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.

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