Automators 32: Shortcuts iOS 13 Release and the Shortcuts Field Guide

My app switching Shortcut is here:

Unfortunately due to a bug in iOS (at least I hope it’s a bug!) you need to recreate this inside the Automation. There are just two actions:

  • Wait for X seconds (set this to however many seconds you want)
  • Open App (set to whatever app you want).

It’s not perfect. If the automation could cancel when I exit the app that would be great - but it doesn’t so that’s a request for next year! :wink:

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Hello, I’m running into issues trying out the Get Shortcuts as Links example that Rosemary made on her blog article. The version that runs “Get link to {My Shortcuts}” before looping crashes a couple seconds into that step after I confirm that I want to create iCloud links. So then I tried the more manual version and got through maybe 50 of my 200-300 shortcuts before it inexplicably crashed as well. Any idea what the issue could be? I’m running iOS 13.1 Public beta 3.

Any chance it fails on a particular shortcut? For example, one with an unusual name?

Could it be failing on a particular volume of Shortcuts being processed?

Does putting say a 1 second delay in the loop change the behaviour?

Also crashes are to be expected on a beta. The approach should be to try and narrow it down to an easily repeatable example that can then be reported back to Apple.

I’ve seen other people with this issue (I think @iBanks?). For them it seemed to be they had larger shortcuts which caused the crash. Smaller ones work fine.

I would use those NFC-triggers with my “phone from the future” aka iPhone X, but its to old and don’t support NFC-tags. :frowning:

But i’am locking forward to the new field guide to get some more ideas for shortcuts.

Great episode!!! Will shortcuts on iOS 12 have trouble with iOS 13 ? And Rose said something about shortcuts running smoother not having to go to safari, was she talking about if you have a shortcut on your home screen and run it?

Shortcuts from iOS12 and 13 are not compatible. What i heard in podcasts the people turned off iCloud-sync to avoid problems.

Yup, home screen shortcuts are back in the game!

Technically it does support NFC tags. What it does not support is background NFC scanning. It does support active NFC scanning, so if you use a scanning app, it will work for normal scans. You can search the forum for previous discussions on this and apps.

Active scanning is obviously not as convenient as background scanning, but the results after triggering should be the same.

However, Shortcuts is not reading the data on the tag and taking action on that. It is reading the ID of the tag and associating that with an action.

That’s part of the OS, but I don’t know if Apple has offered any way to switch to an active scan mode on older devices that ties into this - I’m still holding out on using the beta for a couple of practical reasons :pensive:. Shortcuts itself would be the ideal place to offer such an action.

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The format is incompatible and they have to be upgraded to the new format. People on 13 and pre-13 with different services were encouraged to disconnect sync so that the upgraded Shortcuts would not be applied to the pre-13 device as they would no longer run on those devices. When Al devices are on 13 there should not be a reason not to sync.

Some older Shortcuts may require some maintenance to have them function correctly after the upgrade, but from what I have read the upgrade process covers most cases now and it should only be edge case that require notable manual intervention.

Can anyone clarify if the foregoing of the intermediate Safari step in iOS13 applies to Shortcuts called directly via URL scheme from an app?

I’m wondering if there’s an intercept that would also apply to launcher apps, and active links in documents that are not being rendered in a web view.

There’s no jumping into Safari for Shortcuts launched via URL schemes either. :partying_face:

If you have a menu or input or similar (in either case) it still sends you to the Shortcuts app to deal with that, but it’s a huge improvement to how it was for sure.

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I’ve found this method slightly better for getting links including larger file size shortcuts. It loops through the shortcuts to get the names, then loops through the links, and combines the two. Because it’s pulling from an index of just text names rather than a variable holding all the shortcuts I think it takes up less memory.


Your first guess is on the money, though I have no idea why. After going through several sets of if ({number1} < repeatIndex < {number2}), I found a shortcut called “Group Images” that seems to crash the Shortcuts app whenever I try to run, open, share, or even hard-press it. I was able to duplicate the shortcut, but the same crashes plagued the double so I deleted both shortcuts. There would unfortunately be no way for me to report this to Apple because I don’t remember/know what actions were in that shortcut or at what point it stopped working, and I obviously can’t export the file or iCloud link without hard-press or being able to open the shortcut editor.

Wow, Rose and David were right, it’s faster launching a shortcut from the home screen then in iOS 12. Much better. Even adding a shortcut to the home screen is very easy.

Newby here, created an account since I figured this was the place to ask.
Been tinkering with iOS 13.1 and I thought that the automations in Shortcuts would automatically execute without any further interaction after setting up. I see there’s some automation triggers that have that option, but it’s not really useful to have “automations” that just give me a notification that they are ready to run.
Am I missing something?

No. There are different types of triggers to trigger the automations and only a sub set do not require manual confirmation at run time. I believe those are broadly categorised as ones that have already required a conscious physical action.

I have one set for whenever I leave my home to check my calendar for any events with addresses in the next 75 minutes and give me the travel time via transit, that way if it’s longer than I’m expecting, I know there’s delays somewhere and I should consider the bus instead of the train or vice versa. It’s not quite as useful when I have to remember to check my phone instead of it telling me.

Dear automators and siri shortcuts fan,

I’ve been playing around with siri shortcuts after watching the cool new field guide, but now I need your help. I use my devices in French. I’am trying to build a litte simple shortcut, that will look for upcoming birthdays and let me choose to send a text message. There are plenty of examples out there and this should not be very complicated.

But how is it possible that my iPad does not find any upcoming birthdays? I have tried with the built in search in contacts (carfully checking that the conditions all calendars, several tests with today, in the 3 months…). Then I tried with Cardhop actions, where the app is showing me upcoming birthdays, but the script will never find contacts with upcoming birthdays, even if Cardhop app does.

Is there a known bug ? If so, is there a way to tell it to the shortcuts team (on it is not easy to pick the right category, there is no shortcuts icon)?

Is there another simple way to select upcoming birthdays? Do you have any ideas?

I even tried to do some troubleshooting with show me any contact that has a value in birthday?
The field in French is called « Anniversaire ». So I tried to test if I could show any contact, where the field has data in it. I did not find a way to build a request as the available parameters are only date is, date from, date in between (no the field is not empty). Maybe some knows a way. I remember doing such kind of searches in FileMaker using search for « @ » or « $ ».

What I have in mind, is to run a script to shows me contacts, that I can select, then I would like to select one nice message out of a dictionary-entry. I have even in mind, to handle the language of the recipient, as I have french and german speaking contacts. If I get it to work, I would gladly share it.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Special thanks to Rosemary and David for the great show.