Are you frustrated with SIRI on iPhone?

Mobile & Apps

The Shortcuts app for iOS 12 is finally here! If all goes well, it will make up for a lot of the criticized Siri service's shortcomings - or so the plan, at least. Because with the new shortcuts (also called shortcuts), Siri has learned a lot. Shortcuts can be used to create your own Siri commands that can achieve a whole range of effects. This makes the shortcuts a little tricky to use, especially when you go beyond the simple actions of accessing popular applications. The underlying idea is to trigger a long sequence of actions with a single sentence or button.

So that you don't despair, we've collected our favorite Siri shortcuts that we've discovered on Reddit, Twitter, Sharecuts, and other corners of the internet.

A small note in advance: Some of the shortcuts we have introduced require additional adjustments in the system. Most of them can be done directly in the Shortcuts app itself. In addition, many of our tricks work more with the share button than with voice commands. Should you nevertheless use a voice command, make absolutely sure that the exact (!) Sentence is stored in the shortcut! Here we go!

Search for Amazon items with barcodes

You may like it or not, but the fact is, more and more people are doing the majority of their purchases on Amazon. The "Search Amazon" shortcut makes this even easier. Simply select the shortcut from the Shortcuts app library, use it to scan a barcode with your iPhone's camera and the product page in the Amazon app will open. From there you can order if necessary. (Note: The shortcut presented here is for the American market. You can, however, simply change the Amazon extension to .de when setting up the shortcut.)

You can download the "Search Amazon" shortcut here.

Communicate your estimated time of arrival to others

When visiting a friend it is only polite to let them know when you are arriving. Especially if you show up late or even earlier than planned. To make this process easier, Reddit created a shortcut that estimates the time remaining until you reach a friend's address in your contact details (assuming, of course, that you've already filled in their address information). The shortcut then sends a text message to this friend and tells him: "I'll be there in XX minutes." Great help in case you don't really have time to report yourself.

You can download the shortcut "Send Travel Time" here.

Find the nearest electric car charging station

With a combination of keys, you can easily find the nearest EV charging stations. Unlike many other people who created shortcuts, the Redditor "whiteb68" was kind enough to provide three versions that use either Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze.

You can download the Google Maps version here, the Apple Maps version here, and the Waze version here.

Change the image size on the clipboard

Those of us who work with large pictures often tend to get frustrated because iOS offers few ways to resize an image (without using a third-party app). Often times the images are just ridiculously large, which creates a certain awkwardness when we just want to email a picture to share on a social platform like Slack. Longtime Macworld employee Jason Snell has created a shortcut that drastically simplifies the process. Simply select the "Shrink Image to Clipboard" option while viewing an image in the Photos app, and the shortcut will copy it to the clipboard in a handy 1024-pixel width (you can change the dimensions in the shortcuts -App as you like.) You can then paste the image into any app.

You can download the Resize Image to Clipboard shortcut here.

Split bills among roommates (and send Apple Pay requests)

If you live with a roommate and normally share the costs of maintenance and supply (gas, electricity, etc.) with them, you can use this shortcut to split the bill evenly for each service. At the same time you send a detailed request for Apple Pay Cash to your roommate. You can customize the existing fields to reflect the specific bills you and your roommate are paying, and you can easily add more slots for new bills if needed, or turn off Apple Pay Cash until it's unlocked in Germany.

You can download the Roommate Utility Bills Splitter 1.2 shortcut here.

Send links from iPhone to PC

Not all of us are so lucky to always have access to iOS or macOS at all times. Sometimes there is unfortunately no getting around a conventional PC ... The shortcut "Send Link to PC" is intended for precisely these cases, with which you can send a link that is open in a browser on your mobile phone, either through a notification or by opening it directly to a browser on your PC. But be careful: while opening a link directly on the PC is very easy, sending notifications on Windows 10 requires the "Burnt Toast" application. Still: A good example of how useful shortcuts can be outside of Apple's own ecosystem.

You can download "Send Link to PC" here. You can find the necessary files for your PC here.

Turn on extreme airplane mode.

The shortcut for those moments when normal airplane mode just isn't enough. This not only switches your iPhone to airplane mode, it also switches off cellular use, puts your smartphone into energy-saving mode and switches to "Do not disturb". If everything goes well (and you don't read e-books or watch films while you do this), your cell phone should save a lot of battery and have enough power left over when you reach your destination airport.

You can download the abbreviation "Flight Time" here.

Ask your Apple Watch about your iPhone's battery

Previously, you could ask your Apple Watch about your iPhone's battery level through Siri, but Apple removed that command a while ago. Fortunately, the Reddit user "faiznawawi" ironed this out with a shortcut. Just say, "Hey Siri, iPhone battery charge" and she'll let you know. (Warning: This is one of the times Siri will be confused if instead you ask, “Hey Siri, what's my iPhone battery level?”) The shortcut is ideal when you have your iPhone in your backpack or suitcase and use your Apple Watch for everything else. However, the command doesn't seem to work with every device and there is no clear reason for it ...

You can download the abbreviation "iPhone Battery Level" here.

These apps work with shortucts

The function is still in its infancy, but we are sure that both users and developers will use Siri Shortcuts more and more. These apps can already do it:

Bring! Shopping List
Night sky
Things 3
Public transport navigator
Day One diary and notes
DB Navigator
Drafts 5
Outcast for Apple Watch
Zalando Lounge
OmniFocus 3
PCalc Lite
Firefox Sure
Amazon Prime Video
Pages, Keynote, Numbers
Guides by Lonely Planet

Here's how to create custom Siri shortcuts in any application on the iPhone and iPad

Siri shortcuts are customizable Siri commands. Instead of waiting for Apple to add a specific action or command phrase to Siri in an iOS update, you can create your own voice command for pretty much any action you want.

Because the shortcuts are customizable, they can be used in any application, provided the application includes an "Add to Siri" button. And the best thing about the shortcuts is that they can be multi-step and that these different steps can even be performed by multiple applications within a single shortcut.

Siri is not just a voice technology: it is designed as an all-round AI assistant, and shortcuts can also be activated with the press of a button instead of a voice command.

Smart links

What you have to try out in everyday life for a while to see if it works as promised: Apple promises that Siri will offer specially compiled shortcuts when it has gained enough experience with your habits. Then Siri believes that if you had thought about it in time, you would have planned something specific or taken that action.

For example, you can always order a coffee at the same time via a certain app, Siri remembers this and shows you a reminder on the lock screen. This shows you a simple button that you can use to request the action without having to open the app. Likewise, you might see an offer like "Call Grandma" on her birthday or "Do not disturb tune on" when you enter a movie theater.

Some of these useful shortcuts appear on the lock screen, others only when you access the notifications from the top of the screen.