With the arrival of Launch Center Pro version 3 a few days ago the selection of iOS automation tools has become a bit confusing for me, because I already use Drafts and Siri Shortcuts. I am aware of the fact that each tool has its unique approach on automation and that they also complement each other in one way or another. But there are also many cases where you can achieve the same with all of the three. A classic for automation is writing a message or a prefabricated message to a fixed group of people, for example in an emergency. Any of these three tools can do that.
So my question is, how do you deal with it? Do you have best-practice tips when to use what or do you even try to stick with just one or two of the tools? I’m looking forward to some feedback!
Whichever one is easiest to make the action in becomes the place where I automate it - this means I will also migrate an automation for easiest maintainability if I need to modify it. E.g. automated messages used to be done entirely in LCP, but just because it’s easier to adjust the action in Shortcuts many are now in Shortcuts.
Ease of execution also plays a big role - if I want to execute something manually I’ll often add it to Launch Center Pro.
But you can mitigate triggering that through options such as Siri voice triggers, launchers (like launch center pro), and calling them from one platform via another.
To draw a parallel, I have a similar set-up in TextExpander in a few cases, in that I have the same expansion snippet called by a handful of different trigger strings. Why? Well because one different platforms at different times the tools I used and the trigger strings I used were different. As I consolidated, I set-up everything to trigger the one true instance. This gave me backwards compatibility and it’s trivial to identify the true snippet for an expansion.
In terms of management, then there is either a memory overhead or a requirement to document, and documentation is a natural development in sophistication when you need to maintain more complex systems. Nothing insurmountable, and something that is easily balanced against having a broader toolset to work with.
Overall, another analogy for the automation space on iOS might be as equivalent to the following? Whilst a Swiss Army knife or multi-tool are valuable tools to just get things done, when you have an entire toolbox to choose from, your efficiency and accuracy can improve dramatically and it can be worth the extra effort of carrying it with you and learning how to use all of those tools if your work depends upon it.