Shortcuts 101

How To: Everything You Need to Know About iOS 16.1's Changes for Shortcuts

The latest iPhone update introduces big features like Live Activities and Clean Energy Charging, but those aren't the only things you'll notice different on iOS 16.1. If you build your own shortcuts in the Shortcuts app, there are a few things you'll definitely want to know about the new software. It's not a massive feature drop as with iOS 16.0, but they are important changes.

How To: Assign Each App on Your iPhone a Background Sound to Set the Mood

You can play background sounds on your iPhone to help you focus, stay calm, or fall asleep, giving you a personal sound machine wherever you go. Even better, there's a way to set each of your apps to play one of Apple's six ambient soundscapes automatically. When you open the app, its assigned sound plays, then it stops when you exit or switch to another app.

How To: Make Your iPhone Auto-Delete Old Screenshots So Your Photos App Doesn't Become a Hot Mess

If you're like me, you take more than just a few screenshots throughout the day, and they add up fast on your iPhone. When you snap that many images of the screen, your Photos app's "Screenshots" folder can swell beyond triple digits if you don't manage it, and your "Recents" folder will become a cluttered mess. But there is a trick to keeping screenshots in check, and you can have total control over it.

How To: Always Use Dark Mode or Light Mode for Any App on Your iPhone

Some apps look great with Dark Mode, and some do not. So when you have system-wide Dark Mode enabled on your iPhone and are using an app that only looks good in Light Mode, you'd normally have to turn the dark appearance off manually, then switch it back on when you leave. But there's a workaround that can automate the process for you.

How To: Bypass Your iPhone's Clipboard Restrictions to View Your Complete Clipboard History and Recopy Anything

Your iPhone's clipboard can only save one item at a time, so it may seem impossible to retrieve your entire history of copied text, images, and other content. Luckily, there is a workaround you can use to find and copy your past clipboard contents, but you have to implement it first.

How To: Customize Colors for All the Apps on Your iPhone to Match How You Use Them Most (Or Just for Fun)

There aren't many iPhone apps that let you change their color theme beyond light and dark appearances. They really don't need to either because iOS has a few hidden tricks up its sleeves to help you customize any app's colors either during a specific session or every time you use the app.

How To: Water in Your iPhone's Speaker? This Shortcut Can Get It Out

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 liquid can still cause muffled music and audio from the speakers.

How To: Upgrade Your Screenshots by Framing Them with Your iPhone or iPad's Body — No Third-Party App Needed

Have you ever seen an image on social media, somebody's blog, or a news website that shows an iPhone or iPad screenshot with an actual iPhone or iPad model framed around it? You can do that too, and it's really easy to accomplish with a third-party app — but you can do the same thing with a shortcut that won't bug you to pay or subscribe.

How To: Get iOS 16's Live Weather Lock Screen Wallpaper on Your iPhone in iOS 15

Apple's bringing big changes to your iPhone's lock screen in iOS 16, and one of those changes lets you pick an always-updating wallpaper for your local weather conditions. If you don't want to wait until the fall for the stable iOS 16 version and don't want to install any iOS 16 betas, you can still get an always-updating weather wallpaper for your lock screen on iOS 15.

How To: 22 Things Your iPhone's Volume Buttons Can Do Besides Volume Adjustments

The volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are for more than just adjusting volume levels for media, ringers, alerts, Siri, and other sounds and voices. You can use them to perform different actions inside certain apps and even create custom actions using the Shortcuts app. It's not exactly button mapping, but it's as close as you'll get without jailbreaking iOS.

How To: Snap Photos on Your iPhone Hands-Free for Better Selfies, Group Shots, and Low-Light Pictures

You can take a photo on your iPhone with just one tap or press, but you can also use the Camera app hands-free for more impressive images. Doing so lets you take more detailed selfies, include your whole group in the frame, or get steadier results in Night mode — and it's easy to accomplish. Spoiler alert: using "Hey Siri" is not enough.

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