Run Personal Automation Shortcuts Automatically In iOS 14

With iOS 14 you can now trigger Shortcuts automatically without needing to confirm the action. You can set up personal automations to run at specific times or with actions like when you turn on Do Not Disturb or launch an app. However, many actions can't complete if your iPhone is locked, making this of limited use.

Comments: 19 Responses to “Run Personal Automation Shortcuts Automatically In iOS 14”

    Joe Quinn
    7 months ago

    Is there a shortcut to insert current date in notes or similar apps?

    Timothy Childers
    7 months ago

    Great little lesson. I love how you slipped in the idea of composing actions that can be reusable actions in longer, more complex actions. Without even realizing it, people will be grasping and using one of the key concepts of programming.

    7 months ago

    Timothy: Unfortunately no. You can easily set up a shortcut to get the date, format it, and copy it to the clipboard. Then you need to paste it. You can’t paste inside a Shortcut, probably for security reasons, maybe?

    Karl
    6 months ago

    How about turning on/off WiFi when Ieave/return home automatically, how would I set that up?

    6 months ago

    Karl: Choose the trigger “Arrive” and set the location to “Home.” Then set the action to “Set Wi-Fi” and use “On.” Then the opposite for the second automation to turn it off.

    Karl
    6 months ago

    Gary, I did that, but it requires me to hit Run every time. I was hoping to have it do it automatically.

    6 months ago

    Karl: Ah, well unless Apple makes it a Run Without Asking automation, there’s nothing you can do. What’s the need for that anyway? Just trying to get a little extra battery life?

    Ron
    6 months ago

    Can I automate the task of changing a specific word in the notes field of several contacts in iCal?

    6 months ago

    Ron: So, not a personal automation, but a script that runs through your contacts, reads them, and makes changes? No. Something like that would be more appropriate for Automator on the Mac, but I think even there you are better off just making the changes manually then trying to script it.

    Adam
    6 months ago

    Great video Gary.
    I tried this with a simple daily text automation. I wasn’t impressed over the last week as it didn’t work. I figured I had not done something right.
    However today I was on my iPhone when 0900 rolled around and the shortcut notification come up and let me know it was running my automation.
    Question: Do I have to have my iPhone opened up when the clock changes from 0859 to 0900 for the automation to run?
    Thank You ahead of time for answering.

    6 months ago

    Adam: Maybe that’s it. Maybe it needs to be unlocked, or it prompts for you to unlock. You could always experiment with that.

    Joey J
    6 months ago

    is it possible to set an automation like this: if phone is at 10% before 9:00am, set a timer for 1 second.
    i have an issue where my phone may die before i wake up resulting in my alarms not ringing.

    6 months ago

    Joey: That might be possible. Use the Battery automation for recognizing if it is below 10%, and then grab the time and use an IF statement to check it. Then only show an alert and maybe vibrate if it is earlier than 9.
    But WHY? Why would you need it? Don’t you have your phone plugged in at night? So how could it run out of battery?

    Thanks Gary
    5 months ago

    Gary, we appreciate your answers, but asking “WHY” to some of those questions is pointless and – in my opinion – rude. Anyone can create whichever automation they want, and if I am “just trying to get a little extra battery life” then so be it. Also, who’s to say I like/don’t like to have my “phone plugged in at night”. It’s up to me. Please don’t question anyone’s motives for any automation, just keep doing the great job of helping users. Cheers

    5 months ago

    To the person named “Thanks Gary”: You misunderstand why I am asking why. I ask why because of the XY Problem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XY_problem), something those of us in tech support commonly run into. I ask “why” because I want to provide better solutions to people, and that usually means I need to know why they want to do something, not just what they say they want to do. In this case, for instance, it could be that the asker has read somewhere they should not keep their iPhone charging at night, a common myth. If that is the reason “why” then the better solution is to understand that it is a myth, and not look for the automation they require. Could be other things too. By asking about the reason they want to do something (X) instead of just blindly giving instructions on how to do what they ask (Y) I can often provide better solutions.

    Deena
    2 months ago

    Day late and a dollar short but here goes. I saw a shortcut that you could run based on an automation triggered by time of day that you chose. Essentially put your phone into low power mode regardless of the batteries charge. Can’t find my charging cords half the time and if I can’t do much else… At least I can save my battery until I find it ;-) maybe that might help?

    Errol
    2 months ago

    The “Ask to run” switch screen does not appear after selecting the “Set airplane mode” automation and clicking “Next” on my iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS 14.4. What am I missing?

    2 months ago

    Errol: Not sure. Try creating it again from scratch.

    Errol
    2 months ago

    Solved:. BOTH “events” & “actions” can prevent an automation from being automatic. Any ONE event or action that can’t be automated stops the shortcut’s auto-run. In my case, the “events” to run the “Action” (Set Airplane Mode) were “Leave” and “Wi-Fi”. Apple states that the action “Set Airplane Mode” CAN run automatically. The “events” I chose PREVENT that from happening. The automation helps remind me, but it’s not efficient. I can turn Airplane Mode on or off manually with less interaction.

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