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Shortcuts Nirvana, Part 2

Published September 15th, 2021
This is the continuation of a very long article. I plan to finish describing my shortcuts by folder, about 260 in all. You can find the first part of the article here.

Since writing an article on home automations and Shortcuts earlier this year, I have continued to find and make shortcuts and recently passed 800 in my library. I thought this milestone would be a good time to reflect on what I've been doing with these shortcuts and how I managed to gather so many.

Shortcuts App Icon

First, let me say that many of these shortcuts have really changed my life... for the better, as I'm sure Apple would be glad to hear. I spend more time in my Shortcuts app than I do in any other app on my iPhone at the moment, and having all this information available in one app like this makes it more accessible and rewarding. Sure, I have a lot of shortcuts I don't need, but I'll be focusing in this article on the ones I actually use, any automations associated with them, and what they do for me. You can find the list of folders in the first part of this article.

Quick Links

This folder has a number of shortcuts that act as quick links to actions that would otherwise take more time.

App Launcher: Something I read gave me the idea for this shortcut. It's simply a menu of my most-often-used apps, which I can then launch with a quick selection. I keep this shortcut in my Home Screen folder for ready access. It's much faster than browsing for an app. App Launcher Shortcut

Apple Feedback: I keep this shortcut handy because I always have a hard time finding where I can send feedback to Apple. This launches the Feedback Assistant app. Apple Feedback Shortcut

App Store: Arcade: This is simply a quick link to the Arcade section of the App Store. App Store: Arcade Shortcut

Shine Light: This handy shortcut toggles on the camera's flash bulb. If you run it again, it turns the flash off. Shine Light Shortcut

Say Family: This shortcut counts down from 5 to 1, giving people enough time to assemble for a group photo. After it says "Say Cheese," it takes a picture with the back camera and saves it to your photo library. From RoutineHub. Say Family Shortcut

Quick Music

This folder has quite a few shortcuts, all designed to get music playing quickly. I'm only going to describe three of them here.

Automix: This shortcut lets you choose several options for quick music playing. It was originally designed to write a playlist with the selected music, but I've eliminated that part of the shortcut. I'm not sure where I found this, so I'm linking to my copy in iCloud. The choices are "Casual," meaning your whole library, "Artist," letting you select an artist from your library, "Genre", letting you hear music by genre, and "Year," playing songs you added in a certain year. I've modified the shortcut to in all cases play only 5-star songs. By default, the shortcut only returns 50 items, but you can change that behavior in the shortcut. Automix Shortcut

Latest 5 Stars: This shortcut plays 5-star songs from my library, sorted by the latest additions. This is nice when I sync my library with the iPhone and add a lot of new songs. This lets me hear the new songs first. I have a similar shortcut for 4-star songs. Latest 5 Stars Shortcut

Fresh Shuffle: This shortcut pulls from my library 5-star songs that I haven't listened to in the last 30 days. I'm not sure where I found this one. Fresh Shuffle Shortcut
Quick Music Artists

I have a slew of shortcuts set up to play particular artists. To date, I have shortcuts for the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Cougar Mellencamp, CCR, the Beatles, James Taylor, the Eagles, and Cat Stevens. I also have one for "Singer-Songwriters," which is a bit different because it plays multiple artists. Most of these have a 5-star version, a 4-star version, and one for both 4 and 5 stars. I'm showing an example using the Rolling Stones shortcuts. These shortcuts are great to use with Siri... a very quick way to start playing your favorite artists.

Rolling Stones: This shortcut gets my 5-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. I believe this is based on a "Play Artist" shortcut in the Apple Gallery of Shortcuts. Rolling Stones Shortcut

Rolling Stones 4: This shortcut gets my 4-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. Rolling Stones 4 Shortcut

Rolling Stones All: This shortcut gets my 4- and 5-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. Rolling Stones All Shortcut

Quick Music Genres

This folder has a lot of shortcuts designed to play music by genre. I discovered that making some of these is an extension of the "smart playlist" option in iTunes. Many of these shortcuts are "mash-ups" of genres that I've really enjoyed listening to. I'm giving an example of that with the Techno Funk genre. I'm also including a few other shortcuts that in one way or another conglomerates artists and genres into great playlists.

Techno Funk: This is an example of a "mash-up" of genres from my music library. In this case, the shortcut merges my Techno/Synth Pop and Funk/Hip-Hop/Go-Go genres. It's set to play songs rated 5 stars. Other similar shortcuts I have include "Philly Disco", which merges Philly style Soul with Disco, and Southern Soul, which merges Funky Soul and Deep Soul. The following two shortcuts are the same as this one, but for different star ratings. Techno Funk Shortcut

Techno Funk 4 Stars: This is the same as the previous shortcut, but set to play only songs rated 4 stars. Techno Funk 4 Stars Shortcut

Techno Funk All: This shortcut is the same as the previous two, but set to play both 4- and 5-star tunes from my library. Techno Funk All Shortcut

Northern Soul: This shortcut is a mash-up of four genres... Philly-style Soul, Motown-style Soul, Other Northern Soul and Soul Instrumentals. It's set to play only 5-star tunes from my library. Northern Soul Shortcut

Motown: You'd think this would be covered in the Northern Soul shortcut, but I wanted one that's specific to Motown artists, not merely music based on the Motown sound. So this shortcut fetches the following artists and plays 5-star songs of theirs from my library: Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Miracles, Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, Elgins, Isley Brothers, Temptations, Gladys Knight & Pips, Velvelettes, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars, David Ruffin, Jackson 5, Spinners, Eddie Holland, Brenda Holloway, and Barrett Strong. Because some of these artists recorded outside the Motown fold, the shortcut also specifies that the genre be Motown soul. Motown Shortcut

World: I've particularly enjoyed listening to this mash-up of my genres Reggae/Ska, Latin and Calypso. It pulls 5-star-rated songs in those genres from my library. World Shortcut

Settings

This folder contains shortcuts that pertain to the iPhone's settings. It also has some shortcuts for the Mac and the Apple Watch. I have automations set up for my battery life, with an automation every 5% of battery life. Some of these shortcuts are used in managing the battery as well as brightness in these automations.

Open Settings:

This shortcut provides a menu that's a window into the various screens in the Settings app. It's a quick way to navigate to a particular Settings screen. I'm not sure where this one came from. Open Settings Shortcut

Display Settings: This shortcut links to the display settings screen in Settings, which is one I seem to refer to more often. I believe this shortcut was made by the next shortcut in this list. Display Settings Shortcut

Settings Shortcut Generator: This nifty shortcut can be used to create a new shortcut for a specific screen in the Settings app. I include it as much for the innovative approach as for my use of it. From RoutineHub. Settings Shortcut Generator Shortcut

Max Brightness: This shortcut makes your iPhone as bright as it can be, toggling several settings as well as maxing out the brightness. Just the thing for a sunny day, but use sparingly as it will use your battery faster. From RoutineHub. Max Brightness Shortcut

Brightness To Battery: This brilliant shortcut sets the brightness setting to your battery percentage. I use it with Siri all the time, and it's built into many of my shortcuts for breaks and for the battery automations. It dims your display at the same rate that your battery declines, helping to save battery life. I don't know where I got this one, but I couldn't do without it! Brightness To Battery Shortcut

Super Low Brightness: This Siri command simply sets the brightness to a very low (15%) level to save battery life. I usually use it when Super Low Battery Mode is turned on. Super Low Brightness Shortcut

Super Low Battery On: This and the next shortcut are based on the Super Low Battery Mode shortcut from ShortcutsGallery.com. This one turns off cellular data, turns on low power mode, sets brightness to 15%, and turns down the volume to 15%. I use this in my Breaks and Battery automations and shortcuts. I also use it from Siri. I left Bluetooth and WiFi on, because my iPhone is pretty much useless without those. Super Low Battery On Shortcut

Super Low Battery Off: This and the previous shortcut are based on the Super Low Battery Mode shortcut from ShortcutsGallery.com. This one turns on cellular data, turns off low power mode, runs the Brightness to Battery shortcut, and sets the volume at 50%. I use this in my Breaks and Battery automations and shortcuts. I also use it from Siri. Super Low Battery Off Shortcut

Set Battery Charge Mode: I use this shortcut for automations when my iPhone is connected and disconnected from power. It lets me choose whether to turn Super Low Battery on or off and runs one of the previous two shortcuts. Set Battery Charge Mode Shortcut

Battery Charged: I use this shortcut in my automations for battery levels 90 and 100 percent. If the time is between 7 AM and 7 PM, it speaks the battery level; otherwise, it sends a notification. Battery Charged Shortcut

When Battery Falls Below 5%: I have this shortcut tied to an automation when my battery level reaches 5%. If during the day, it speaks an urgent warning about connecting to power. If at other times, it sends a notification. It also turns on Super Low Battery mode. When Battery Falls Below 5% Shortcut

iPhone Disconnected: This is another shortcut that's tied to an automation. In this case, it's run when my iPhone is connected or disconnected from power. It plays the "Approved" sound (see folder Sounds) shortcut (because I like the sound :-) and runs the Set Battery Charge Mode shortcut so I can decide whether or not to turn on super low batter mode. iPhone Disconnected Shortcut

Mac Sleep: This shortcut lets you sleep your Mac remotely. For it to work, you need to populate the shortcut's SSH command information and make sure your Mac's sharing settings allow for remote access. Once I got this set up, I find it very handy. Mac Sleep Shortcut

Wake Mac: This shortcut lets you wake your Mac remotely. For it to work, you need to populate the shortcut's SSH command information and make sure your Mac's sharing settings allow for remote access. Once I got this set up, I find it very handy. Wake Mac Shortcut

Change Watch Face: I use this shortcut as part of my battery automations. I run it every 10% of battery life to change my watch face. I like so many of the watch faces, it's nice to see a different one as the day goes on. Change Watch Face Shortcut

Water Eject: There are a ton of variations of this shortcut out on the web, and some are among the most popular shortcuts. I haven't had a need to use this one yet, but I tested it, and I'm sure it will do a good job of ejecting fluid from my iPhone should the need arise. From RoutineHub. Water Eject Shortcut

Share Sheet Only

This folder has shortcuts that can only be run from the Share Sheet. They only take input when you're in some application (like Safari or Photos) and hit the "share" icon.

Zip and Save Encoded: This shortcut takes files as input, and it first zips them up. Then it converts the files to Base64 format, copies the result to the clipboard, and lets you save the file to iCloud. I have a similar shortcut that skips the Base64 step and simply saves the zip file. Zip and Save Encoded Shortcut

Tweet Web Page Info: This shortcut gets the title and URL from the current web page and pastes them into a Twitter message window. You can edit the message before sending it off. Tweet Web Page Info Shortcut

Get Images: This shortcut pulls all the images from the current web page and displays them for you. You can select which photos you want to save to your photo library, after which the photos get saved to the album you specify. I don't know where I found this one, but it does have a credit comment inside. Get Images Shortcut

Find RSS Feed: This shortcut looks into the code of the current web page and returns any RSS feeds it finds. It shows you the title of the RSS feed if it finds one and copies its URL to the clipboard. I couldn't find the original source for this one. Find RSS Feed Shortcut

Change Text Case: This shortcut takes input from the share sheet and lets you choose how to change the text's case. It lets you choose Uppercase, lowercase, initial caps, and more. It copies the result to the clipboard and then shows the result in a Quick Look window. I'm linking to my version in iCloud since I don't know where I got this shortcut. Change Text Case Shortcut

Translate Input: This handy shortcut will translate into English any language it encounters. It shows you the translation and then copies it to the clipboard. I used this heavily in translating non-English shortcuts. Very reliable. Translate Input Shortcut

Apple Notes Clipper: This shortcut gets the title and body of the current web page (Safari Article) and shows it to you in Quick Look. It then opens a Notes compose sheet and lets you save to Notes. I believe this one comes from the Apple Gallery in Shortcuts. Apple Notes Clipper Shortcut

Safari Article to Mail: This is the same as the previous shortcut, but instead of saving to notes, it lets you compose an email with the current web page's article. Safari Article to Mail Shortcut

Get URL: This shortcut simply returns the URL of the current web page and copies it to the clipboard. Get URL Shortcut

Read Selection: This shortcut will speak whatever text you have selected when run from the share sheet. Read Selection Shortcut

Read Article: This shortcut finds the body (Safari Article) of the current web page and reads it aloud. Read Article Shortcut

Shortcuts Items

This folder has a number of shortcuts websites and feeds for when you're looking for shortcuts. It has others that help when working with shortcuts.

Newest RH Shortcuts: This shortcut returns a list of about 25 of the latest shortcuts added to RoutineHub. Selecting one opens the RoutineHub page in the Safari view controller. This is a German shortcut from RoutineHub. I'm linking to my translated version. Newest RH Shortcuts Shortcut

Latest Update RoutineHub: This shortcut returns the list of recently updated shortcuts on RoutineHub. It's a bit slow. Latest Update RoutineHub Shortcut

RoutineHub Search Pro: This shortcut lets you enter a term and search RoutineHub for shortcuts. You can also search for shortcut authors. From RoutineHub. RoutineHub Search Pro Shortcut

Share Shortcuts Feed: This shortcut displays the RSS feed for the ShareShortcuts.com website. It's nice because it shows the date of the shortcut in the returned list. Share Shortcuts Feed Shortcut

Shortcuts RSS: This shortcut gets three feeds at once... From RoutineHub, ShareShortcuts and ShortcutsGallery. It presents a long list, some of which have information about publishing dates, which you can choose from to open a Safari sheet. Shortcuts RSS Shortcut

Siri Shortcuts Search: This shortcut lets you search across several shortcuts sites, entering a search term and getting a Safari view with the Google results. Siri Shortcuts Search Shortcut

Shortcuts Websites: This shortcut presents a lengthy list of shortcuts websites. Great when you're looking for new sources of shortcuts. Shortcuts Websites Shortcut

    
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