Set up all my Apple hardware for remote presentations or meetings

I didn’t know where to put this, because it’s a solution that involves both Shortcuts and Automator, and the setup of Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPhone, and Mac, all launched from an NFC-triggered Shortcuts automation.

In my work, like many on this forum, I have to do presentations and meetings via the company’s approved streaming platform, which in our case is WebEx. For meetings, I usually connect via WebEx on a high-mounted iPhone because of the camera quality, while for presentations, I create the same WebEx connection on the phone, but also set up my Mac to run WebEx as the presentation platform. I also use my Apple TV as a clock on a separate screen to keep me on time. (I also set up Do Not Disturb on the phone.)

The challenge was to make the setup of these disparate devices as quick and simple as possible. I have a quarter-sized NFC sticker attached to one of my monitors, and when I walk into the office, I tap the iPhone on the sticker. The automation goes like this: First, it Wakes the Apple TV and then Opens my Apple TV clock app (I use Nixie Time, because, well, I’m a nerd). I then use the Set Do Not Disturb action, which is set to Ask, and I usually choose Until and specify a time. The automation opens WebEx Meetings on my phone. I then use Set Watch Face to set a face on my Apple Watch that has a button to run an Open Nixie Time shortcut in case I have clicked out of it for some reason and need the clock again quickly. Next I use Choose from Menu to choose between Presentation and Meeting; each of these choices Runs a Shortcut. Each of the shortcuts is a cheat to launch an Automator workflow on my Mac. Each uses Create Folder to make a folder labeled with the current date in a particular folder in my iCloud account; both folders are being watched by Automator workflows (this is the cheat, ancient as UNIX itself) and when the changes are made, perform the right workflow for the context, launching Notes for a meeting and launching Keynote and Calendar (where I launch my WebEx meetings) for a presentation.

For those keeping score, one tap begins (and in some cases, completes) configuration of my Apple TV, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac for my meeting. Maybe there’s an idea or two here that will help others set up their communications!


We also use WebEx - and I don’t find it terribly automatable. So your next challenge could be there. Things like:

  • Joining a particular meeting.
  • Starting a meeting.
  • Sharing a window.
  • Muting / unmuting, camera on/off
  • Ending / leaving the call.

Ideally, for me, these would be doable with StreamDeck or Metagrid, but hot key combo or Keyboard Maestro would do fine.

The point is the WebEx UI is cumbersome and push-button would be nice.

That’s true. Oddly enough, Slack has really easy automations for WebEx if you choose to implement the app… /webex starts a meeting in your personal room, for instance…

1 Like

Ah. We have Slack. If /webex skips all the fiddling necessary to actually start the meeting I’d use that all the time.

(Many’s the time I’ve thought I’ve started the meeting…) :slight_smile: