Using Siri Shortcuts From the Gallery

The Shortcuts app from Apple allows you to create your own Siri Shortcuts from building blocks. A large gallery of sample shortcuts is a good place to start to learn about using shortcuts. When you select a shortcut from the gallery, you customize it while adding it to your active shortcuts. You can then trigger it with Siri or pressing a widget button.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using Siri Shortcuts From the Gallery.

So in a previous episode I showed you how to setup a simple Siri shortcut. Now you can do more complex ones using the Shortcut app. Go to the Mac App Store once you have iOS 12 and look for the Shortcut app from Apple. Once you get that now you can actually build your own. But there's a middle ground.

You can build your own and in Siri you have two modes. Library and Gallery. In Library you can do Create Shortcut and build one from scratch. But you can also go to Gallery and there are a ton of different ones that are pre-built. Just because they're pre-built does not mean they are not customizable. So, for instance, let me show you can example.

There's one called Home ETA. Let me tap that and it gives me a description here. It talks about send a text message with how long it will take for you to get home. Okay. Great. It says what it uses and has Get Shortcut and also Show Actions. Let's look at Show Action just to see what it is. It gives you a list of what actions it is actually using. This is how you can learn to use Shortcuts because you'll be able to build your own using these same building blocks.

So here it's going to take a street address and it's going to get the travel time from the current location to the street address. Then it's going to send a text. Okay. So what happens when I hit Get Shortcut. You see there are two points at which a shortcut accepts input. One is when you actually add it as a shortcut and the other is when you use. it. So I'm going to hit Get Shortcut. It immediately is going to ask me for information. So I can use this. Let me put an address here. Coors Field and Denver, CO and where I want to send this. So let's just go and send this to one of my demo accounts and it's added to the Library.

So now I can go to Library here and I can see there's Home ETA. So I can now tap the three dot button there and there's a bunch of things I can see. I can see more detail here on all the pieces. I can see how it's filled in. There's Coors Field. There's Denver. There's where it's sent. So now I know how to edit it if I want to. I can actually tap is here and run it. It's going to come up with a result. It's going to figure out how long it's going to take from my current location to, in this case, that address which is Coors Field.

Okay, so here you can see it pre-populates the messages. It's actually going to put the real address in there, not home. It's going to tell me how it is going to take to get there and it's ready to send this message. So this could be really handy if I'm meeting somebody at a certain place or I regularly meet somebody at a regular lunch place or something. I could set this up to just text them how long it's going to take for me to be there and how long it's going to take for me to be home. So that's how you can very easily create this.

Now if you wanted to add this as a Siri shortcut then I can go into Settings and in Settings I can go to Siri. In Settings if I go to Siri here you can see it's added it as a suggested shortcut. I can hit the plus button there and now, just like I showed you in a previous video, I can record a phrase that I'm going to say to Siri where it would automatically generate this.

So using the Gallery function here you can add all sorts of useful things. It's probably worth your time to get the most out of iOS 12 to actually look through all these. Read the descriptions and see which ones you can use. Then try them out and maybe add some as Siri shortcuts that you can, you know, just speak whatever you want and it will say that.

You can also customize this by going in here and changing the settings. Here you can customize what the icon looks like in the shortcut. You can add to Siri directly from here with the Add to Siri button. You can have Show in Widget as well and Show in Share Sheet. So that's when you go to share something, you know, these actions that actually work on things like Clipboard or, you know, what webpage you're currently on. That kind of thing. You can actually hit that little box with the up arrow button to get there.

So Show in Widget means that it's actually in the Shortcut's app widget. I can actually swipe to the right here to bring up the widgets. Notice there's a Shortcuts. I've got shortcuts there and there's the Home ETA one I just added. So another way to activate these is from the Widget here as opposed to actually having to go into the app to activate it or having to speak to Siri. So in a future episode I'll show you how to build a Siri shortcut from scratch.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Using Siri Shortcuts From the Gallery”

    L B Baldwin
    7 months ago

    I love your website and videos. In your “Using Siri Shortcuts” you forgot to edit a second take at about 3 minute mark

    7 months ago

    LB: Looks like I did. Unfortunately, since YouTube doesn’t allow you to replace a video and updating the podcast feed would also be problematic, it’ll just have to stay. No big deal, right?

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