Apple is known for innovation and newness, and with the latest releases of iPhone 11 and iOS 13 update, the company intends to continue that policy. The new iOS 13 features enhanced the capabilities of iOS-powered devices at different levels.
From improving photography measures to introducing new AI-based automation, Apple has tried to upgrade it all in iOS 13. The most recent of the developments in iOS 13 update has been the conjunction of iPhone’s shortcuts app and the standard Siri shortcuts. With this conjunction, Apple has paved the way for users to automate every single task they perform on their respective iOS devices using taps and voice commands.
Let’s take a look at how this new take on Shortcuts can be of importance and how it has evolved to this AI-based mobile application in iOS13:
Workflow: The Predecessor to Shortcuts
Workflow was an application developed and launched by Apple in 2014 specifically for iOS users. The app allowed users to create macros or commands to execute different tasks on iOS devices. The app gained huge acclaim for its outstanding implementation of drop ‘n’ drag tools, voice-over modules for commands, and detailed use of icons to create a highly flexible graphical user interface in iOS.
The app even won the Apple Design Award in 2015 for these impeccable features. The app accessed other apps downloaded on users’ iOS devices and helped to narrow down daily tasks to short commands on iPhone.
Apple purchased Workflow along with the talent behind its creation in 2017. Changes were made to adhere to Apple’s design traditions, and the app was relaunched as Shortcuts on App Store with the iOS 12 update. Until now, the app was downloadable via the App Store. But with the latest iOS 13 update, the users will have it pre-installed on their devices just like Notes and Apple Watch app.
How Shortcuts was Different from Siri Shortcuts?
While Shortcuts App allowed users to create custom macros or shortcuts, Siri shortcuts were all automatically created. Apple’s virtual assistant Siri used to analyze your daily tasks and create Siri shortcuts based on your regular activities on the device. These shortcuts were accessible from the search window on iOS devices. Besides, for more extensive tasks, users were able to create Siri shortcuts by accessing Suggested Shortcuts through Siri & Search Settings (see image).
However, now with iOS13, both Shortcuts app and Siri shortcuts are integrated into one app. This gives users more flexibility over creating macros and automate their daily tasks executed on their iPhones & iPads.
So how does the Siri Shortcuts’ integration into Shortcuts App makes it more useful?
The Redesign of Apple Shortcuts App
Conjunction of Siri Shortcuts:
Once the iOS 13 update is installed in your iPhones or iPads, the Shortcuts App would become a default Apple app in your applications list. All your default Siri Shortcuts and the once you created through Siri & Search Settings or by tapping on Add to Siri button, would move to the Shortcuts App directly. The voice-automated Siri Shortcuts and the previously designed shortcuts would be clustered together, thus unifying them under one roof, without distinction in their creation procedures.
Prior to this latest iOS 13 feature, the Siri shortcuts weren’t able to interact with actions offered by Shortcuts App. Now, users can create voice-automated macros for every action provided in the Shortcuts App gallery.
Integration and Automation of Third-Party App Actions:
The Shortcuts App has a pre-labeled set of actions that one can use to create macros for several tasks. These actions include Explore Apple Music, Featured, and Stay Healthy. Taking an example of Explore Apple Music, the Shortcuts App offers you to create customized shortcuts for executing actions such as Play All Current Album, Play Playlist, etc. Now, these are custom shortcuts, where voice commands don’t work. You’d need to tap on the particular shortcut to get it activated.
For instance, I need to create an alarm for 5:00 PM to remind me of my tea-break. So, instead of doing that every time using Clock, I create a shortcut for the same. All I need to do is tap on it and an alarm called “Break” will be generated automatically.
With the new iOS 13 feature of combined Siri Shortcuts, you can do the same for third-party apps using voice-over commands. Earlier this was done using suggested shortcuts in Settings. In the new update, you just head to the gallery and find Shortcuts from Your Apps. Tap on See All; you’ll have a list of all the apps on your device and their subsequent shortcuts. Here you can create relevant shortcuts and set voice commands to run them.
Let’s see Youtube. With the new iOS 13 feature, we can create a direct voice-shortcut to open the YouTube search. All you need to do is record a command of your choice to execute the task via Siri.
The latest iOS 13 update has upgraded the capabilities of Siri to learn from user actions. Using this AI capability, Siri which is competing with Google Assistant, would pre-configure certain regular activities and embed them in the Shortcuts app.
For example, your frequent WhatsApp chats would show in Shortcuts. Here you can create a voice command to send them a message directly. These shortcuts would help you access a chat on WhatsApp over a simple voice command to Siri in iOS13.
These shortcuts would work on all your interconnected Apple devices that run on iOS 13, whether it is your Apple Watch or iPad.
Categorized Gallery for Better Accessibility:
The gallery has been finely categorized alongside the introduction of new iOS 13 features in Shortcuts App. The category for Morning Routine includes setting up reminders for work and your coffee time. The Read It Later category has pre-configured tasks such as opening safari readers for accessing the web. There are categories for shortcuts associated with Photography tasks such as sharing a photo or searching it from Photos album on iPhone or iPad.
This update offers flexible discovery of multiple shortcut options to the users and adds up to the automation of tasks users execute on their iOS devices.
These triggers would be added in the Shortcuts app with iOS 13.1 update. They will help you execute tasks by triggering some other actions. The automation triggers won’t be available on iOS 13 update, and their actual advantages could only be uncovered when the update hits. But as per Apple, the automation feature is supposed to make Siri shortcuts more conversational with the users.
What Apple Gains from this Conjunction?
For long, Shortcuts App has been just another downloadable app on the Apple Store and has been often neglected. With this conjunction, every user would be able to push users to use the app.
The default presence of this app would lead users to use it anyhow to feed their curiosities.
Besides gaining popularity, it would be Apple’s stand against Google and Amazon’s AI/Virtual assistance programs. There has been a significant competition against these companies over the capabilities of their respective AI technologies.
By automating everything you execute on your phone, Apple has great chances of taking Siri on top of that league. Apple has never spoken so openly about Siri shortcuts before. But now, not only it has spoken out loud about it, it has spent time and resources in revamping the app.
With the new iOS 13 features in Shortcuts, Apple has initiated a self-interaction program between Siri and the apps on your devices. By learning from one another, these apps may be evolved into a completely automated and self-functioning programs. And that too without coding, but machine learning.
Is The new Siri Shortcuts App the Ultimate Guide to Automation?
The changes Siri shortcuts can still bring are endless. The app still has a lot to introduce, and there are unlimited possibilities to explore. Despite offering these functions, there is always room for ease and flexibility. The clustered up tasks are still difficult to execute, and not all the shortcuts are voice-automated.
Siri has been integrated into a lot of third-party apps, but whether all apps would allow that cannot be guaranteed as of yet. However, as stated, the possibilities remain. Until then, this app is the best app to integrate automated functions in your lifestyle via this iOS 13 update.
The Must-Have Siri Shortcuts
To help users initiate, Matthee Cassinelli, a member of the Workflow development team has listed 150 must-have shortcuts on the Shortcuts app. These shortcuts will apparently automate most of your tasks and operations on iOS devices. So go ahead and take advantage of this blend of voice-automation and customization of Shortcuts on your iOS devices.
With this iOS 13 feature, Apple has spread the word regarding the heights Siri can achieve and the places it can reach. By learning from users’ activities, Siri can provide endless options to integrate self-functioning modules for numerous tasks we execute on our phones. This does not only puts it in the competition against rivals but also places it back in the position of a leading innovator in the industry.
Do you think that Apple’s latest iOS 13 update on Siri shortcuts can help you save the hassle on your daily tasks? If you are using Shortcuts and have also tried the new Siri Shortcuts features on iOS 13, please share how your experience has been till now and what more you expect from Apple.