How to Master Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts App in iOS 12

With iOS 12, Apple made a wise decision to step back and focus on improving iPhone and iPad performance. However, there are still new features for you to take advantage of.

One of the best new features is Siri Shortcuts. It allows you to harness the power of personal assistant Siri to supercharge routines and make it easier to accomplish everyday tasks from popular apps.

Let’s take an in-depth look at Siri Shortcuts, how they improve the overall iOS experience, and how you can go even further with Apple’s Shortcuts app.

Say Hello to Siri Shortcuts

Before iOS 12 arrived, interacting with different apps to accomplish tasks took time and a lot of work on your device’s screen. Siri Shortcuts can help you save time when completing a single task or a larger series of actions that requires many apps.

For example, you could create a shortcut to quickly and easily view the forecast from one of the most entertaining weather apps available—Carrot Weather. The information will appear on the Siri screen without opening the app.

With help from the Shortcuts app, you can also create a more complicated Siri Shortcut. On your commute home, a Siri Shortcut can text someone that you’re hitting the road, automatically start Google Maps, and turn on a specific Apple Music playlist. Instead of having to interact with each app, you can customize a specific name for the shortcut and just ask Siri.

All of Apple’s built-in apps, like Mail, Safari, and many others, can use Siri Shortcuts. And third-party developers can also update their apps to provide support.

The best part of Siri Shortcuts is that you don’t need to do anything to use the feature. Apple’s software is always on the lookout for different daily routines with your different apps, as part of Proactive Siri. (We’ve compared Proactive Siri and the Google Feed if you’re interested.)

On the lock screen of your device or while doing a search, you’ll see a Siri Suggestion with a specific shortcut. Just tap the suggestion to launch the task.

How to Create a Siri Shortcut

But this is far from the only way to create or interact with a Siri Shortcut. Using any compatible third-party app, just look for the Add to Siri icon or a Siri Shortcuts section. Most apps will already provide several different tasks that are perfect for a shortcut.

On the next screen, you’ll see a better look at what exactly the shortcut will do. At the bottom of the screen is a record button. Select that to record a custom phrase to give Siri. Along with creating a memorable phrase, it’s best to keep this short—one or two words is perfect.

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