How to use Siri Shortcuts

iOS 12's Siri Shortcuts help Apple close the digital assistant gap

Apple has finally released iOS 12 to the public, bringing with it improved notifications, ways to track how long you spend on your phone, and the ability to set up shortcuts to make doing things easier and faster through the Siri Shortcuts app. Siri Shortcuts could supercharge the aging Siri, making it much more useful in a world with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Thankfully, using Siri Shortcuts is relatively easy. Like any Apple app, it is well-designed and clean, plus you don’t have to start from scratch — there are dozens of shortcuts you can choose from to get started, without having to create your own.

If you want to create your own Siri shortcut, however, it’s thankfully very easy to do, and we’re about to show you how. For the purpose of this, we’re going to create a shortcut that you could use in the morning to start your drive to work and play a music playlist — perfect for when you first get in the car.

  1. Open the Siri Shortcuts app and head to the Library tab. Press Create Shortcut.
  2. Scroll down to the first action you want to the shortcut to perform. Here, we want the shortcut to begin our drive to San Francisco.
  3. Enter the address you want the shortcut to navigate to in the box that appears.
  4. On the bottom half of the screen, scroll down to the Music app.
  5. Tap on the app, and select a playlist or music that you want to listen to.
  6. Rename your shortcut by tapping on the Settings button under the Done button on the top right. Then tap Done.
  7. Press Done on the top right-hand side of the screen.

Once your shortcut is created, you can run it from the Shortcuts app, but there are probably easier ways to run it. For example, you can add a shortcut to Siri by going into the Shortcut’s settings and tapping Add to Siri. You’ll then be prompted to add a voice command, which will be used to run a specific shortcut.

You can also add shortcuts to a widget. First, add the widget by scrolling down to the bottom of your widgets, tapping Edit, and adding the shortcuts widget. If you only have a few shortcuts, they’ll all show up — but you can tweak the shortcuts that show by heading to the settings for each shortcut and either enabling or disabling Show in Widget.

Of course, there are plenty of Siri Shortcuts to choose from. For example, you can easily log your weight or how much water you’re drinking into the Health app without having to open the app. It’s worth going through the list of shortcuts on offer to see if any would be helpful to you.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: AI-powered cat toys, wallets, and food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Want internet immortality? Here's how to make the best memes

From Bad Luck Brian to Overly Attached Girlfriend, there's no shortage of memes in the world. But, there's always room for one more. Here's a quick rundown of memes and a guide on how to make your own.
Mobile

Master your new Google phone with these handy Pixel 3 and 3 XL tips

If you’re hunting for some Pixel 3 tips to help you get more from your Google phone, then you’ll find them right here. We’ve got tips for shortcuts, camera controls, and more. All these tips will also work for the Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

Key settings you need to change on your Sony Xperia XZ3

The first thing you need to do when you buy a new phone is dig into the settings and customize it to your liking. We’ve got step-by-step instructions for tweaking key settings on your Sony Xperia XZ3 right here.
Mobile

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.
Mobile

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Mobile

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which 2018 Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're tempted by Huawei's latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, but you're uncertain how it differs from the P20 Pro which Huawei released earlier this year, then we have you covered. Find out exactly what sets these two phones apart.
Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.
Mobile

Strapped after your latest smartphone purchase? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Project Fi.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the iPhone XS, Apple’s finest camera phone yet

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature the best cameras yet seen on an Apple smartphone, ready for you to get out and take great photos. Here's our guide to help ensure each shot you take is a winner.