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: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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!
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as hard as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Mobile

New Moment photo cases and lenses are a big plus for the OnePlus 6

Moment has announced that it is now releasing photo cases and lenses for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, giving owners of those phones the ability to add on some high-quality photographic accessories.
Mobile

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Mobile

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

5G Coverage

Curious about 5G and what it means for you? Well here is our awesome one stop shop for all things 5g.