Automators 6: Automating iOS with Matthew Cassinelli


Hi Matthew, great podcast. I am trying to text the result of a “show alert screen but it only comes out with a .txt file attached to the message. What am I missing. Thanks Wayne


If you can provide a screenshot or a copy of the shortcut, that helps explain things in context. But here’s some pointers that’ll hopefully explain your particular scenario:

  • Show Alert passes any input it receives as output, it does not generate any of it’s own. Therefore you can’t include it in your message as it isn’t anything in that sense. It shows info to the user and optionally the choice to cancel continuation of the shortcut.
  • Send Message takes any input it receives and will attempt to attach it as a file - e.g. a text file.
  • To attach nothing to a Send Message, use a Nothing action immediately prior to it.
  • If you have an action with output, followed by a Show Alert, followed by a Send Message, Send Message will attempt to attach the output of the action before the Show Alert.
  • To include specific content defined or generated earlier in the shortcut in the Send Message text, use a variable (/magic variable) in the Send Message action’s Message field to reference that content explicitly.

Hope that helps.


Hi All, to explain further I am trying to make a booking app for our Uber type service and I have 2 issues not yet resolved. 1. Find the distance between 2 locations not currently where you are. Maps shortcuts don’t seem to allow you to do this.
2. The result of the booking information “show alert” needs to be able to be messaged to a mobile or email.
I have been working through David’s Siri shortcuts training so have been practising with set and get variables which I will swap out later with magic variables. Here is my shortcut so far.
Thanks for your help