Use the Shortcuts App on Your iPhone in iOS 12 for Custom Siri Actions & More

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One of the most exciting additions to iOS 12 for iPhones is called Shortcuts, a tool integrated with Siri to help you get things done faster. While there are a few recommended shortcuts available to you in Siri’s settings in iOS 12, the Shortcuts app brings the functionality of Workflow to Siri so you can build your own custom actions or select from the gallery of available shortcuts.

Right now, the Shortcuts app is only open to developers running the iOS 12 beta who specifically request to try it out. If you’re a developer, just go to the Downloads page on the Apple Developer site and hit “Request” next to Shortcuts beta. You’ll get an email invite to try out the app using TestFlight.

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Step 3Grant Access (If Necessary)

After getting the workflow, you may need to “Grant Access” to whatever app or service is required. In my example, that would be Apple Music activity as well as my media library.

Step 4Configure the Shortcut

Each workflow will work differently, but Apple tries to make it as easy as possible to get working right away, so you will likely have to configure the workflow right away by answering a simple question or two. In my example, I need to choose a playlist. Tapping “Choose” shows me a list of all my playlists; Folders appear first, followed by regular and smart playlists combined in alphabetical order.

After choosing one of my playlists, all that’s left to do is hit “Done,” and the workflow will be added to your “Library” tab.

Step 5Use Your New Shortcut

After configuring your new workflow, how do you use it? Well, you haven’t done any deep customization yet, so there are only a few things you can do right now to use the workflow. First, open up the Shortcuts app and tap on the workflow from the “Library” tab. That will make the workflow immediately run.

Think of this more as a test to make sure it’s working like it’s supposed to. You likely won’t want to open up the Shortcuts app every time you want to start one of your shortcuts, which is where the second method comes into play.

On your home screen, you can use 3D Touch on the Shortcuts app icon to show the widget, which lists your first four workflows. As you can see below, my “Play Playlist” workflow is not visible, so this doesn’t help me out much. That’s because it only shows the first four workflows in your Shortcuts library.