If you had just ONE (and ONLY ONE) automation wish for each OS at WWDC

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Q) For each of iOS/iPadOS/macOS, what is the #1 automation related thing that you would love to see announced at WWDC 2022?


With WWDC once again just weeks away, it is time for me to post my annual question about automation wishes. This year I’m changing it just a little now we have a little bit of a difference between iOS and iPadOS, and the introduction of Shortcuts to macOS, reviving Apple’s interets in automation on that platform.

The qualifying criteria for responses are:

  1. You can specify up to three wishes, but each wish must be for just one of the OS - iOS, iPadOS, macOS. If you want to pick one thing for one OS only, or one thing that applies equally to all Ones, that’s fine. But, the limit is one pick per OS.
  2. It can be as broad and all encompassing, or as nerdy and specific as you like.
  3. It must be somehow automation related and not just a general OS feature.
  4. There must be at least some vague chance of it or some aspect of it happening for the OS. Remember, even Aladdin wasn’t allowed to wish for someone to fall in love with him.
  5. Yes I know there is also tvOS and watchOS, but they are not valid options for this question. Maybe I’ll include those next year if they get a better set of automation functionality this year.
  6. If you really cannot pick between a few different things … automate yourself a random number generator or flip a coin and select just one. The fates of automation will make the decision for you!

I am positive that many of us could reel off a dream list, but the whole point is to pick just the top one from your specific OS list. If you want to post your entire dream list, there are plenty of other places to share that outside of this topic :slight_smile:

As I do every year, I am really looking forward to reading people’s ideas and seeing what other Apple software automators are wishing for . :nerd_face:

Clarity. What is their 3-to-5-year technology roadmap vs. what is already a dead-end?

While Apple’s “It’s a Surprise!” is fabulous for selling consumer products, it’s a nightmare for professional customers who require stable and predictable platforms on which to develop their own multi-year business strategy and business continuity plans.

Apple’s attitude towards business markets is schizophrenic. They’ll release a “Pro” machine with fanfare, then let it stagnate with no indication of when—or even if—there might be another. Or they’ll simply stop investing in a legacy technology, e.g. AppleScript, but won’t inform businesses that depend on it for critical operations that this tech has X years of lifetime left so they can fully plan their own migrations. There’s probably a billion dollars of global business quietly going through AppleScript, and not one knows that AppleScript isn’t going to break in the next OS update. And where the heck is Siri Shortcuts meant to be going? The future is a black hole, and only a fool or the foolhardy would build their own core business on one of those.

I appreciate business markets are a distant secondary to Apple’s primary consumer audience. However, if Apple cedes business use to Android then eventually consumer use will follow as well. Thus it would make huge sense for Apple to separate these two concerns internally so that each audience can be served according to its specialized needs. For consumers: lots of new and exciting surprises each year. For businesses the opposite: stability, predictability, and the confidence that rugs won’t be pulled from under their multi-million-dollar infrastructure investment by consumer Apple chasing some shiny.

I would love to see a way to silently run shortcuts automatically on iOS/iPadOS, with something like a crontab. Automations are just too tedious to set up if I want to run a script every 5 minutes.

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Tags.

Tags would enable much more customizable widgets (a Shortcut could appear in more than one widget, or a widget can be made with Shortcuts from several folders)

Tags would enable more customizable launchers. “Get Shortcuts with tags x,y → Choose From List”

Tags could tie in with Focus. “Don’t run automations with Shortcuts tagged X when in Driving mode”

The ability to change tags via automations would open up a ton of possibilities- adjusting widgets and menus automatically.

So yeah. My one thing is tags.

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