Provide variable value to shortcut by voice

Is it possible to provide a variable to a shortcut by voice? For example can I create a shortcut that sends my ETA to any person by invoking the shortcut which then prompts me for one of a small list of names that I provide verbally or must I create a separate shortcut for each person?

Yes and no.

Yes, you can make one shortcut which will send your ETA to anyone that you choose from a list.

No, you cannot make a shortcut which will choose the person from that list by voice.

So you could create a shortcut called “Send ETA” and have that triggered via voice and then choose from the list, but you could not say “Send ETA to my mother” unless you make a specific shortcut to send it to her.

I figured this would be the case but wanted to make sure someone smarter than I hadn’t already figured this out.
Thanks much for the reply!

A possible workaround is to use the Dictate Text command. It isn’t perfect, but I was able to create a quick demo to call a person from a list using my voice, with a GUI fallback.

Replaced the call-action with a quick look at the end, but you can essentially put anything there.

The biggest issue is probably that the Dictate text will open Shortcuts; it doesn’t completely run from Siri.


I’d do something like this:
Dictate command–>Get Text From Input–>If Input Contain [Dictionary] Then [Condition]

Yep, that’s the main part of the Shortcut I posted. :smiley:

I’d probably leave out things like the “speak text” in practice, because it’s too slow. But thought it was fun for a demo. :wink:

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I have a couple of shortcuts that involves dictation to which Siri acknowledges (reads out loud) what I just dictated letting me accept/dictate again - so it’s a good option in some use-cases :slight_smile: