Shortcuts come pre-installed on new iPhones. If you don’t see the app on your iPhone or iPad, you can download it from the App Store. What this app does is take some of the more complex things we often do with the iPhone and do them with a single tap on the screen.
Let’s say you usually call or text someone to let them know you’re on their way home and what time they can expect you. Rather than needing to open the messaging app, find a contact, write that text, and hit send, a shortcut does it for you.
While opening the Shortcuts app, tap on Gallery. These are some of the most popular and useful shortcuts. Using the “Going Home” shortcut, I can select a favorite podcast to start playing, get directions, and send my ETA in a text to my wife. When my phone detects that I’m leaving work, the shortcut starts the podcast, opens maps, and texts my ETA.
This shortcut automatically starts a workout when my phone connects to the headphones I wear at the gym. And this shortcut starts opening Amazon Music when I get to the gym.
Here is one called “Take a Break”. It will sound an alarm and activate Do Not Disturb whenever you ask Siri to “take a break”.
Customizing these shortcuts takes a bit of work, but you don’t have to pay attention to all the steps, Apple has configured it for you.
If you want, you can add a Home screen shortcut, but it’s usually much easier to just ask Siri. There are tons of shortcuts available, some made by Apple, some shared by other people. Open the Shortcuts app and look around. Next time, I’ll show you some of my favorite shortcuts to make using the iPhone even easier.