iOS 12 beta Siri short cuts workflow

Does anyone on the iOS 12 beta know if Siri short cuts gives you more options to do things or is it the same as workflow is now?

Currently it is actually a reduced set of options. Cloud storage options are much reduced for example.

Apple will be looking for third party app developers to pick up a good chunk of this I think.

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Can you expand on that? Does that mean 3rd parties will be able to create Siri Shortcuts plugins? Or that Apple thinks 3rd parties will create apps that make up for Siri Shortcuts shortfalls?

Third party apps will be able to provide additional functionality to Siri via actions and intents.

Specifically see the Shortcuts section in this information from Apple.

If you search for some of the key terms you can find lots of articles about Shortcuts that reference this approach.

In my app I used the “simpler” method with less functionality to add shortcuts. Even at my level, it was very simple and quick to add.

Immediately, they appeared in the Shortcuts app and Siri started suggesting them; this means I am confident that the options will very quickly become much bigger than they ever were.

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There are a handful new actions, and a few aren’t currently available in the beta:


  • Show Result (like Show Alert, but no title or cancellation, so Siri can speak your results)
  • Run Javascript on Safari Webpage
  • Set Airplane Mode
  • Set Bluetooth
  • Set Cellular Data
  • Set Not Disturb
  • Set Low Power Mode
  • Markup (replaces Edit)


  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • Instapaper
  • Pocket
  • Edit (powered by Aviary)

Right now it’s not clear whether they are going to be removed entirely or just not present in the betas.

Third-party developers can create suggested shortcuts that open into their app or perform a task within that app, but those aren’t getting inputs/outputs so they’ll mostly operate standalone and will be chainable but not scriptable.

I have theorized that since all of these deal with third-party API integrations, Apple is reworking things behind the scene so they’re not constantly paying these teams directly for usage and instead they might use the system features to operate in the future, the way they do now otherwise on iOS (when you share to Dropbox on iOS, Apple isn’t paying Dropbox each time – it uses the share sheet and other developer tools in the background, so Dropbox is the one using their own API).

The same thing with Aviary – at Workflow we used their tool just so we didn’t have to rebuild our own editing features, but I imagine (hope) Apple will use their own in the future.

@sylumer’s link is great, but so is the WWDC session where they introduce Siri Shortcuts – it’s Ari (the main founder of Workflow) giving the presentation!

Also, having the ability to run these shortcuts with Siri is frickin huge! You can set up voice commands for every single one, and if they don’t have any interaction required they’ll entirely run in the background when triggered with Siri. I’m hoping the Choose From List or Ask For Input actions also get updated to run smoothly with Siri, but that’s not possible in the betas (yet?).

They also can be triggered from AirPods, CarPlay, and soon HomePod as well, which are all equally huge improvements in the way you can access and run workflows/shortcuts.

Right now the app is very similar to Workflow (Shortcuts is even starting at version 2.0 where Workflow ended at 1.7.6), but it also has a lot of new benefits because it’s not limited as a third-party app.


I’d bundled the OS settings ones in my head (much like the loss of cloud storage options), but I hadn’t spotted the Run Javascript on Safari Web Page action.

I’m always interested when the scripting options go up, but I have to admit to being a little let down that this action only (for now at least) works on Safari web pages passed into it.

Guess I’ll keep handing off JavaScript manipulations in general to Drafts and round trip it back to Shortcuts as I did with Workflow. But It’ll be interesting to see how that action gets utilised going forward.


Yeah I think a lot of people didn’t even know about the other iOS settings ones, I heard people referencing them as if all of them were new.

As for the Javascript stuff, I think I saw a tweet mentioning it was made by the Safari team which is 1. Why we got it at all already 2. Might be available only in there for security reasons (and since it can accept a proper, well-defined input).

I don’t imagine there being too much Javascript inside Shortcuts except for maybe from third-party apps, I think one of the major benefit of Shortcuts is almost never looking at things that look like code (for the average person).

Power users/devs could plug in a Javascript app as a suggested shortcut (and if they could accept inputs) and you’ve got that covered – plus I’ve seen a lot more of those pop up lately. Seems devs might be starting to believe…