12/28/209:00 am 10 Quick and Easy iPhone Shortcuts iPhone Shortcuts don't have to be long and complicated. Here are 10 one or two-action shortcuts that are easy to build and very useful. Also learn a good way to launch these from your Home screen. Want to know more about how to use Shortcuts on your Mac?Check out this MacMost course! Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's take a look at ten quick and easy shortcuts that you can use on your iPhone. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So usually when I'm talking about building shortcuts in the Shortcuts app on your iPhone I'm talking about building a complex set of actions that could do something interesting and useful. But you can also make shortcuts better with just one or maybe two actions. Really quick, simple and easy to build but they're pretty useful. Especially if you add them to your Home screen so you can access them with a quick touch or by just asking Siri to run them. Let's start off by going into the Shortcuts app. If you don't have it you can get it in the App Store. It's from Apple and allows you to create these little custom actions on your iPhone that do a variety of things. Let's add a new one and all we're going to do is add one action for this. So we're going to Search for Phone. Then I'm going to select the Phone app and then select the only action there, which is Call. Now you can select the contact to call. So let me choose one here and that's it. This action will now simply make that phone call. Now to make this useful we want to add it to the Home Screen. So I'm going to click here and let's give it a name. Then we're going to tap Add to Home Screen. Now I can edit the label that appears on the Home Screen and then I can tap Add. Note that I could have also tapped here one the Detail Screen and set a custom color and GIF instead of the default one. So now I'll tap Done and I'll go Home. Now I'll find it here like it's an app on my Home Screen. When I tap it it will make the phone call. I could also just as Siri to call Mark and it would activate the shortcut. Later on I'm going to show you another way to bring this to the Home Screen without having it be a regular app icon. So next let's create one that will play a song. Say there's a particular song that's your favorite and you want to play it without having to go into the Music app and search for it and all of that. So we can add a shortcut and the action we're going to add here is in the Music app. It's just Play Music. So after we search for it we can set it up there. We can tap Music and choose from our Library a particular song to play. Let's name it and add it to the Home screen. So now if we want to hear that song we just tap that and it starts playing. Now one alternative here is you can select of a song, a playlist. So you select a playlist like this one, add it, and now it will play that playlist instead. Then you want to choose Show More here and you can have Shuffle On or Shuffle All the Songs. You can have it set to Repeat say All of the Songs. Then those will be the settings and now when you want to do your workout all you need to do is tap that icon on the Home screen or ask Siri and it will start this playlist. Now if you want to take a photo with your phone it's usually several steps. You have to launch the Camera app and then switch modes possibly and then take the photo. But you could setup a shortcut to do everything you need with just one tap. So we'll add the action here. We'll search for Camera and then we could see here one of the actions is Take Photo or we can go into the Camera app here and see all the actions. So we'll do Take Photo and we can set it to take one photo with the back camera. We'll go to Show More and we'll turn Off Show Camera Preview. This is important because otherwise it's just going to open the Camera app and then you have to do another step to take a photo. But now with it set like this we can quickly take a photo by just tapping that icon on the Home screen. But we're not done quite yet because this will just take the photo. We need now to Save it in the Photos app. So we'll add another one here. We'll search for Photos and there's one here to Save To Photo Album. We could just use Recents as a way to get it into the Photos Library without having to choose a particular album. So now this is a two-step shortcut. Take the photo and Save it and without Show Camera Preview selected it will just do it in one step. Now you may have noticed another one there that way really useful. Let's get rid of that and instead do Take a Video. So now we can set it to take a video with the back camera. Set the quality and set Start Recording to immediately. So no second tap is needed. Now when added to your Home screen one tap will start recording video from the back camera and, of course, with audio. On the other hand if you wanted to record with just audio then add an action from Voice Memos. You could set it to Record a New Voice Memo. Don't have it Show when Run. So it will just basically, automatically start recording a voice memo when you activate it. Now before I showed you how to make a quick phone call. But you could also send a quick text message. Of course you have to specify what the message is. But let's say we go and we use Messages, Send Message, and then we set up a message here. Then we set it to a recipient like that. Now doing this will automatically send that message to that person. You can turn off Show When Run so it just does it. So one tap or Siri voice activation will send this message which is really handy if you're stuck in traffic. You could also do the same thing for an email. So just search for Mail and then you could send email. Set the message. Set the recipient and you could add more than one if you need to. Then a Subject. Then under Show More you can turn off Show Compose Sheet so it won't actually prompt you for that. It will just send it. Now speaking of running late you can setup a shortcut using Maps to compute your travel time from wherever you are to a specific location. So the shortcuts for the Maps app include Get Travel Time. So we can get Driving, or select one of these, time from your current location to and then select another location. Like, for instance, you can just use whatever is set as your home address or type in a specific address. Now, here's the tricky thing. This can't be a one action shortcut. You need a way to display the result. So use Plus, Add another action, and we'll do Result as the thing we're searching for. There's Show Result. Now when we include that it will actually put up something at the top of the screen. So let's Save this one. Now on the Home Screen, if we use this, it will flash up the result at the top of the screen. Here's a shortcut that will just show you today's events from your Calendar. So add an action here. We'll do a search for Calendar. Select it and there's one called Get Upcoming Events. We can have it show one event or more. So up to three events. Choose which Calendar or All of them. Then under Show More you can choose the day. So you can have it be any day. In other words the three next events no matter when they are or you can say just from today. Then for this one you're also going to have to add the Show Result after that so there's some place to actually see what comes up from this. Another thing you may want to do is occasionally check a website. Now you could go to Safari and then go to your Bookmark for that site. But you can actually do it as a shortcut and it will show you the webpage but not in Safari. Kind of as a temporary display screen. So Search here for Safari. Go in here and then choose Show Webpage. Then enter a URL and under Show More we can decide whether or not it's in Reader View or not. Then let's name this one and then add it to the Home Screen. Now when I use this shortcut it quickly brings up this little web browser here instead of taking me all the way into Safari. When I click done is Dismisses it. So here's a bonus one. I love to use the Magnifier on my iPhone, especially to read small print. But I have the Accessibility Shortcut set up to bring up a menu of different things so it takes a couple of steps to get to the Magnifier. Instead I can have the Magnifier kind of like an app on my iPhone just by adding a shortcut. So let's add an action here and if I look under Settings you'll see that there's one for Open Magnifier. So I'll just add that. Now I'll Save this and just call it Magnifier and add it to my Home Screen. Now I can launch the Magnifier really easily by just tapping this or asking Siri. Now I promised I would show you a better way than having all these little icons here to bring these shortcuts to your Home Screen. That's to add a Widget. So first I'm going to go into the Shortcuts app and I'm going to go back one step here. So I could see all of my folders. I'm going to add a new folder and I'm going to call this something like Home Widget and Add. Now I can go to All Shortcuts here and do Select and select all of those shortcuts that I just created. Then move them to Home Widget. So they're in this special folder now. I'll see it appear here grouped together. Now on my Home Screen I'll tap and Hold on a blank area, use the Plus button to add a Widget. I'll go all the way to the bottom here where there's a Shortcuts Widget. I'll go to the last one which is a group of eight and I'll Add this widget here. Now I'll tap on it and change it so that the folder that it gets its widgets from is that Home Widget folder. So now I'll see those widgets here. So instead of having individual little icons I've got this group here which will have all of these widgets. I can tap one to activate it. So I hope you found this useful. There are a lot of other simple widgets you can create. It's just a matter of looking through all of the different actions available in the Shortcuts app and seeing what might be useful to you.Related Subjects: iPhone (294 videos), Shortcuts (59 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 16 Responses to “10 Quick and Easy iPhone Shortcuts” Don J J Carroll 3 years ago Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 6:47 p.m. - Hi again Gary! How can I set up Siri to send e-mail to myself with subject line saying "Check This out" and then Siri ask what I want to say. I have tried to do this but Siri gets the e-mail wrong. I just looked at your Shortcuts video 12/28/20 and created a e-mail to myself shortcut but now I want Siri to ask what I want to say. Don't know how to get this last part done. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Don: That sort of thing doesn't work very well, but if you use Ask For Input then it will prompt you for text. If the shortcut was triggered using Siri, it will default to voice input. But it is awkward to use. Maybe instead of that, just ask Siri to set a reminder. That works better. Victor Warner 3 years ago Thank you for the video - inspired me to try Shortcuts. I have added the "3. Take a Photo" and followed your instructions exactly. Every time I run the shortcut from the home screen I get the following message: "This action could not be run with the current user interface." and then tap Show or OK. I can run the shortcut from the Shortcuts app without issue. An internet search for a fix does not really reveal a solution. I would be grateful if you know what is the issue. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Victor: I see what you mean. Not sure if that is a bug in the current iOS or what. I was able to get it to work by asking the Switch to Shortcuts App action first, then a Wait for 1 second action, then the two actions to take a photo and save it to Recents. Victor Warner 3 years ago Thank you Gary. In case of interest: adding "Continue in Shortcuts app" and then Wait for 1 second action does make the Shortcut work from the Home Screen. But after the shortcut is run you are left with the Shortcuts app open, not returned to the Home Screen. From the Automators forum a possible solution: download and add a Shortcut (SpringBoard), then add it as the final step (Run Shortcut SpringBoard) to Take a Photo shortcut. https://talk.automators.fm/t/action-to-return-to-homescreen/2444 Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Victor: I'm not a fan of that solution. Seems like a hack that won't work at some point. Maybe just have the shortcut Open App with the Photos app when done. Thim Fook, Law 3 years ago Hi Gary. Once again, TQVM for your video tutorials. I have one quick question. Say I've created a Playlist in Music (in iMac, but also synced to iPad & iPhone). Is it possible to create a Shortcut to have Siri read out the Title of the Songs BEFORE playing the songs in the Playlist? Much thanks in advance. Regards. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Thim: I can't think of a way off the top of my head. But experiment and see. Don J J Carroll 3 years ago Thursday, December 31, 2020, 5:53 p.m. Gary thanks for the reply above. I guess I will try to get Siri app alone to do what I want, thought I could save a few talking steps if the Shortcut worked. Thanks for all your help over the past years, much appreciated. Here's wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year from an East Coast Canadian! Take care Gary. Frederick 3 years ago Hi Gary, can I set up shortcut for more than one contact under calls? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Frederick: Create as many as you like. John 3 years ago Hi Gary, Now I can't even do the Take a Picture shortcut without the Save to Recents. I now get the same message as above: "This action could not be run with the current user interface." Then choose Show or OK. I think you are right, there is a bug in the iOS 14.3, because I am using the shortcut Already in the Shortcuts app, adding nothing and it just doesn't work. BTW, Thanks for this Shortcuts video, I did set up a Call shortcut but haven't tried it yet. Robert 2 years ago Can you explain how to get 2 widgets with 8 shortcuts each in the slide-right gesture feature? All my app icons are in folders in the Dock to keep my Wallpaper picture clear. Thank You Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Robert: Not quite sure what you mean. Slide-right gesture? Where, exactly? Maybe you mean the Shortcuts Home Screen widget? Edit your Home Screen, add a widget, choose Shortcuts and select the largest widget. John Scheeler 2 years ago Great video, I'm looking to see you know if you can make a shortcut that turns on or off something in another app? Example. I have a lighting control app that I want to turn on my lights. I want to have them all come on when I get a text from my alarm system? Is this something that can be done? thanks Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago John: The app developer would need to build in Shortcut "actions" that appear in the Shortcuts app for that to happen. Tell them you want that functionality. Comments Closed.