Apple Launches Beta Version of New Siri Shortcuts App for iOS 12

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Apple today introduced a beta version of the Siri Shortcuts app that's been designed for iOS 12, which developers can request access to through the Developer Center.

The Shortcuts beta is being handled through TestFlight, with a "Request" option for access available after logging in to the Developer Center. After clicking the button to request access, Apple says selected users will be notified shortly via email if they're permitted access.


Siri Shortcuts is based on the Workflow app that Apple purchased in 2017, allowing users to create multi-step shortcuts using third-party apps, which can then be activated using a Siri voice command.

So, for example, you can create a shortcut to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you're on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single "I'm going home" Siri command.

Shortcuts are deeply customizable, with third-party apps able to expose a series of quick actions to Siri that can be incorporated into Shortcut recipes.

When iOS 12 was introduced, Apple said a Shortcuts app would be available in the fall, but it wasn't clear if a beta version would be available. Right now, in the iOS 12 beta, a limited number of Shortcuts can be created within the Siri section of the Settings app, but the Shortcuts app will be required for full functionality.

According to Apple, the initial beta of Shortcuts will have limited actions, no iCloud syncing, and some missing actions. Shortcuts are also not able to open apps when run from Siri when a device is locked.

Testers who have Workflow installed will see their workflows migrated to shortcuts after installing the beta.

It's not clear if Apple will also release a beta version of the Shortcuts app for public beta testers, but this first iteration is limited to developers.

Article Link: Apple Launches Beta Version of New Siri Shortcuts App for iOS 12
 

jonblatho

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2014
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This coupled with custom SiriKit intents has potential to be huge.

Being able to say “Hey Siri, I’m going to bed” and have Siri automatically start a Sleep Cycle session and enable Do Not Disturb until morning would be fantastic. (I don’t have any HomeKit accessories, but if I did, it’d be amazing if they’d fold into that command, too.)
 

TimmeyCook

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Jun 20, 2018
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Can Google Assistant do this?

Can Cortana/Alexa/etc. do this?

One more reason Apple is ahead of them all.

No matter how many times YouTubers sponsored by competitors say how much that Siri sucks, because.... they said it...


PS: And Bixby
 

blinkytoo

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2009
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I have all but given up on Siri except only for the most basic tasks like: Set a Timer for 5 minutes. The Google voice app is infinitely better than Siri.
Since Apple has apparently given up on making computers to become a phone company, the least they could do is make AI software that works well.
 

TimmeyCook

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Can someone provide a link to request? I’m having trouble finding it on the Developer portal.
https://developer.apple.com/download/

Then at "Shortcuts beta" click "Request".
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I have all but given up on Siri except only for the most basic tasks like: Set a Timer for 5 minutes. The Google voice app is infinitely better than Siri.
Since Apple has apparently given up on making computers to become a phone company, the least they could do is make AI software that works well.
As if Google Assistant is good for anything...

 
Last edited:

gwhizkids

macrumors 603
Jun 21, 2013
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They need to focus on making Siri work properly before trying to extend it.
They don't have the luxury of time of waiting to do either thing. They need to extend it and fix it. The fixing part can occur behind the scenes. But the extending has to happen (for Apple) because they are losing mind share to Alexa and Google Assistant. I agree with those above who say that this has the potential to really change things. The key will be how useable the Shortcuts app is and how many developers are willing to sign on to the "donated intents" functionality. This is a big question mark, to be sure, since apps are marketing tools as much as they are functional and companies may not want to lose the opportunity for eyeballs, even if means making their customers' lives a little easier.
 

FunnelDog

macrumors member
May 4, 2015
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Atlantic Coast
I use HomeKit everyday and utilize the "scenes" as needed. I'll follow this thread for more examples of how shortcuts will actually shorten time on tasks. It reminds me of the original thinking that made iPod great as it reduced buttons and steps to get somewhere...

But I can already use Siri to tell my roommate (wife) I'm on my way home but just saying it... So that is sort of a weak example, no? Plus, are people using this and programming texts ahead of time to multiple people. (Text my boss I'm late for work... text my landlord the rent is late..."
 
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itsmilo

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Sep 15, 2016
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Wow, way too much going on in that app. It certainly doesn’t „just work“. Ain’t got no time for that. It’s sort of like those games that require a half hour introduction. Instant delete.

Can Google Assistant do this?

Can Cortana/Alexa/etc. do this?

One more reason Apple is ahead of them all.

No matter how many times YouTubers sponsored by competitors say how much that Siri sucks, because.... they said it...


PS: And Bixby
No and rightly so they don’t. It should just work. It’s not my job to almost require a computer science degree (exaggeration) to teach Siri skills. It should just know it. Otherwise I don’t need an assistant, like in the real world almost.

Oh and if I DO want my echo to learn something, I just install a skill from the skill STORE
 

Goner259er

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Feb 11, 2018
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Can Google Assistant do this?

Can Cortana/Alexa/etc. do this?

One more reason Apple is ahead of them all.

No matter how many times YouTubers sponsored by competitors say how much that Siri sucks, because.... they said it...


PS: And Bixby
Google and Alexa can’t do this but they can do everything else 100% better than Siri
 

gwhizkids

macrumors 603
Jun 21, 2013
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Wow, way too much going on in that app. It certainly doesn’t „just work“. Ain’t got no time for that. It’s sort of like those games that require a half hour introduction. Instant delete.



No and rightly so they don’t. It should just work. It’s not my job to almost require a computer science degree (exaggeration) to teach Siri skills. It should just know it. Otherwise I don’t need an assistant, like in the real world almost.

Oh and if I DO want my echo to learn something, I just install a skill from the skill STORE
I don't think Apple's done a good job so far of making it clear that Siri Shortcuts is not one but 2 different functionalities: the first is the Shortcuts app, with its Workflow like macro creation process. I agree that this may be a little much for most people. But the second functionality, the AI-like one which recognizes patterns to what you do day in, day out, and suggests may be much more interesting.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
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Hold on, so you can allow Siri to communicate with Nest now? If so this is a game changer for Smart Homes!
I think it would just launch the app and adjust your temperature that way... but correct me if I'm wrong doesn't the developer have to give siri access?
 

bedrock

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2014
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The one thing I wish I could do with all this Siri automation, is when the phone connects to the car bluetooth, to enable the Personal Hotspot, so a) the car can use the data connection on my phone and b) so my daughter can also use the data connection from her iPad.

But asking Siri to enable hotspot has always been a big no no (I guess because Steve said so...)

Has anything changed here in iOS 12?
 

theman510

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2009
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New Jersey
I use HomeKit everyday and utilize the "scenes" as needed. I'll follow this thread for more examples of how shortcuts will actually shorten time on tasks. It reminds me of the original thinking that made iPod great as it reduced buttons and steps to get somewhere...

But I can already use Siri to tell my roommate (wife) I'm on my way home but just saying it... So that is sort of a weak example, no? Plus, are people using this and programming texts ahead of time to multiple people. (Text my boss I'm late for work... text my landlord the rent is late..."
I'm looking forward to getting in my car after work and saying "Hey Siri I'm going home" and it automatically texts my wife i'm on my way, opens waze and starts nav home, opens Spotify and starts my playlist.

With custom configurations on this, the possibilities really are endless and I'm looking forward to it
 

FunnelDog

macrumors member
May 4, 2015
39
25
Atlantic Coast
I'm looking forward to getting in my car after work and saying "Hey Siri I'm going home" and it automatically texts my wife i'm on my way, opens waze and starts nav home, opens Spotify and starts my playlist.

With custom configurations on this, the possibilities really are endless and I'm looking forward to it
That's a pretty good example - It reduces "text my wife" + "get directions home" (which I do with apple maps, maybe that's the difference) + "play my playlist" (which I use Apple Music, again, I guess the difference).... to just "I'm on my way home." I like it...