Siri Shortcuts once known as Workflow, is almost like an iOS version of the Automator Mac app and is similar to an automation app that can perform certain tasks for you when you run a program. You have a choice to either create your own shortcut specific for your workflow or install shortcuts created by other iOS users.
In this article, we will focus on the apps that provide additional features and functionalities to enhance the efficiency of a shortcut. These are advanced apps which require prior knowledge of using Siri Shortcuts.
Toolbox Pro for Shortcuts
Toolbox Pro adds advanced functions (called actions) to the Shortcuts app. For instance, you can scan documents locally with OCR, transcribe your audio recordings, read/write NFC tags, and even put Touch ID/ Face ID authentication to your shortcuts.
Using Toolbox Pro actions with your shortcuts is really simple. The actions automatically pop up on the action sheet and you can integrate it just like any other native action. Toolbox Pro is free on the App Store but to utilize all the features you’d have to pay a one time cost of $5.99.
The name may be a little ominous, but in truth, there are a lot of situations where you may urgently want to record a video of a situation you find yourself in and send it immediately to a pre-programmed contact. With Police, telling Siri “I’m getting pulled over” switches on the front camera, starts recording a video, then sends that video to a contact of your choice. You can change the actual command, of course, but there’s something to be said for a shortcut that can quickly capture events in a situation where you feel that evidence will be required.
Do Not Disturb with Timers
It’s a fairly common problem to turn on Do Not Disturb and then forget to turn it off. Yes, iOS lets you schedule Do Not Disturb, but what about one-off situations where you just want your phone to be quiet for an hour? The Do Not Disturb with timers Shortcut lets you turn on Do Not Disturb without worrying about remembering to turn it back on.
Scriptable also lets you run the scripts from the Share sheet directly so that you can perform quick actions directly. Scriptable is completely free to use on your iPhone.
Does someone need to connect to your Wi-Fi, but you aren’t comfortable just sharing your password? That’s where the Share Wi-Fi Shortcut comes in handy. The Shortcut creates a QR code that the other person can scan with their phone in order to connect without ever having to know what your password is. This Shortcut is also handy if you just have a really difficult-to-type password.
Charty offers a unique way to generate Charts and plot graphs, using Shortcuts. You can create 5 different types of graphs such as bar, line, pie, donut, and scatter. There are 17 different actions that you can perform to create a chart of your choice. There are multiple customization options that would allow you to style your resultant graph. After that you can export the charts as PNG images.
Charty is free to try on the App Store and you can unlock all the features for $4.99.
GizmoPack adds powerful actions to the Shortcuts app which include generate and parse CSV. For example, you can use it to perform actions such as finding all the entries with a common last name. As CSV is one of the most popular formats for data exportation, you can use GizmoPack to perform simple functions to extract relevant data. Apart from CSV, you can encode files with hex, generate has for a given input.
GizmoPack also supports the native Wallet app and offers special functions to generate coupons, passes, and tickets using your cards stored in the application. GizmoPack is free and you can purchase locked features for $5.99.
Another handy utility-style Shortcut, Water Eject plays a certain tone to get water out of your speaker. The iPhone has been water-resistant for a few generations now, but getting it wet can make the sound a little weird. This shortcut gets rid of the water using the same tech as the Apple Watch.
While Apple is pushing developers to add native Shortcut integrations, it’s still a long way ahead. Shortcutify bridges that gap and adds third-party app actions to shortcuts. You can add functionality for Google Maps, Drive, To do list, LIFX, and even your Mac. One of my favourite feature of Shortcutify is you can lock your Mac with your iPhone, wake it up from sleep, and trigger keystrokes among other things. It requires setting up on the Mac but that hardly takes a few minutes. Shortcutify is free on the App Store.
Pushcut is designed as a companion utility for the Shortcuts and allows you to create custom triggers for your Siri Shortcuts. You can define multiple triggers for the same shortcut, create custom notifications, and run shortcuts without confirmation. This is one of the strongest reasons to recommend Pushcut as it can create its own Automation server on the iPhone itself and triggers the shortcuts based on the parameters you have set. It can also bridge the gap between services such as IFTTT, Zapier, Integromat, etc to connect with these services using webhooks.
Pushcut is free with a limited number of features and you can unlock more with $8/yr subscription.
Remind Me at Work
One of Apple’s ready-made shortcuts, Remind Me at Work, gets you to enter your work address when you first set it up. After that, any reminder you set that corresponds with the address you entered into this shortcut will automatically trigger as soon as you arrive at that location. Whether it’s a trigger you want when you arrive at home or indeed at work, sometimes a location-dependent poke is just what you need.
Keep Me Alive
As its name implies, Keep Me Alive takes power saving to an extreme level. While iOS has its own built-in low power mode, Keep Me Alive turns off everything it can to help keep your phone keep running until you can get somewhere to charge it. This Shortcut turns off Wi-Fi, cellular data, Bluetooth, music, and anything else it can.
These were some of the best apps that you can use with Siri Shortcuts to improve the functionality and add new features. What do you think? Which apps are you going to use, let me know in the comments?