Will many people use the Shortcuts app?

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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I was listening to a podcast about the WWDC keynote and and when they got to Siri shortcuts they joked it was Apple saying “OK you’ve complained about how dumb Siri is. Well fine then, make it smart yourself!” That you can now get Siri to do the things you want...you just have to set it up first.

They were mostly joking but it got me wondering will many people use the Shortcuts app? Will it be simple enough that people who have never used Workflow will get it? Will people blow it off thinking too much work involved? Will Apple do a good enough job explaining how the app works and how it can be useful? Perhaps Apple will have video tutorials inside the app explaining how it works?
 
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Falhófnir

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Aug 19, 2017
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Seems to me that it will be one of those features that will be really appreciated by the 0.5% of users who will actually make the effort to set it up and use it, but it’s more useless code to the other 99.5% of people who will never use it and probably forget it’s there (if they ever know in the first place) within weeks...
 

profets

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Mar 18, 2009
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Seems to me that it will be one of those features that will be really appreciated by the 0.5% of users who will actually make the effort to set it up and use it, but it’s more useless code to the other 99.5% of people who will never use it and probably forget it’s there (if they ever know in the first place) within weeks...
Agreed. I mean, there's already a lot of things that majority of users have no idea even exist.

I was listening to a podcast about the WWDC keynote and and when they got to Siri shortcuts they joked it was Apple saying “OK you’ve complained about how dumb Siri is. Well fine then, make it smart yourself!” That you can now get Siri to do the things you want...you just have to set it up first.

They were mostly joking but it got me wondering will many people use the Shortcuts app? Will it be simple enough that people who have never used Workflow will get it? Will people blow it off thinking too much work involved? Will Apple do a good enough job explaining how the app works and how it can be useful? Perhaps Apple will have video tutorials inside the app explaining how it works?
Sorry - somewhat off topic, but do you mind I ask which podcast it was?
 

Cryates

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Nov 19, 2013
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Like another poster said, if it's easy enough to create shortcuts then sure. Some people are also hands-on and really just want to do the task themselves, even if that takes longer. I know for me, I've yet to really figure out what I can do that would be actually be useful vs doing it myself.

My biggest concern is, Siri has proven to be a rather half-baked product already since it's inception, so would I really want to try and automate certain things via Siri that I could myself rather easy without the fear of error?
 

batting1000

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Sep 4, 2011
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Workflow was a really popular app, so I presume Siri Shortcuts will be similarly popular, but probably more among power users than your average Joe.
 
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bbednarz

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Nov 16, 2017
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I am looking forward to trying it out and seeing how it works. It sounds like it'll essentially do the same thing that a HomeKit scene does but on a grander scale. I don't think many will use it because people just don't care. It seems like its similar to the Echo skills. People wanted Siri to be more like Alexa, well here ya go...
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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I am going to use it all the time. This sort of deeper automation is something I always wanted.

I get the sense that Apple is going to use this data to train their models to improve Siri. They'll use differential privacy to collect anonymous data and will be able to figure out the sort of actions that people tend to group together, what they call such a task, etc. Then a smarter version of Siri down the road will be able to learn what sorts of things we need to do at certain times of day and what such a request might sound like. The AI will start to make connections using ML between what sorts of devices we have in our home, what type of podcasts and music we prefer on our way home, etc and make everything run more intuitively down the road. At least that's what I'm hoping for and would do if I were them. This could help improve Siri's context for each of our lives and common tasks. Just like you would have to train a real-life personal assistant. You wouldn't just hire someone and expect them to know how you like your coffee, what temperature you prefer the office set to, your favorite music and food, etc. This could be how we train Siri.
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2014
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I already use workflow so yes. I hope it improves upon the app and doesn’t downgrade it though in anyway.

Getting suggested workflows by what I usually do and launching them using Siri is awesome. I always thought this was what they where going to do by that acquisition. Next step I guess is creating workflows with Siri instead of doing it in the app.

I don’t think anyone is going to use it though except power users. Playing around with the suggested ones or downloading some Apple made ones sure. But the power in workflows is the ones that are unique to you. And those are way to complicated for the average joe.
 

Armen

macrumors 604
Apr 30, 2013
7,390
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Los Angeles
I was listening to a podcast about the WWDC keynote and and when they got to Siri shortcuts they joked it was Apple saying “OK you’ve complained about how dumb Siri is. Well fine then, make it smart yourself!” That you can now get Siri to do the things you want...you just have to set it up first.

They were mostly joking but it got me wondering will many people use the Shortcuts app? Will it be simple enough that people who have never used Workflow will get it? Will people blow it off thinking too much work involved? Will Apple do a good enough job explaining how the app works and how it can be useful? Perhaps Apple will have video tutorials inside the app explaining how it works?
Apple acquired the Workflow app last year I think (it's Free now). It appears they may be using the tech in that app for the new Siri Shortcuts feature. I for one am ready to use it. Here are 2 use cases for me (if it's possible).

"Hey Siri, I'm going to work"

- Disable WiFi
- Open Maps, get directions to work
- Launch Podcasts

"Hey Siri, I'm leaving work"

- Turn on Wifi
- send a text to wife "I'm leaving the office"
- Open maps, get directions home
- load podcasts.
 

Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
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Yeah, I will very probably use it once it launches officially. The post above mine outlines a couple of useful scenarios I could see myself using.

Seems like a very useful addition to Siri. I never really got to using Workflow past a few experiments, but this somehow seems less daunting to start fiddling with. And I'm basing that on exactly nothing other than what was said and demoed at the conference, so I'll wait until it's on my phone before making decisions.
 
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Nanotyrns

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2012
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I'll definitely use it. What remains to be seen is how many apps jump on board. It would be great to add my home security to that so that when I roll up at night and say "I'm home" it disarms the security and turns on the lights. Maybe even add Apple Music to that with the HomePod queuing up whatever you were listening to on the way home, podcast or music.

I think I just asked for waaaaay too much lol

My biggest beef with HomeKit on my phone was requiring unlocking the phone to use it with Siri. I'm hoping that stumbling block is not present in Shortcuts.
 

pcorrado

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2008
351
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Chicago, IL
I look at it as a way to enable expanded homekit support without adding actual homekit support. The actual shortcut app is one thing I think I will use but apps being able to suggest shortcuts is another - and the more powerful tool.

Think about this - Lifx can add a siri shortcut to turn on lights that were introduced be homekit support or Logitech can allow shortcuts for harmony activities. Its really Apple's answer to Alexa Skills.
 

CPTmom2wp

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2014
301
302
Ohio
Definitely will use it and thought this was the best feature of the presentation for our lives. I really like the integration of podcasts and music and hope it works seamlessly with the locks, lights, HP's, thermostats that we are adding through HomeKit. I am wondering, however, how Apple intends for this to be used with/instead of HomeKit Automations. I was hoping HK automations would include music/podcasts/radio but now we have a separate App called Shortcuts. At this point, I don't see any reason for both.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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I'm already using it. By saying "Where is my package?" Siri will launch safari and pull up the tracking information for a package I am expecting in 2 days. I can't wait for Siri shortcuts to be fully released
OK but you had to manually create a shortcut for this, right?
 

CPTmom2wp

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2014
301
302
Ohio
I look at it as a way to enable expanded homekit support without adding actual homekit support. The actual shortcut app is one thing I think I will use but apps being able to suggest shortcuts is another - and the more powerful tool.
Think about this - Lifx can add a siri shortcut to turn on lights that were introduced be homekit support or Logitech can allow shortcuts for harmony activities. Its really Apple's answer to Alexa Skills.
I guess I was typing while you were responding.......OK, I can see that the predictive aspect would be different in Shortcuts. But why would Apple just not expand HomeKit? Needing to use a separate app, if in fact it is, adds immeasurably to complicating the activity and will dramatically reduce the number of people who take the time to figure out which app does what or which to use if they both do it. Or... They will have to work in the background together, with Siri.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
21,562
26,948
I am going to use it all the time. This sort of deeper automation is something I always wanted.

I get the sense that Apple is going to use this data to train their models to improve Siri. They'll use differential privacy to collect anonymous data and will be able to figure out the sort of actions that people tend to group together, what they call such a task, etc. Then a smarter version of Siri down the road will be able to learn what sorts of things we need to do at certain times of day and what such a request might sound like. The AI will start to make connections using ML between what sorts of devices we have in our home, what type of podcasts and music we prefer on our way home, etc and make everything run more intuitively down the road. At least that's what I'm hoping for and would do if I were them. This could help improve Siri's context for each of our lives and common tasks. Just like you would have to train a real-life personal assistant. You wouldn't just hire someone and expect them to know how you like your coffee, what temperature you prefer the office set to, your favorite music and food, etc. This could be how we train Siri.
I hope you’re right.
[doublepost=1528222550][/doublepost]
Apple acquired the Workflow app last year I think (it's Free now). It appears they may be using the tech in that app for the new Siri Shortcuts feature. I for one am ready to use it. Here are 2 use cases for me (if it's possible).

"Hey Siri, I'm going to work"

- Disable WiFi
- Open Maps, get directions to work
- Launch Podcasts

"Hey Siri, I'm leaving work"

- Turn on Wifi
- send a text to wife "I'm leaving the office"
- Open maps, get directions home
- load podcasts.
Does Workflow currently allow integration with 3rd party apps? Like in your scenario, if you don’t use Apple’s podcasts app could you tell it to launch Overcast or Pocket Casts instead?
[doublepost=1528222797][/doublepost]
I guess I was typing while you were responding.......OK, I can see that the predictive aspect would be different in Shortcuts. But why would Apple just not expand HomeKit? Needing to use a separate app, if in fact it is, adds immeasurably to complicating the activity and will dramatically reduce the number of people who take the time to figure out which app does what or which to use if they both do it. Or... They will have to work in the background together, with Siri.
Yeah whenever Apple creates a new native app I always wonder if that functionality couldn’t exist in a existing app. And it seems like where others are getting rid of the idea of apps Apple keeps creating new ones. Now we have a measure app and this shortcuts app. Seems like a lot of native app bloat.
 
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ZEEN0j

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2014
1,543
696
To answer some questions. The current workflow app can open any app on your device. It can’t directly control functions in the apps unless they support url schemes or have been added to the workflow app. I don’t know what criteria has to be met to be added. If that’s just a url scheme with a dialog box or if the developer of the controlled app needs to add support.

My guess with shortcut app is that apps will have to be updated for the new shortcuts function mentioned in the keynote.

Apps that support url schemes you can almost do anything you want.

With the current workflow app you can’t control system functions as WiFi or Bluetooth etc. Apple could add this though.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,201
11,729
UK
I'm already using it. By saying "Where is my package?" Siri will launch safari and pull up the tracking information for a package I am expecting in 2 days. I can't wait for Siri shortcuts to be fully released
that sounds pretty cool
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2016
3,401
7,409
Berlin, Germany
Why is it suggesting every message I wrote as a short cut? How many times will I possible send the same message again? Weird ...

And it does not seem to work for music short cuts like on Spotify? SHOCKER
 
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