Help migrating from Tasker: calendar event triggers

Now that widgets are here, my new phone is most likely going to be an iPhone. It should be pretty easy to replicate most of my Tasker items in Shortcuts. (Although I am a little concerned about the accuracy of the location triggers.)

But one of my most useful automations, I’m not so sure about. If I have a particular calendar event where I want my phone to be quiet for the duration of the event, I write “#silent” into the event note/description field for the event. Then for the duration of the event, my phone is in DND mode.

If there is a way to get Shortcuts to trigger off of certain calendar events, it is not intuitive to me. Is there a 3rd party app that might help? Or any other insights into triggering the phone state off of calendar events would be most appreciated.

I think you would have to have a time-based trigger run at the start of every potential meeting slot to check your calendar and set the DND status accordingly. Calendar events are not an available trigger. So not impossible, but even re-using the same shortcut, the set-up initial set-up would still be quite tedious.

I remember using a “$” in my meeting titles along with Tasker back when I used Android that did exactly the same thing.

Note that no third-party apps give you any automation triggers, only actions. Apple’s sandboxing and security approach preclude this.

If you are okay with a more manual trigger, you could use one of the back tap accessibility options or an NFC tag to trigger your DND - or even just tell Siri. There are options to run the automation, just not so much around triggering the automation without user initiation.

Q) What’s the reason for the concern about location accuracy for triggers?


So it sounds like even if I wrote my own app, there wouldn’t be the appropriate hooks. It would have to be handled off the device and then pushed to it somehow?

I kind of like your idea though. Could I check the start time of the next dnd event and set dnd then for the duration of the event? And then at the end, check again for the next event. The downside might be if I created a new event in between checking and the next event. But then it would likely be close enough to the event that I might be mentally aware enough to manually set the dnd.

The other options won’t work because they require me to remember, which defeats the whole purpose.

A) it looks like the location triggers are for an area (maybe 350 ft?) , and not, say, a building. So if I walk near the gym, but don’t go to the gym, I don’t want to log a visit. Or if I’m at the restaurant next to the office, I don’t want it to behave as if I’m in the office. Or is there some way to more fine tune it?


Not really. My suggestion was more to do it based on an absolute schedule. One checking Shortcut set to run say at 1 minute to the hour that checks for next events and sets DND appropriately.

Locations are geographic regions, not addresses. If there is a localised WiFi network or an iBeacon, those can help narrow those things down. Note that geolocation is also two dimensional. It won’t determine height. But I wouldn’t imagine that an Android phone would perform any better. The more urban an area becomes, the harder it is to accurately geo-locate thanks to blocked signals, reflected signals and the general variation from attenuation and other interactions all around.

Pushcut support ibeacons and sustained proximity triggering, but it is notification based unless you are triggering something remote - e.g. to another device running the same app’s automation server component; but that can’t control another device to say run a shortcut to set DND.