Siri shortcuts in iOS 12 deliver a macro system to help automate your tasks

Posted:
in iOS edited June 6
Siri is getting quite the upgrade in iOS 12 thanks to new capabilities called shortcuts. These customizable macros let you link together multiple tasks, allowing Siri to run a series of actions without ever having to open an app.

Siri Shortcuts


Seemingly built on technology acquired through last year's purchase of Workflow, shortcuts allows users to create their own multi-app and iOS action macros with a new Shortcuts Editor app.

Very similar to Amazon Alexa's skills, Siri shortcuts allow apps to create their own shortcuts to tie into Siri. During Monday's keynote, the Tile app was used to create a shortcut to help recover lost items by saying "find my keys," which triggered a Bluetooth-enabled Tile tracker to ring. Kayak was also demoed onstage, presenting users a summary on an upcoming trip with a simple voice command.



Also demoed was an "I'm heading home" shortcut, which when triggered automatically texted a contact with a preset message, adjusted a HomeKit thermostat, turned on a fan, presented estimated travel time and started playing NPR radio.

Stay abreast of Apple's announcements by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos from the event.

Can't watch Apple's livestream of the keynote? AppleInsider has you covered with a live blog covering all the announcements.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,330member
    Wow, this is exactly what I was asking for!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 327member
    This is clearly based on that Workflow acquisition from a year ago. Really really great news. Inter-app scripting empowers users to push their computers beyond the confines of what Apple and developers imagine. 

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/apple-has-acquired-workflow-a-powerful-automation-tool-for-ipad-and-iphone/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 146member
    This was clearly done by the team Apple bought not too long ago, for the life of me I can’t remember the company’s name. However I think this a really good way to make Siri more useful. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,769member
    Ah, so that's where the Workflow purchase went. Sweet.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 37
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 294member
    Great that Apple bought Workflow because it would not be allowed to go that deep into system itself.
    LukeCagejony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Still Hot garbage.

    Why oh why are they not listening to thier users, the market, thier competitors or all the people that have died when Siri let them down in an emergency. Oh thats right - they’re dead. Who would know. 

    Buying a company to strip it for thier macros but not  improving the abilities of the mic (or at least matching the Apple  watch) nor utilizing the immense leverage they hold over the oems that rely on Bluetooth WITHOUT THIER MAGIC CHIP (u know every car and non Beats earphone that’s made) is really shitty business. 

    They love themselves too much and the marketing they wield has poisoned the look aid. 

    The future is an OS u don’t need anything to use but your voice and we’re years from this but how do you win a race with your feet tied together by an invisible cord (privacy) and with the other runners already running freed from said cord. 

    You cant. 

    This is Windows 95 and MS’s OEM blind dominance over Mac All over again. They were wrong then and they’re blinded by thier love of themselves all over again. 

    Years away but an impossible lead they’ve let lesser more hungry competitors have over them.

    While they took courageously took away a gead phone jack or used forced upgrades to build out the utilization of thier OS while hoping no one discovered they were (rightfully tinkering) with battery’s.

    surprise and deceit are not the same thing 

    and what happens when there isn’t any real surprise anymore? 

    Just deception oh I’m sorry - marketing
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 7 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,769member
    Still Hot garbage.

    Why oh why are they not listening to thier users, the market, thier competitors or all the people that have died when Siri let them down in an emergency. Oh thats right - they’re dead. Who would know. 

    Buying a company to strip it for thier macros but not  improving the abilities of the mic (or at least matching the Apple  watch) nor utilizing the immense leverage they hold over the oems that rely on Bluetooth WITHOUT THIER MAGIC CHIP (u know every car and non Beats earphone that’s made) is really shitty business. 

    They love themselves too much and the marketing they wield has poisoned the look aid. 

    The future is an OS u don’t need anything to use but your voice and we’re years from this but how do you win a race with your feet tied together by an invisible cord (privacy) and with the other runners already running freed from said cord. 

    You cant. 

    This is Windows 95 and MS’s OEM blind dominance over Mac All over again. They were wrong then and they’re blinded by thier love of themselves all over again. 

    Years away but an impossible lead they’ve let lesser more hungry competitors have over them.

    While they took courageously took away a gead phone jack or used forced upgrades to build out the utilization of thier OS while hoping no one discovered they were (rightfully tinkering) with battery’s.

    surprise and deceit are not the same thing 

    and what happens when there isn’t any real surprise anymore? 

    Just deception oh I’m sorry - marketing
    What the fuck are you talking about?
    paxmanracerhomie3bonobobmacxpressLukeCagebrucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Giving us more prescribed hot phrases as opposed to actual natural voice recognition is a terrible workaround. I don’t want to remember their canned trigger I want to pick my own. They don’t mention find my keys can’t sldo be stated Siri look for my keys or Siri I can’t find my keys and in and on. 

    And what about ditching the branded naming contrivance or allowing followed up commands based in simplistic similar context? 

    Still hot hot garbage folks - and people are catching on. It’s do bad I put an echo dot in my car and have abandoned the “feature” all together. 

    Im not the only one. They will see. The horse has left the barn and they’re all standing around in a circle jerk congratulating themselves and pretending it’s a secret. 

    Surprise! MS Office.

    Surprise! Windows 1995 in every PC. 

    Surprise! Palm Pilot.

    Surprise! Configurable Custimizable cheaper PCs. 

    Surprise! Android. 

    Surprise! Alexa. 

    Theres something fundamentally wrong with your operation if your competitors are able to thwart ur innovations by usurping your ideas or stealing them this many times and bringing them to market for less money this many times. 

    Unbelievable. 

    Whats worse I couldn’t switch to Android even if I tried. They’ve built a system so closed and forced the user to become so dependent upon the IPhone and the App Store it borders on entrapment and  the cost or inconvience of that effort is 
    too much to endure in a consumer product that should never have become as important as it has... 

    But here we are again 

  • Reply 9 of 37
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 146member
    frantisek said:
    Great that Apple bought Workflow because it would not be allowed to go that deep into system itself.
    Yes, that was the company Apple bought that influenced these shortcuts features. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 37
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 391member
    Giving us more prescribed hot phrases as opposed to actual natural voice recognition is a terrible workaround. I don’t want to remember their canned trigger I want to pick my own. They don’t mention find my keys can’t sldo be stated Siri look for my keys or Siri I can’t find my keys and in and on. 

    And what about ditching the branded naming contrivance or allowing followed up commands based in simplistic similar context? 

    Still hot hot garbage folks - and people are catching on. It’s do bad I put an echo dot in my car and have abandoned the “feature” all together. 

    Im not the only one. They will see. The horse has left the barn and they’re all standing around in a circle jerk congratulating themselves and pretending it’s a secret. 

    Surprise! MS Office.

    Surprise! Windows 1995 in every PC. 

    Surprise! Palm Pilot.

    Surprise! Configurable Custimizable cheaper PCs. 

    Surprise! Android. 

    Surprise! Alexa. 

    Theres something fundamentally wrong with your operation if your competitors are able to thwart ur innovations by usurping your ideas or stealing them this many times and bringing them to market for less money this many times. 

    Unbelievable. 

    Whats worse I couldn’t switch to Android even if I tried. They’ve built a system so closed and forced the user to become so dependent upon the IPhone and the App Store it borders on entrapment and  the cost or inconvience of that effort is 
    too much to endure in a consumer product that should never have become as important as it has... 

    But here we are again 

    Can you calm down enough to put together a coherent post? I read what you worte in both posts a couple of times and have no clue what you are talking about?  if you are just trolling please get a life and a f******* grip. Wow...
    tmayhagarbrucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 37
    creek0512creek0512 Posts: 98member
    Giving us more prescribed hot phrases as opposed to actual natural voice recognition is a terrible workaround. I don’t want to remember their canned trigger I want to pick my own.
    Uh, that’s exactly what this does, but I’m sure that won’t stop you from continuing this irrational meltdown.
    fastasleepbrucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 37
    Just goes to show that the perception of Amazon having a big lead on Apple just because of Alexa skills was not really accurate. That one can be shelved. 
    fastasleepracerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 37
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,430member
    I don’t want to remember their canned trigger I want to pick my own.

    If you watched the demo instead of dribbling out this incoherent verbal diarrhea in every single thread today, you’d have noticed that picking your own is exactly how it works. 
    brucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 37
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,546member
    Still Hot garbage.

    Why oh why are they not listening to thier users, the market, thier competitors or all the people that have died when Siri let them down in an emergency. Oh thats right - they’re dead. Who would know. 

    Buying a company to strip it for thier macros but not  improving the abilities of the mic (or at least matching the Apple  watch) nor utilizing the immense leverage they hold over the oems that rely on Bluetooth WITHOUT THIER MAGIC CHIP (u know every car and non Beats earphone that’s made) is really shitty business. 

    They love themselves too much and the marketing they wield has poisoned the look aid. 

    The future is an OS u don’t need anything to use but your voice and we’re years from this but how do you win a race with your feet tied together by an invisible cord (privacy) and with the other runners already running freed from said cord. 

    You cant. 

    This is Windows 95 and MS’s OEM blind dominance over Mac All over again. They were wrong then and they’re blinded by thier love of themselves all over again. 

    Years away but an impossible lead they’ve let lesser more hungry competitors have over them.

    While they took courageously took away a gead phone jack or used forced upgrades to build out the utilization of thier OS while hoping no one discovered they were (rightfully tinkering) with battery’s.

    surprise and deceit are not the same thing 

    and what happens when there isn’t any real surprise anymore? 

    Just deception oh I’m sorry - marketing
    What the fuck are you talking about?
    My thought exactly. I read it for entertainment but had no idea what or who it was about. I wonder if it was just an elongated brain fart?
    brucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,546member


    Whats worse I couldn’t switch to Android even if I tried. 

    You could. Trust me. You should. Someone as smart as you? Pfft.
    racerhomie3artdentbrucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,549member
    Giving us more prescribed hot phrases as opposed to actual natural voice recognition is a terrible workaround. I don’t want to remember their canned trigger I want to pick my own. They don’t mention find my keys can’t sldo be stated Siri look for my keys or Siri I can’t find my keys and in and on. 

    And what about ditching the branded naming contrivance or allowing followed up commands based in simplistic similar context? 

    Still hot hot garbage folks - and people are catching on. It’s do bad I put an echo dot in my car and have abandoned the “feature” all together. 

    Im not the only one. They will see. The horse has left the barn and they’re all standing around in a circle jerk congratulating themselves and pretending it’s a secret. 

    Surprise! MS Office.

    Surprise! Windows 1995 in every PC. 

    Surprise! Palm Pilot.

    Surprise! Configurable Custimizable cheaper PCs. 

    Surprise! Android. 

    Surprise! Alexa. 

    Theres something fundamentally wrong with your operation if your competitors are able to thwart ur innovations by usurping your ideas or stealing them this many times and bringing them to market for less money this many times. 

    Unbelievable. 

    Whats worse I couldn’t switch to Android even if I tried. They’ve built a system so closed and forced the user to become so dependent upon the IPhone and the App Store it borders on entrapment and  the cost or inconvience of that effort is 
    too much to endure in a consumer product that should never have become as important as it has... 

    But here we are again 


     
    Wow, you need to get off the red bull and take a chill pill.  Maybe leave Apple and go to android and amazon Alexa land and be happy paying with your privacy.  Utter mad loony mentalist rant.


    edited June 4 racerhomie3LukeCagebrucemcjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 528member
    I am glad, that this is working out well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,119member
    It’s do bad I put an echo dot in my car and have abandoned the “feature” all together. 
    Enjoy your literal government spyware.
    Theres something fundamentally wrong with your operation if your competitors are able to thwart ur innovations by usurping your ideas or stealing them this many times and bringing them to market for less money this many times.
    Or... something wrong with IP law.
     Whats worse I couldn’t switch to Android even if I tried.
    Your inability to succeed does not mean it’s not possible. It means you’re failing.
    it borders on entrapment

    irnchriz said:
    Wow, you need to get off the red bull and take a chill pill.
    Or on the chill bull and take a redpill.
    bestkeptsecretjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 37
    lukeilukei Posts: 316member
    LukeCage said:
    This was clearly done by the team Apple bought not too long ago, for the life of me I can’t remember the company’s name. However I think this a really good way to make Siri more useful. 
    It’s in the article. Workflow. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 37

    I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, and I’m sure I will use these new Siri features (and enjoy them), but this is exactly what I was afraid of, Apple tacking on a somewhat useful Siri feature without addressing its core, basic functionality, which is still horribly lacking. 

    Given the state of Siri at this time, I was more hoping, rather than expecting, a significant overhaul, but it is still dissapointing after 7+ years in development. I hope Apple is hard at work right now on making Siri actually usable. People are going to run into the same frustrations using this feature as they have been with the current Siri. And let’s be honest, I doubt most “normal” consumers are going to bother setting up the shortcuts, as cool as they are.

    The deficit in basic functionality is apparent to anyone that actually uses Siri regularly, except for those that make a concerted effort to adapt themselves to Siri’s strict limitations, which is wildly impractical for the average “normal” user.  This is particularly disappointing for a company that should be at the forefront and way ahead of the pack in anything related to the intersection of technology and the humanities. 

    Here’s a list of the basic frustrations that have been pissing me off on a nearly daily basis, and I know I’m not the only one (fair warning, this list is a copy/paste from a previous post): 

    -have halfway decent comprehension of what is said

    -don't make things even worse by making wild, completely ridiculous guesses if siri doesn't understand what it said

    -have a little bit of the context awareness promised at launch

    -have at least a tiny bit of intelligence, for instance, don't cut me off when I'm halfway through dictating a phone number, then try to call "97354" and then tell me "this doesn't appear to be a working number." No shit. As another person mentioned, don't cut me off halfway through dictating a reminder. In 75% or more of my attempts to add reminders, I have to put them in or correct them with type.

    -have a TINY bit of flexibility and humanism. for example, have more than one exact way to refer to something. should be common sense, but apparently not to the geniuses that have been in charge of siri for 6 years..for example, if I'm trying to play, hypothetically, Dancemix 4, allow the user to say "play Dancemix 4", or "play Dancemix album 4", or "play Dancemix volume 4". It's absurd that siri will only recognize one of those options.

    -be able to do more than one task at one time, shouldn't be that difficult after 7 years

    -use info from our own device and icloud to inform queries. don't give me an address that's 30-300 miles away when the actual address, which is in my contacts, is 5 miles away.

    -if I ask siri to so something that requires the phone to be unlocked, DONT cancel the query and make me re-do it after I unlock the phone

    -have a back-up, visual interface for idevices so you don't have to shout at siri for every little thing (e.g. I don't want to pause the music on my homepod when I want to know the details of the song I'm listening to or adjust the volume).

    --and ffs, please allow us to shut siri up. I don't need some pseudo-clever reply EVERY SINGLE TIME.. just do the thing. I don't need to hear siri tell me over and over "I'll get right on that" "there you go" "home sweet home," on and on..

    edited June 4 cropr
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