts app, there's a clever hack to set multiple timers — without using a third-party timer app.
iOS 12 has a feature that lets you instantly share saved Wi-Fi passwords with other iPhone users, but it can be finicky when you're sharing with multiple people. Then there's an even more pressing question: How do you share your password with Android users? Thankfully, there's a Shortcut that can solve these problems.
Creating GIFs of your own burst images has been possible for a while with third-party iOS apps, some of which cost money or include in-app purchases to utilize the full potential. Fortunately, with Shortcuts, Apple's automation workflow app, there's finally a native way to achieve this without spending any cash.
With the Shortcuts app, you can build workflows to automate complex tasks, most of which can you can activate with a simple, customized Siri command. You can download videos from Instagram and open links in Chrome instead of Safari with just your voice, for instance. But a more popular discovery is using Siri to control music streaming apps like Spotify, not only Apple Music.
There's something seriously wrong with Apple's new Shortcuts app, and it's severely limiting the number of shortcuts users can install on their iPhones.
Let's say you want to download an Instagram video to your iPhone. What do you do? While Instagram doesn't offer an official solution, there are backchannel methods that exist to get the job done. However, if you want native support for downloading Instagram videos directly to your Photos app, you can start by updating your iPhone to iOS 12 and installing Shortcuts.
Back in its infancy, the App Store was filled with text bomb apps that allowed users to send a barrage of text messages to friends, family, and foes. It was a fun way to annoy people, but Apple quickly scrubbed the apps because of technical issues. Although text bombs are still banished, you can now use a Siri Shortcut to send text bombs through iMessage on your iPhone.
While the notch on Apple's newer iPhones started a wave of notches across the smartphone market, there are still plenty of users who don't like screen-obstructing zone up top, and you may be one of them. While it may soon disappear in future iPhone models, or at least get smaller, there are things you can do to hide the big notch you have right now.
Remember when water and iPhones couldn't mix? Pools, tubs, and toilets would suck down the working iPhones of clumsy and careless owners and spit out expensive paperweights like they were nothing. Times have changed, however, and the newest iPhones can take a swim without fear of certain death. But a dip in water now can still cause muffled music and audio from the speakers.
Instagram has extensive tools built in for creating and editing posts and Stories, but there could always be more. Third-party apps can help you add photo and video effects for even more visually stimulating content, as well as create announcements, text-based images, and everything in between. However, now that Shortcuts exists on iOS, you may no longer need all those extra apps on your iPhone.
When driving, you can get directions hands-free by asking Siri. You can also make general map searches, show a location's details, call a query's phone number, and view traffic details. However, Siri defaults to Apple Maps for all those. If you prefer Google Maps, Waze, or another third-party navigation app, the map-based Siri commands won't work. But that doesn't mean you can't still use Siri.
How To: This Shortcut Lets You Download YouTube Videos on Your iPhone Straight from the Source, No Shady Services Needed
If you've ever wanted to download YouTube videos directly to your iPhone, there's an easy solution — just update to iOS 12 and install Apple's new Shortcuts app. With the Workflow-replacement app, you can add a shortcut that lets you download any YouTube video you want, without needing to jailbreak or use shady third-party tools.
One of the most exciting additions to iOS 12 for iPhones is called Shortcuts, a tool integrated with Siri to help you get things done faster. While there are a few recommended shortcuts available to you in Siri's settings in iOS 12, the Shortcuts app brings the functionality of Workflow to Siri so you can build your own custom actions or select from the gallery of available shortcuts.
Apple is putting their Workflow acquisition to use with the new Shortcuts feature, integrated right into Siri. It allows you to connect commonly-used actions to a phrase that you activate with Siri. In addition to some of the other speed improvements in iOS 12, Shortcuts helps streamline your mobile experience.
Apple removed the Wish List feature from the App Store when iOS 11 was released, which was a huge disappointment, to say the least. While the Wish List still remains in the iTunes Store, it seems gone for good for apps, but that doesn't mean you can't still keep a wish list of interesting apps and games to buy later — using software already on your iPhone.
If you've ever customized your app icons or played around with Shortcuts (previously called Workflow), you probably know how important URL scheme names are. Nearly all iOS apps assign themselves one of these names, and you need to know them if you want to add custom icons to your home screen or create a Shortcuts workflow that opens an app on your iPhone up.
When you tap on a URL link in a text, email, or wherever, your iPhone's default reaction will be to open it up in Safari, and there's no way to change this in the settings. However, there is a way you can work around this to open up links in Chrome instead. Even if you accidentally open a link in Safari, there's a quick way to jump the tab right into Chrome.
When it's time to calculate a tip at a restaurant or bar, I usually try some mental math at first, but sometimes I resort to opening the Calculator quickly from the Control Center on my iPhone and doing a quick calculation. But with Apple's Shortcuts app, there's an even easier way, and you don't even have to leave your lock screen to get the results.