iOS Today Episode 599 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show. 

Mikah Sargent (00:00:00):
Coming up on iOS today, Rosemary Orchard and I have a special guest because we are going all in on shortcuts. So what does that mean? Of course, it means Matthew Cassinelli joining us. Stay tuned.

... (00:00:14):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Mikah Sargent (00:00:21):
This episode of iOS today is brought to you by trade coffee. Right now, trade is offering new subscribers, a total of $30 off your first order. Plus free shipping. When you go to drink today, that's more than 40 cups of coffee for free. Get started by taking their quiz and let trade find you a coffee you'll love. And by it pro TV, it pro TV has everything you need to level up your it skills while you enjoy the journey, visit it for an additional 30% off all consumer subscriptions for the lifetime of your active subscription. When you use code TWI 30th checkout and by wealth front to start out building your wealth and get your first $5,000 managed for free for life. Go to today. Oh, ha. Hey, hello and welcome to iOS today. This is the show where we talk all things. Ios TV OS watch OS home pot OS look, it's all the OSS that Apple has on offer. We talk about them here on iOS today, and sometimes we talk about the features built into these operating systems. I am one of your hosts, Mikah Sargent,

Rosemary Orchard (00:01:46):
And I am Rosemary Orchard.

Mikah Sargent (00:01:48):
Hello, Rosemary. How are you today?

Rosemary Orchard (00:01:51):
I'm excited. I mean, I know we have shortcuts corner every week, but you know, sometimes it's just fun to dive a bit more in there and, and have some fun and, you know, get somebody else on the show who also loves shortcuts. So all three of us can really nerd out.

Mikah Sargent (00:02:04):
Yes, indeed. Get someone else on the show. Joining us today for iOS today is Matthew Cassinelli. That was a great video effect. Hi Matthew, how are you today? Totally.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:02:16):
I'm doing excellent. I suppose I fit the qualifier of someone who liked shortcuts. So <laugh>

Mikah Sargent (00:02:23):
Sorry. I, I, I, I, I it, it basically in my head, anytime shortcuts comes up, it's like the two of you ring in my head at the same time. So I am really excited to kind of be here as a little bit more of the audience member. As we kind of break into things, the first thing we should to talk about is a recent announcement that you made. You made it this month. Tell us what is going on with your shortcuts library?

Matthew Cassinelli (00:02:56):
Sure. I'd be happy to share because I have spent like nine months working on my mega collection of shortcuts. It's over 600 now, which is ridiculous. It's also not nearly as many as I have. <Laugh> so I have a lot more coming to, but basically I revamped my whole system from, I I've had a couple of versions of the shortcuts. It's the whole thing is called the catalog now, cuz it, I include the action directory where I document all of the actions in shortcuts and the descriptions and things like that, cuz that was never available online. But I've had versions of my shortcuts out where you could get hundreds of shortcuts. And then I tried to simplify it into just like 50 shortcuts. That pretty much did all of those same things, but underneath menus so that it was just a little bit easier to use.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:03:50):
And then I kind of went back from that over the last year to single shortcuts. Plus I have a new method of actually automating cuts itself to take a folder of shortcuts and turn it into one single shortcut kind of. So I kind of have both versions of my shortcuts library from the past now together, going forward into the future. So it's a lot of fun and lots and lots of shortcuts. I basically, I worked on the gallery at workflow and that's now in the shortcuts app. And so this is essentially my own gallery that you can look through and get any type of shortcuts from those categories that we were just showing on screen. Yeah. And yeah, it's a lot of fun.

Rosemary Orchard (00:04:33):
Yeah. It's a great resource so that if somebody is looking for something and they're like, oh, you know, I wonder if I can do this with a shortcut or that with a short, this is one of the places I recommend people go to look because there are so many examples. And even if it's not exactly what somebody's looking for, maybe somebody's thinking, oh, I've got a question. I'm sure nobody's answered it. If you're watching this show, you are smart enough to solve your problem. And you know, still from the good examples that are there as well, because there are so many great examples, you know, if you're looking for travel stuff or just looking for inspiration of what you can do with shortcuts, it's, it's good. Fun to go and look through. I'm really pleased that you've put this all together. Matthew, like you, I've got too many shortcuts and I've got no documentation on mine. So I'm really pleased that you manage to put yours together.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:05:15):
Thanks. I'm glad you like it. It is. That's kind of the goal. There's so many ways you can use shortcuts and I use almost all of it. Like I use all of these shortcuts. These are actually my shortcuts too. And so I just wanted to give people a lot of examples to get started with because there's just tons. And even me like writing up and making videos about all these would just take like years and so to put it all out and just let people get at a first and then I'm gonna go back through half of this and, or like write up what I've done so far, plus build new stuff going forward. So I'm super excited because it is like, people are just like, oh, how do you do this? And I'm like, oh, I can just link to it on my website right away. That's nice. I have to go share the shortcut and find it for people. So

Rosemary Orchard (00:06:01):
Yeah. Yeah. And there's a bonus, there's some screenshots and, and everything there or, or whatever it is really to, to that shortcut, which is just, you know, totally a great way of getting started. So yeah,

Matthew Cassinelli (00:06:11):
I written, I think something I've made many descriptions. There's, it's like a whole book just in the district, the shortcuts. So you should be able to learn from that and then look at the shortcut, which includes the descriptions as well. So you can see it later and kind of learn and build yourself if you wanna make your own version.

Mikah Sargent (00:06:29):
Cool. Now what I think that's something that could be kind of interesting is hearing kind of a day in the life because I think one of the things that has always made me not, not skeptical, I'm not skeptical of shortcuts because I do use shortcuts regularly. In fact there's kind of a fun one that we'll talk about here in a little bit that I use that Rosemary helped me get figured out actually using an API and everything. But so there are shortcuts that I use. I don't use a whole lot. And I think that the folks who listen to this show in particular are the ones who are not necessarily in many cases, the power users, the folks who are really digging in super deep. And so I'm kind of curious if you could, you know, they might look at this library and go, okay, this is a huge, or the, the full catalog and look at it and go, this is a huge amount of shortcuts, but which ones are people actually using regularly. So can you tell us kind of you wake up in the morning and you press the, the icon on your iPhone. How does a day it looked with you using the shortcuts that she mentioned?

Matthew Cassinelli (00:07:42):
Sure, sure. Totally. And I think that's super fair. I think that's like the fundamental problem that I have with releasing so many is people are like, I just want a couple, but in theory there are a couple in there that you could just use and you don't have to get all of them. And mm-hmm <affirmative>, and I'm, I'm very maximal list in my approach. I'll say where if something can be done with shortcuts, I will make a shortcut for it and try to use that instead of doing it the main way. So I don't always ex I like don't expect people to match my behavior because part of it is I'm building so many of these that I just have them and I'm, I need to like create new methods of using them. But one of the biggest ways I actually take advantage of most of my shortcuts is through focus modes and the home screens on the iPad and iPhone, because they can show me the shortcuts widget contextually when I need it and hide it when I don't need it.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:08:38):
So I actually have, I think I have like 200 or more instances of the shortcuts widget. I there's gotta be more because anytime I can place a widget, I put, I turn it into a stack of 10 versions of the shortcuts widget <laugh>. So like, because I have like a hundred shortcuts for the music app. I have a music stack with 10 pages of shortcuts on it and I just flip through it. So even though it's kind of ridiculous, it actually works very, very well. And the main issue is just taking the time to set it up. But at that point I don't need these shortcuts most of the time if I'm working and I'm in my work focus mode, all of my personal shortcuts are totally hidden from me and I don't, I don't see them at all. And then if I'm doing a podcast or something, I have a podcasting mode. So I of course ease, focus modes excessively. But I just have a podcasting mode that then just shows me of the one screen with only the podcasting shortcuts and a stack of widgets showing me those. And so that's been my main way of it's totally fair. I have the criticism, like in my head of like actually using shortcuts, quote unquote, because the biggest thing is you can make these all day, when are you gonna use them? Is the big question for most people. So I think, oh, go ahead.

Rosemary Orchard (00:09:59):
I was gonna say, so you said you know, you switch home screens with, with focus mode, which we'll show people how to do in a moment. But do you also use the changing of focus modes to automatically run shortcuts? Because that's one of the things I do in the morning when my sleep mode turns off, that runs one shortcut when my work focus mode turns on the, that that runs another shortcut and so on, just, you know, getting like, for example, a list of things that I might need to do together so that I'm, I'm prompted of that so that I remember, oh right. Actually before my daily standup meeting, these were the things that I planned that I wanted to accomplish. And just getting a reminder, you know, actually actively sent to me instead of relying on me to unlock my, my phone and open the widget and look at it and go, oh yeah, these are the things I, you know, I've I found that, you know, I can fix my personal feelings a little bit with some shortcuts. Are you doing anything similar to that?

Matthew Cassinelli (00:10:47):
I'm doing a bit, although not as much as I want and probably only because I just haven't had time to do it yet. Like <laugh> I had a, I had so many bugs to this last. I had so many bugs that I, a lot of this stuff I was trying to use more, but I basically couldn't. So that's actually been like my, since automations just got the ability to hide their notification also mm-hmm <affirmative> so that you can turn off the show and run option. I believe it's what it's called in, in shortcuts now for any automation that I was like, okay, now, now automations are real. It was kind of, I don't know. <Laugh>, it's like in my joking way of like I did the degree that I would want to use them, it would get in my way with the notifications. So this was like built for me to be able to use it because I want to have like open the app, close the app, do all these things for the main one I am using though, is to change my watch face. So just go even more with the home screen thing is anytime my home screens change, my watch also changes to a different face. And I, and did you know that you can have like 40 watch faces or more <laugh>

Rosemary Orchard (00:11:55):
Wow. Yeah. My biggest problem with the watch faces is when you try and change them in the shortcuts that you don't know which one is, which I'm just gonna go back to because you, you mentioned the, the notifications, this is something that you can turn off and it's only for the shortcuts that can run or the automations in shortcuts that can run entirely automatically. So there's this edit automation screen. There's a very similar screen at the end of creating an automation where you can turn off us before running. And if you turn that off, then you see this notify one run option, which I should note defaults to off kudos to Apple there for, for doing that. Yeah. Because that, that's something that annoys me, but I have to say my biggest frustration with the Apple watch stuff. And you know, the the shortcuts is if I, for example, if I wanted to set a watch face and now I, I can't see the option to set my watch face. There it's yeah. Put ultimate one. Yeah. So I tap it and then it gives me in a moment, hopefully S options, X, large infograph, modular, breathe, fire, water, Nour, J X large. And I have no idea which one is which, so I have to go back to the shortcuts out to check which one it is through that, which is kind of frustrating. Especially if you then rearrange your shortcuts later, I created mini this shortcuts, Matthew, I'm guessing this is something you've done, right. Where you create mini shortcuts.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:13:12):
This is where my maximalist approach benefits me is because mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I made a folder of single shortcuts that just set the watch face and I named it just set podcasting face. And then I just run that shortcut from the automation. So, oh,

Mikah Sargent (00:13:27):
So sort of yeah, buried in. So you, you, it's it references ones that you've created, so you, once you do it once time, then you've got it figured out. That makes sense.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:13:37):
Totally. Yeah. And part of the whole, a new thing that I did do with the catalog, and one of the reasons that that very widespread approach works is if I made 40 shortcuts just to run my watch faces, I have that thing that I built. So fed COVID TEI figured out the whole on the Mac, you can sign shortcuts now that you've created from scratch or, or our older ones, but it basically means that shortcuts users can generate their own shortcut files and then make them approved by Apple that they're associated with my actual count. And then I can use those. And so he, he developed this method, that's he called the, I think it's just the injector to like, make, make a shortcut yourself. And I took that and realized, okay, I have all these shortcuts in their files that I can get in the app.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:14:33):
I want to turn all of those shortcuts into one shortcut. That just is a menu that runs all of my watch faces for example. And so I actually looked in at the code and designed my own, I'm calling it a compiler, cuz it's like, it's actually software development. At that point, it takes all of those individual set watch face shortcuts and puts them into a separate shortcut underneath menu options that says like podcasting face, work face and stuff like that. Ah, and so I can take this bundle that I make of too many shortcuts and turn it into just one shortcut that I can give to people. And they can use that. Like, you'd have to set up with your own watch faces for sample, but that's the way that I'm also using this is kind of test these different methods, building out a, a whole block of shortcuts and then just simplify it into one and hand it off to people too, which is a, which is a fun experiment.

Rosemary Orchard (00:15:26):
Yes. That is good. Fun. And for PE, for people who at home who are going, oh, you know, like if I go ahead and organize all my shortcuts and folders, is there a way that I can like quickly just choose from one of them? So if I wanna choose my watch face, how could I do that? There is a way that you can do this without having to, you know, get your Mac out and stuff use the, get shortcuts action and change it to get shortcuts for a folder. So I've got my widgets folder here, cause I've got several widgets that I run and then add a choose from a section. And then there's a run action. And I'll put a copy of this one in the, in the show notes for folks so that you can choose from shortcuts in a folder to run because that's an easier way of doing it for everybody at home. Totally. and then you can download Matthew shortcut to actually, you know, see the, the end result of the, the amazing work that he's done. There.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:16:09):
That's pretty much what I did originally, but the, I couldn't share those with people without it not being helpful, cuz they just have to go sit up themselves. So that's like, they don't have, that's exactly what it's doing, but it, it literally compiles the shortcut into one in the entire folder, which is I'm. I'm sorry. I'm so proud of this that I'm just telling you Rosemary, because I feel like this is something that you'll love <laugh>

Rosemary Orchard (00:16:33):
I? Yes.

Mikah Sargent (00:16:34):
That's one of those

Rosemary Orchard (00:16:34):
Things. I very much get it.

Mikah Sargent (00:16:36):
I'm over here reading about signing shortcuts from the command line. So don't mind me, I'm getting nerdy, but we do need to take a quick break before we come back. Lots more to talk about with Matthew Castelli joining us here today. Of course folks can head to Matthew that CA S I N E L L to check out the shortcuts catalog and the shortcuts library as well as the opportunity to sign up for a membership $15 a quarter or $50 a year and well worth it to get all the best shortcuts, the ones even more than are available in the library, but it's time for a break. And I think I can smell the coffee that's right. Folks, this episode of Iowas today is brought to you by trade coffee. Right now, trade is offering new subscribers, lots of goodies.

Mikah Sargent (00:17:32):
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Mikah Sargent (00:18:34):
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Mikah Sargent (00:19:23):
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Mikah Sargent (00:20:09):
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Mikah Sargent (00:20:59):
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Mikah Sargent (00:24:23):
Thank you for this delicious bag of coffee. Look on the bottom there. It says enjoy. And I am enjoying this coffee from broad sheet coffee roasters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All right, folks, back to the show. We've got Matthew Cassan Nelly here with us today to talk all things shortcuts and Rosemary is also providing, I love as, as Matthew's kept talking about different things and Rosemary's been providing some tutorials to go along with it. So let's let's bounce back into things. I, I wanna ask you, Matthew, what was I, so I know you get excited about any kind of shortcuts announcement or a new thing, but what I would really like to know is kind of the, the in the past, maybe, I don't know, three years, what has been kind of a thing that you discovered you could do with shortcuts or a thing that Apple announced was coming to shortcuts or something that really was just like, Ugh, I'm so excited. What really blew you way.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:25:27):
I'm gonna have to say shortcuts for max just to be straightforward. I like didn't ma I don't know what my head was at, but I didn't think that we were getting it when we did, maybe to be fair. Maybe it should waited till this year to be a little more stable or something with just how swift UI is performing, but I still think it's been amazing. And even just some of the workflow of working on the Mac has been really nice. I think I've always been an iPad person because of, well, the app workflow, not just the process of getting things done, but now that it's on the Mac as shortcuts, I'm like, oh yeah, I should use the Mac more. And so I've kind of come of the Mac a lot more than I was in the past. And it's been great.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:26:11):
I've always, I've always used the Mac as well. Like I never, I tried pretty hard not to say that I was iPad only cuz I wasn't. I used final cut and I doing things like managing the air table that I used to make this shortcuts catalog is just just and 10,000 pieces of data entry is a lot better on a Mac than an iPad, even, just cuz of the way the apps are built. So bringing it to Mac has been huge just because it can take advantage of some of the functionality that Mac can. And even one thing I did with the shortcuts catalog was I realized that you can, if you run a shortcut using a keyboard shortcut you can run it multiple times in a row and shortcuts will execute each of them in the background separately. Whereas on iPad, you can only run a shortcut and wait for it to finish and then run it again.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:27:05):
And so I have a shortcut that scrapes out my library and uploads it to my air table folder by folder. And so I could run like 15 folders blocking to air table in the background all at the same time. And it, it literally took a task that would take me eight hours. I could get it done in one. And so I've seen some just huge gains of some of this is just like functioning the way it should, but I was working so manually before that. Now I can just kind of power through it. So that's, that's been super fun and even just on the Mac in general, a lot of the limitations of just how iPad OS works are not there with the Mac. So I can use other existing automation or scripting tools on the Mac via shortcuts and do things that I've always wanted to do, like open a website and click on a certain spot or something like that. You just can't do that on iPad because there's no technology for it, but I can use Apples script to point that a specific spot on the page. So, oh, that's cool. Never thought that I would be getting back into Apples script now, but it's actually one thing that's, I'm just Googling and finding people who have solutions and then turning that into a shortcut. And it's awesome.

Rosemary Orchard (00:28:25):
I Love's how most peoples script to be honest, Apples scripts, a lovely language, but equally, I don't know many people who actually write it nearly everybody. I know, copies and past bits from the internet and sticks it together until it works. Or use people Mystro click it image

Matthew Cassinelli (00:28:39):
<Laugh> and in theory over the next couple years, shortcuts, we'll be able to just do those same command via native actions. But at least right now, it really is like I'm, I'm having a lot of fun, just simulating other keyboard shortcuts to like press globe F to maximize the window and stuff like that. So I can open up YouTube on, in the Chrome app and then maximize it and just like a immediately start watching a video. So like I've turned my Mac into like a TV screen when I'm using my iPad in front of it and like universal control stuff with all that has been awesome. So yeah, I'm, I'm just, I feel like iPad really hit its stride with shortcuts and I 15 in the focus modes thing. And then <affirmative> also, now I can use it perfectly alongside my Mac, which is great. And so I'm kind of getting the best of both worlds, which is

Mikah Sargent (00:29:34):
Play, play Miley Cyrus. So I agree. I, in fact I have used shortcuts more now that it is on the Mac than I have ever before in terms of creating shortcuts. Because for me there's something about the, the ability to move a cursor around on the screen and feel like I have more room. I'm all like, I just like having more room. And so the drag and drop thing to doesn't feel, it feels constrained for me. And so I have really enjoyed being able to kind of dig in with shortcuts a little bit more and feel like copy and paste and all of that are all very easy to do. So I, that also made me very happy. But even when they first announced it, I didn't that it was going to have such an impact that it ended up having. So I was, yeah, I was very happy with it coming to the Mac as well. I

Matthew Cassinelli (00:30:31):
Think you, and there's still a lot more to be seen with it too. Like it's not it, I had to, part of what took me so long with my catalog was that I had to just relearn what it even mean to use it from the Mac because especially because my home screen and widget thing doesn't apply at all on the Mac I'm not gonna lie. I have a stream deck that's totally filled out with pages on pages of shortcuts now. So, but that's also not realistic for a regular person as, as well. So I think I am sort of struggling with the part of I'm this ridiculous like workflow guy and now shortcuts for Mac is a different beast entirely, but things like the menu bar. And I have, I have another method that I'm trying to automate your ability to add the shortcut as a dot application.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:31:22):
So it's, it's actually like making your own app, but if you right click and add a shortcut to the doc, it actually turns it into an application in like a little bundle. And I'm basically trying to get like 400 of those <laugh> into a bunch of different folders that then I can just like preview and look through and click real quick. But I mean, yeah, there's, you can like right. Click on the shortcuts icon and run any ear shortcuts just from that. Yeah. Through like the folders and stuff like that. So they've thought about a lot of different ways, but it is just still fundamentally, I think keyword shortcuts actually are one of the best opportunities just cuz it's always there, but then I'm like mapping mentally like 10,000 keyboard shortcuts in my head or something like that. So I only have like 10 that I use from there.

Mikah Sargent (00:32:13):
Have, have there been, oh, go ahead Rosemary.

Rosemary Orchard (00:32:16):
No, I was gonna say Mikey, you wanted to say

Mikah Sargent (00:32:18):
Something. Yeah, I did. So I I'm curious the last time that you were either talking to somebody or, you know, texting with somebody or it doesn't matter, but you were talking to them and they had a problem or they had a solution or that they needed. And so you said, oh, you can do that with shortcuts. You gave them the answer or maybe you even just shared it on Twitter. I'm curious kind of the last time that somebody's eyes lit up or sort of digitally lit up where they were excited about a shortcut that you had that could help them with something. I think those are kind of feel good, fun moments where you are able to solve somebody's problem and where everybody's just kind of giddy together.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:33:05):
I feel like, I mean the, on the most recent, I just did another podcast too. And like automating the ability to share about your new episode and stuff. Even I did it for smart tech today with you might go for a while, but I like slowly, my process slowly fell apart while I was working on the catalog. But being able to like take a new episode and grab the, even the podcast player embed a code for your podcast and like put it on your website and things like that. I was doing that for Steven robs of Apple insider because every it's like, every time you post a new episode, you have to share it in so many places in a specific way and stuff like that. Yeah. And so if you have RSS feeds, there's a lot of cool opportunity just to make like templates for all of your stuff and, and even fill out your templates in a way that isn't. So templateized as it can tend to be that I think what's, what's hard is I just, I get so into the creative mode for people that I'm like helping very specific creator stuff. I mean I love just meal planning. I have a shortcut to help me with that because I hate doing it. And it's, it's one of those things where you're like, I have to do this again. I swear I just ate the other day. But like it's like laundry process. You

Rosemary Orchard (00:34:23):
Keep laundry and you immediately realize you're wearing clothes, therefore generating more laundry. It's

Matthew Cassinelli (00:34:27):
Totally terrible. I think what's when one thing that's true about my, even my shortcuts library was I did go super wide and not as like crazy deep in I did in some specific places, but just to go super deep and wide would take a lot more time as well. So I have been trying to solve a lot of simple problems for people. I know one that, I mean, I can just say my own favorite set of shortcut that I've been using lately are something that they added in iOS 15.4 is the set playback destination action. Now has parameters to let you add or remove speakers from a speaker group. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> on the fly. Yep. From

Mikah Sargent (00:35:08):
Oh nice control

Matthew Cassinelli (00:35:09):
Center options. Yeah. So this is like, nobody knows that this is a thing now and you can just do it with shortcuts. I have a shortcut where I just add all of the rooms in my house to this, to this speaker thing. And then it's just playing music is playing everywhere. Or it's like just my office and my bedroom that are upstairs because I wanna listen to music while I'm like getting ready for the day or something like that. And so on the fly speaker groups from home, pods has just never been possible before and Apple just kind of like snuck it into shortcuts. So I'm, I love it. I'm like walking around the house and then like this music stops in here. Once I leave the room and then get to the other one and it feels I gotta get the whole NFC set up too. So it's just like seamless moving around and right. My

Rosemary Orchard (00:35:57):
Speakers and detecting which room you're in. That'll be the tricky bit. I, I, I struggle with that in home automation a bit. I feel like I'm mostly there.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:36:05):
I'm so curious. We're in that zone where we have all I 15 and I 16 is just around the corner and there's a lot of stuff that I'm like, I would be very cool if they could, I don't know, like shortcuts for Mac, I think has been hard because there's not like tons of apps immediately supporting it or it's not clear just like, how do I use this on a daily basis to get all my stuff done, but I think they've set the groundwork now and they could add in more where suddenly you're able to do a ton more because they make it like there's no automations on the Mac. And so if they could make your apps and stuff, respond to it to shortcuts triggers more often, like there's a lot of potential that could just explode upwards from here. Which is exciting.

Rosemary Orchard (00:36:53):
Yeah. That would

Matthew Cassinelli (00:36:54):
Be NICES. Now That tend to really

Rosemary Orchard (00:37:00):
I was curious, Matthew, what do you also think about how shortcuts arriving on the Mac it's actually improved it on iOS? So one obvious thing that comes to mind is the fact that shortcuts on iOS can now access all of the folders and all of the data in all of the places mm-hmm <affirmative>, which until it came to the Mac, it couldn't do. And I'm guessing some of this is due that they couldn't really limit it like that on the Mac. It would've been a very artificial limitation. And considering in fact, it's supposed to replace automated that would've made it very difficult, but are there any other things that you can think of which are like that? Or is there anything in particular you're looking for to being improved as shortcut spreads

Matthew Cassinelli (00:37:39):
To iOS or to the Mac, which way

Rosemary Orchard (00:37:41):
In both directions in both directions? Yes,

Matthew Cassinelli (00:37:43):
That's fair. I mean I think in general, the cross platform nature of it means that more apps are going to add actions, including Apple zone apps. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> that just work across the different platforms and you can get everything from either situation, because I think that's, there's a little bit of like a gap in between or some, some overlap in one way, but not the other right now. And I think that's awkward, but it's also forcing the technology to get adopted on both platforms. Like I think one of the reasons I didn't think we were gonna get shortcuts for Mac is because workflow originally was so iOS based. It's like almost all of it was through the APIs that were available for iPhone and iPad and none of those were available on Mac. And so I thought it was just, I mean, maybe we were still in that middle zone where they just have to literally build those technologies in tobaccos for it to be able to work or rebuild it from scratch to work best across both.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:38:45):
And they never had the reason or the like, prompt to do it before. So I do wanna see more of that. I think think some of the, like, just overlap does need to get addressed sooner though. Like safari stuff is a little awkward right now. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and even just like that the Mac has a share sheet, but doesn't use it. And that's a key way that most people on iOS use shortcuts or, or you can, it's just a clearly obvious way to send data from out to another. And then you kind of have to go through the services menu on the Mac. I think that's awkward. Yeah. Just like that, it is, I mean, it's very fascinating being an iPad person coming back to the Mac and seeing, seeing shortcuts team really, they did really a really good job of adopting those Mac technologies the, by like only those and not like bringing it together so that people could kind of move between the platforms more.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:39:44):
I think that's kind of some of the realm. I mean, I'd love to see the keyboard shortcuts from the Mac on the iPad. That seems like, I don't know why we didn't get that this year, if it's possible. I mean, it's just sort of the like mental model for using the iPad doesn't really fit with that. But I think, I mean, even what I was saying, decoupling shortcuts from physically running in the app and being able to trigger them from a keyboard shortcut when you're not in shortcuts app, but also from other wraps is an important thing on, on the Mac. You can run an Apple script that calls a shortcut and runs it in the background for many app. And on the iPad, you have to physically open shortcuts and trigger the shortcut. Like something like drafts, can't take advantage of it iOS, but they can on the Mac right now and just bringing that out and making it work super well would be great.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:40:40):
Yeah. I, I'd just like to see a little more clarity from, from Apple on how you're supposed to use shortcuts for Mac, even with like things like Siri, because it seems, I don't know, there's like 44 ways to run a shortcut it across both. Blacks are probably even like 50 now. And so there is just like, this is the fundamental problem of someone like me of like, I wanna make every option in every way that you possibly can. And so it's like, how does everybody take advantage of that? It's like, well, just do it all. <Laugh> like, there's, it's, there's so much that at getting your specific thing, like some of my most valuable shortcuts are just ones that I only use and only really make sense to me. And I, like I was saying, logging my database and I I'll run it a hundred times and it'll save me hundreds of thousands of hours or whatever.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:41:34):
Like there's no way I could publish this without automating it. But also to somebody else that's just like not relevant and yeah, shortcuts tap into so many different places. So I think I do just want to see more examples in the gallery and more app actions from Apples apps to get third party apps into it and just sort of, there's so much potential. And sometimes I feel like I'm the only person shouting about it over here. <Laugh> <laugh> so just like seeing more from, from those spaces would be helpful just because other people need to get into this. And <affirmative>, I think just like making that easier to get past the learning curve in, into the deeper area is probably the biggest opportunity.

Rosemary Orchard (00:42:22):
Yeah. So we've got obviously a lot of listeners who write into us and there's always people going and what is the best way to do this? And the answer is there isn't a best way because it very much depends on your workflow, but I think having more from Apple examples would be really helpful there. So for example, if I want to run a shortcut on a file on iOS and Mac OS, what is their recommended method for doing that? Obviously I can figure it out myself, but to somebody who's brand new to this and who wants to be able to pick a file and have that automatically emailed to these three address is where it needs to go. And they, they need to do that on a regular basis. You know, what is the best way to do that? Should they go to the file, share the file into the shortcut.

Rosemary Orchard (00:43:03):
They start in the shortcut and have the shortcut scoped to a certain folder or do they just have to poke around and find the file eventually? You know, what is the best way to do that? And also to an extent it would be nice to be able to get more data out of things. So they recently added more functionality to the reminders app so that you can edit a reminder, but you still can't do things like get a list of your most recently received email or unread emails and things like that, to be able to, you know, consolidate that together. I know there's a lot of artists, who've got very area accessibility requirements. And some of them have been asking, you know, how can I use shortcuts to, to help me with this? And there's a lot of things you can do with back and so on, but really being able to help people by building shortcuts that go, okay, so these are the five pieces of information you want in the morning.

Rosemary Orchard (00:43:52):
Great. We're gonna have this so that when you say this command serial, then it's gonna come back and it's gonna tell you your unread emails and what's on your calendar. And so on and so forth, and just consolidate that altogether, instead of making them open all different apps and, and go through all the different things or run three or four different shortcuts to do it, you know, it would be nice to be able to do that sort of thing. And it would be great if Apple you know, have the ability to, to add some more focus on things like that as well, which would be great.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:44:21):
Yeah. I agree. Like they, there's a session at WWDC that they just did last year. That was, here's how you should build actions for shortcuts. And it was talking about like getting data out and creating new data and updating it and just having an instance of that file itself and things like that. And, and I sort of suspect that it's one of those things where until the team shared that they didn't actually have a final process even internally for, or how to actually build a good set of shortcuts, because it's confusing that it, this is a brand new thing that never existed before. And people like you and me Rosemary have been doing it for seven years before, longer than the app even literally has existed, technically because it was with workflow. So part of it is just like we are developing a programming community and some of these things are things that programmers have huge discussions on and try to figure out and create these methodologies that, that aren't always so obvious.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:45:24):
And even like, I'll just be clear. Like I worked there and then I don't work there anymore. And so this is the thing that I would've been probably doing internally. And so like, I'm not even sure who, like, I don't know, I don't wanna like comment on them, but it's, it's part of it is like, let's talk about that Rosemary and decide for people what's the best solutions because ultimately shortcuts is also always going to be built by, or like what shortcuts is, is built by people like Gus and people who get into this and giving Apple feedback to, and sharing it goes a long way because they want to improve this and they listen it's sometimes we have to be like, Hey, this is pretty broken on the Mac to get, to get them to fix it, but it's still, I think it's it's just kind of part programming as well.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:46:13):
That is, seems like it should be more clearer, but it's, it's a whole new paradigm really. Like I talked to Matthew Boff and their advice was really helpful because there are an engineer and what I'm doing with my shortcuts library is making well factored shortcuts that do one thing well, and you know what it does, and it always works reliably, but I have just done it at scale. It's like I have my own app store basically for these shortcuts. And so my goal is to go a lot deeper and develop these methodologies. That's, here's the best way to do it, or here's all the ways you can do it and then sort of pick for yourself, sort of whatever works cuz that's, that's the realm that I operate in is I know that all of this is available and if there's a problem that I haven't solved yet, I can make a shortcut and often under half an hour and depends on how complex it is.

Matthew Cassinelli (00:47:10):
Obviously if I get into deeper stuff, it can take me, but it doesn't, it's pretty quick. And one of the weird things is when you just solve your problems and you're done, like, I actually have run into that a little bit where I was just like, I felt like I should be more stressed out, but I actually did all the stuff I needed to do. And it didn't take as much time. And I was like, this isn't right. <Laugh> like, I'm not used to this situation. So I, I just wanna like get other people into that realm because even still me dropping hundreds of shortcuts, isn't teaching you how to use shortcuts. It's, it's making the functionality available to people so they can just use it. But that's still the goal is to do shows like this and just work I'm we both I'm, I'm claiming your time now that you should come on my livestream and I wanna build shortcuts with you cuz that's where the most fun is. And just like sharing the, the process of how we think about it. That's where I could build all of these shortcuts differently depending on the context and what people need. 

Rosemary Orchard (00:48:16):
Yes. Yeah. Speaking of building shortcuts, my, I recently helped you build a shortcut and I was wondering if you would want to share that and then Matthew can you know, maybe provide some commentary on it as well, because I know I did a little bit of digging to help you figure out, you know, where we needed to go on this, but I didn't really investigate it all that much because I just knew Slack's got an API. And you know, I think we can solve your problem with this, but I dunno if you're able to share the, hopefully the API token is hidden so that people won't see that 

Mikah Sargent (00:48:47):
Yeah, in, in your

Rosemary Orchard (00:48:48):

Mikah Sargent (00:48:50):
Can take a look at that. But I do wanna take a quick break first and then we will address that and then we'll head into we'll. We'll talk about the shortcut and then we'll go into feedback and questions in the rest of the show. I wanna tell you about it pro TV. If you haven't heard about them, then you clearly haven't been watching TWI because it pro TV has been a sponsor for TWI for such a long time. And to the they're bringing you this episode of iOS today, the world of it, look it's colossal and it's always changing all the time. Where do you start to get the updated certs and training you need, whether you're a seasoned it professional or you're just getting started. It pro TV is the online learning it education platform. You need to advance your skills in it.

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Rosemary Orchard (00:51:28):
Yes. Yeah, it's got the X Y problem. And basically the idea is when you're solving a problem, you need to keep in mind what your actual end destination is. So for example, if you are a problem that you're trying to solve is to automatically close your curtains at night. You don't want to get hung up on, so I'm gonna gonna be using this particular solution, but they don't have a home kit plugin. So I'm gonna need to use HomeBridge or home assistant or talk to the API. So I'm gonna talk to the API and you get stuck on the talking to the API and you forget that your end solution is to actually close the curtains at night or that's your end goal. And so you need to keep that in mind when trying to solve your problem, because otherwise you can get stuck in very weird unhelpful to you places. That's the, the idea behind it. Anyway.

Mikah Sargent (00:52:13):
Yes. And I think that it works doubly for those of us who are providing assistance to other people or in my case asking assistance, because when people come to me asking me for something, oftentimes they'll sort of obscure the problem that they're having. They'll give an example of the problem instead of just saying what the problem is itself. Right? And so in the past, when I was asking Rosemary for help, I was doing that. I was giving an example of a thing I was trying to do, instead of just saying the exact thing I was trying to do. So this time, when I went to Rosemary, I was like, look, I'm just going to tell you exactly what I'm dealing with. It's gonna take a minute, but if I do, so I think we're gonna get to the answer a little bit easier. So I'll tell all of you we have of course these different shows that we do on the network iOS today is one example and these shows are recorded. And then they're edited by the editor in this case, it's the wonderful Anthony Nielsen, who is also our technical director. And after it's edited and looked over and all that kind of stuff, it gets published online and it gets published in four places. It gets published as a, as a publicly available audio feed, a publicly available video feed. It also gets published as a a club TWI version with no ads, that's audio version and a club TWI version with no ads. It's a video version. So four different feeds. You're

Speaker 7 (00:53:39):
Missing two, but go on.

Mikah Sargent (00:53:40):
Oh, oh, okay. It's fine. Yeah. So, so there are a lot basic just, just understand that there are a lot of feeds that, that go out. A lot of versions that go out. And what we have to do is after those go out, after they're published to the feeds, we need to go and make sure that it was correctly published, that it is actually the show, that kind of thing, because the last thing you want to hear is someone tweeting at you a couple of days later saying, Hey I was going to listen to iOS today, and instead it was security. Now I don't understand what's going on. That didn't happen. This is just an example. So I, as the producer of of Mac break weekly, for example, check that to make sure. And then there's a specific place that we go in slack to say, basically, Hey, I've checked all of the feeds it's gone up on, oh, YouTube was the place.

Mikah Sargent (00:54:31):
One of the places that I forgot it's gone up on YouTube and then it's gone up on those feeds. And what I would do in the past is go into pocket casts. That's the app that I used to listen to podcasts and hit play each one. And you just need to kind of hear the first 30 seconds to make sure that it's the correct episode. Listen to all of those and then go to YouTube, listen to it there. And then I would go into slack and I would type out you know, Mac break weekly is up across feeds and YouTube. Then what I did was I on my Mac, I love the application called text expander. So I created a little snippet where all I would have to do is type FC for feed check, and then the the code for the show, the short code for the show.

Mikah Sargent (00:55:20):
So for example, Mac break weekly short code is MB w so I'd type FC MB w and then it would pop out the, that says, Mac break weekly is up across feeds and YouTube, and then I could just head hit enter. So I wanted to make that easier for me when I was if I was downstairs watching something you know, and I, I went ahead and checked the feeds using my phone. I didn't have that keyboard shortcut set up because for, for multiple reasons. So what I did was I created a shortcut that had a menu. And so I would tap the, the icon that's called feed check and up at the top, it would say which show, and there was a selection for the different shows that I produce. I would tap on that. And it would basically copy or no, no, it create some text and provide me a share sheet.

Mikah Sargent (00:56:12):
So then I would tap on the slack icon and then scroll through and find the proper channel, tap on that. And then I could paste the text into there, hit enter. So it saved me a little bit of time, but what I was curious about and what I asked Rosemary about was is there some sort of deep linking feature that slack provides, because if you go in shortcuts and you try to find the slack app, there's not a lot of magic happening there. So there's not some integrations. So I thought there's gotta be some way where I can have shortcuts open up up a link. That's like this slack channel to this or this, this slack account to this slack channel. And then I can just paste it there. But Rosemary was like, you know what? I think we can make it even easier than doing all of that by making use of Slack's API. So easy,

Matthew Cassinelli (00:57:02):
Which way though,

Mikah Sargent (00:57:04):
It's easy and

Matthew Cassinelli (00:57:06):
Your shortcut, but <laugh>

Mikah Sargent (00:57:08):
Yeah. So,

Rosemary Orchard (00:57:09):
Well, it turns out quicker. We didn't even need to make a shortcut because that's the best part of this. I found one on routine hub and I

Matthew Cassinelli (00:57:16):
Checked it. Yeah. I mean, that's great. The community is love. I love that.

Rosemary Orchard (00:57:21):
Yeah. Fortunately the shortcuts community is pretty good and pretty great at producing a bunch of different things. So I went Digg and I looked and I was pretty certain, I remembered seeing something on routine hub, that's routine, They've got lots of great shortcuts there. As examples that you can download from various creators. And one of the ones that I found was a slack shortcut. So of course I read through it to make sure that it's not a secretly sending Micah's API key off to somewhere else and then said, go ahead and try this one out. And then Micah, you managed to report back with some pretty great news.

Mikah Sargent (00:57:53):
Yes. So and Anthony, I posted a link in the, in the the sheet so that she, you can go to routine hub if you want to, but yeah. So Rosemary checked it and made sure that it was, yeah, it was not doing anything nefarious. And basically this it's complicated in it's setup because you need to, I basically need to create my own app with, with slack, but the creator of this sends to slack feature has a great walkthrough that tells you exactly how to do it, like what process to follow it. And so I had to generate my own kind of API key and all that kind of stuff. So a little bit complicated, but now, because of because of this, it, I did what you mentioned earlier, Matthew, the sort of referencing another shortcut mm-hmm <affirmative> so my original shortcut that popped up that menu. I had it create, you know, the text, whatever it happened to be. And then I just referenced the send to slack shortcut there. And so at the end, it sends this to slack and I've got the specific channel already connected via the API. So now all I do is I tap that icon that says, you know, run feed check. It says which show I tapped the show and then immediately in the specific channel on slack up pops, the text that I needed. That's cool. So now it's too fast. Does

Matthew Cassinelli (00:59:15):
It send it to, or do you have to press send

Mikah Sargent (00:59:18):
At that? It sends it itself, like it's all automatic. Yeah. So all I have to do is press the icon to run it and then press which show, and then I'm done. I, because I'm always skeptical. We'll also then go into slack and make sure that the message was sent, but every time that I've done it so far it's been sent. So yeah, this was amazing. It was very easy. I, I like, ultimately it was very easy to set up. It just took a little work and I did need the Mac to do it. But I loved that. Now you posted in the discord with a link, where did you generate that code that comes at the end there?

Matthew Cassinelli (00:59:59):
That is through, so I shared a URL scheme to these, like how the slack URL scheme works, which is slack colon slash slash channel question, mark team equals ID, and then your ID in there also. And so I think, I just, I think if you just right click on a channel, you can copy the the main,

Rosemary Orchard (01:00:21):
You need to have the developer mode enabled in slack for that. I believe because it, it doesn't show up for everybody, for every channel, depending on what permissions you've got, that's fair for, for it. Whereas theoretically in the case of slack, somebody else could create an API token for you and give it to you and scope it so that it can only post who certain channels. So you don't even have to do any of that. And then they just tell you, you know, this is, this is your API token, here's your channel done? Yeah.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:00:49):
And like, part of the reason I haven't shared my slack shortcuts is cuz I didn't have like a great solution for this. I think if, if you're on slack, on the web, you can see in the URL, the consistent team ID as when you like exchange pages. And then if you, that makes sense, like channels have their own ID versus if you DM somebody it's a different URL. Yeah, but the only reason I share that was because my solution, a lot of times for shortcuts it's like I could go into an API and have it do it, but I don't know how to use that API or I'm just like the part about getting to this actual solution is what I would do most of the time is just take me there and then I can paste it in. And yeah, even though that's totally like your idea, your method is so much cooler and fun because it actually does it for you. If you can't get to that point, I'm, I'm a huge fan of the 80 20 rule of shortcuts. Yeah. Is you can get 80% of the value by just putting you in the right spot. And then I can just press paste and send the message. And like, I don't have to learn APIs to do that, but at the same time, exactly that last 20% can still provide a ton of value except that it, it usually takes 80% of the time is how it works is you, you spend your time figuring out the API.

Rosemary Orchard (01:02:06):
And that's what I really recommend. People look at your catalog for routine hub, the shortcut subreddit, things like that. You know, there is a very good chance that the problem that you're trying to solve has already been solved or 80% solved by somebody else. And so you can take that and, and just do the 20% of the work, which is of course what, you know, what we really want to do because, you know, we don't, we don't wanna waste lots and lots of time creating fabulous things that we don't use all that frequently, but for something like this for Mya and for the, the TWI team as well, I think it's a pretty useful feature to be able to send, you know, format of messages to certain channels when you've done a thing. You know, next step Micah is amping it up a little bit. So that first of all, you run a shortcut and it asks you which show you're checking, and then it opens all the different things in sequence for you to check and to make sure that everything's okay,

Mikah Sargent (01:02:55):
Honestly, that is what I was, I was noodling on that trying to figure out if there's a way that I can cause I've got a direct link to the MP3 or whatever file it happens to be in the different place. So if I could even have it go to that place, grab the first 30 seconds of that file and present it to me. So I could just hit play, play, play, play <affirmative> and here, you know, hear them one after the other. Yeah. I've, I've sort creep out the, I feel

Matthew Cassinelli (01:03:25):
Material entirely. Yeah. I mean you could, if you just did a get contents that URL on the MP3 link, it should download, I don't know about trimming the media file that

Rosemary Orchard (01:03:36):
You can trim media files and shortcuts. That that's something that you can do would have,

Matthew Cassinelli (01:03:40):
Have to physically do it. There could be an API too that could like scrape just the 31st, 32nd or something like, that's a cool, that's the exact kind of thing that I would want to do as well. And it's one of those things where there just like, isn't the perfect tool that can do that trimming part. But this is also like, I think we now exist in a world where somebody should make that app because every single video editor and podcast person would use that kind of tool. Like mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I mean, maybe it could be automated through Apple's motion app or like compressor or something too. And this is where just being on the is, there's just a whole new world of apps and especially pro apps that you can do this stuff with. And it's just like, nobody's thought about to do it yet with shortcuts.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:04:30):
And so like we could figure that out and that could be a really solid solution and especially, yeah, it's like, here's your, here's your four 32nd previews. Just listen to those. I was even when you were talking about it in my brain, I was like, I can pull the RSS feed. I can pull just the YouTube channel, scrape out the RSS link, grab the items from the RSS feed and then append 30 seconds to the end of the video URL so that you start out 30 seconds into the video and you know exactly where you are. Oh

Mikah Sargent (01:05:01):
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. With with YouTube that it's a little bit easier. All right, folks I can hear the music. It is telling us we need to move into S corner

Mikah Sargent (01:05:20):
Welcome to shortcuts corner. This is the part of the show where you write in with your shortcuts requests and Rosemary Orchard. These shortcuts expert provides a solution or at the very least say, Hey, that's a great question. We're gonna learn more and try to try to get this solve. The first one comes in from Greg Greg Wrightson. Hi folks. I am a longtime fan. I've recently added a dual SIM to my iPhone 12 pro one for work. One for personal. What I'm trying to do is have my work line incoming calls diverted to another number. For example, my office to pick up when I am away, example is, would be when I'm on holiday or the weekend, et cetera, with all other calls coming through to my personal line. Is there a way to set up a shortcut that I can simply switch on the divert ability or any such way I can implement this? Ideally I would then love to be able to incorporate this into focus modes as well, thanking you in advance, Greg from Sydney, Australia. Oh, this one's interesting because we're working dual Sims. Now this is mm-hmm <affirmative>. This is one of those newer features for the iPhone. And so with that, I imagine there's not as much support to work work out the magic here, but maybe you've got an idea.

Rosemary Orchard (01:06:32):
Well, it really depends. And honestly a, a chunk of this Greg is gonna depend on the carrier that you're using, unfortunately for for, for, you know, your, your work provider specifically. I've just made an assumption because I know one telecoms provider in Australia. So I've just looked at the Telestra website. And they do appear to have some pretty decent support for call forwarding where you can just open the phone app type in a code followed by the number then type in the rest of the code and that's it. And the number is not the phone number that you're forwarding to. It's saying what kind of call diversion you want. And so I've taken a few different attempts at this because what I tried to do was just have your have shortcuts input that into the phone automatically.

Rosemary Orchard (01:07:17):
And that seemed like a great idea. I did it in contacts, tapped on the contact, it worked perfectly, and then I've tried to do it from shortcuts and shortcuts said, this isn't a phone number. What are you trying to do to me? And that, that was kind of, unfortunately, the end of that. And so what I've got is I've got two potential versions using this sort of thing. And it looks to me like, depending on what carrier with around the world, there's usually some sort of option for this. Now I should note the number that I've got here, star hash zero six hash. This is not a call forwarding number. This gets like your device IM E I and, and, and stuff like that. So I'm, I'm not actually going to execute the full thing, but what this does, is it copies the text to forward your calls to your clipboard, and then it opens the phone app.

Rosemary Orchard (01:08:02):
So if I run this, then it opens the phone app. I was already on the keypad. And then I can just tap up here into the space above the, the number pad hip paste, and then I can call. And if I call, then it will actually execute the command. It doesn't actually make a phone call. Now of course, assuming that you can do this, this would enable call forwarding, but it wouldn't disable it. So I aimed it up. I've got a little dictionary here, so you can choose between on and off. And so if I selected off then TA da, it does the same thing as it did before. And so this is probably the solution I would go with, but there is one further option, which is if your carrier doesn't support call forwarding like this. And if, I mean, if they've got text message solutions where you can just text them to forward a number, then that's really easy.

Rosemary Orchard (01:08:51):
We can definitely help out with that. But the other option is to open settings. And so there's a URL just like Matthew talked about with slack, just now to open the preferences on your phone to the phone app so that we can go straight into here. And then what you can do is you can tap on call forwarding, and then you could turn on call forwarding from here. Now, if you've got two Sims in your phone, you're gonna want to make sure you set this up. Correct. So it doesn't forward all of your calls, just your, your work calls. But from previous experience, when I had two SIM cards in my phone that was something that I was able to do which is pretty handy. So fingers crossed Greg that one of these solution for you. And I look forward to hearing whether or not that works the, because you know, it, it would be good to find out from different people, whether or not this actually works, I'm guessing at how Australian telecoms providers work and that hoping that they all do the same thing as Telstra, which is probably incorrect.

Rosemary Orchard (01:09:46):

Matthew Cassinelli (01:09:49):
Rosemary, I have a quick question. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that only, that page only exists when you have call forwarding enabled as

Rosemary Orchard (01:09:57):
A feature with your carrier. Well, I'm curious

Matthew Cassinelli (01:10:00):
If if you typed, if you tried to make that U and path equals call forwarding.

Rosemary Orchard (01:10:07):
I did. I did. Okay. Yeah, I, I did try, unfortunately, I, I spent a good, like 15 minutes trying to find the correct path. Unfortunately settings on I on iPhone just don't have deep links. It's the same actually on the Mac certain system preferences, pains, and tabs can be opened with the URL, some of them can't. And so unfortunately the best we can do is to get you into the phone. And sometimes the, you may find in a future version of iOS C a path for call forwarding works, and sometimes you may find it doesn't and we'll just have to wait and see with each version of iOS. But the foam one has worked consistently for a few years now.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:10:43):
Totally. on the Mac, in case you didn't know, you can go in and look at the dot preference pain file and open that file in order to access those pages. And yeah. You don't, if it, anybody wants any of these, don't worry about it because I have shortcuts coming for every single settings page on I <laugh> that's available or not every single one, some of them, I was like, okay, I don't need to do every part of screen time, but I went through and made cross platform shortcuts, one that opens the page on the Mac. And then if it's run on iOS, it'll open that page two. And I'll, I'll have to release those soon. Now that I've told people about, yes,

Rosemary Orchard (01:11:23):
You'll Show notes and

Mikah Sargent (01:11:25):
You do, that's why we come. That's why people come on shows so that they have to sort of hold themselves to this. All right, this next one comes from Toby, Toby Wrightson, hi, Rosemary and Micah and Matthew. I am a regular listener and a big fan of your podcast. Thanks so much. I am quite new in the Apple ecosystem and home kit. For some information, I have a home pod mini as the home kit hub running the latest software version and an iPhone 12 running the latest iOS. I have the following question about home kit automation. When I set up a home automation, I am able to select a home kit sensor as the trigger for the automation. For example, if the humidity in a room gets higher than 60%, but in that home automation, I can only do actions with the home kit devices, not with my phone, like showing a notification on my phone or creating a reminder.

Mikah Sargent (01:12:09):
When I set up a personal automation in the shortcuts app, I am a able to do actions with my phone like notifications and setting reminders, but this kind of automation cannot be triggered via a home kit sensor. So how can I create an automation, which is triggered automatically when a home kit sensor has a certain value and then do something on my phone, like notification and creating a reminder. And then Toby provides a concrete example. When the heat humidity in the bathroom goes higher than 60% show a notification on my iPhone and create a reminder to open the window in 10 minutes. I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions for this issue. Thanks a lot. And greetings from Germany, Toby, thank you, Toby. Yes. I remember lamenting about this in the past, and then getting the answer that I needed. Rosemary, what is the answer that we need?

Rosemary Orchard (01:12:58):
Well, there's a whole host of different solutions, depending on what you want. You could look into HomeBridge and setting things up with a web hook sensor there, so that when something happens, you turn on a HomeBridge switch, which actually I dunno, sends an email to you or talks to, to something like pushover or things like that. But the solution that I'm going to suggest for this is actually a great app called push cut on iPhone and iPad. And what it does is it gives you the ability to send notifications at various times and its original creation was all behind. The idea you might not want the same scene to consistently trigger at sunset. You might actually want to be asked at sunset, which scene it is that you want to happen. So what you do here is you create notifications.

Rosemary Orchard (01:13:46):
I've already created one. So I'm just gonna tap on the home automation. And then this is a URL. So this alone doesn't do anything. But if I copy the URL, then what I can do is inside of the home app. And I will just pop into here. I can create an automation and what I can do is I'll, I'll just do it for when people arrive right now, because it doesn't matter too much. What the trigger is. What we need to do is show you what to do. So we get to this scene, you know, when whatever it is to trigger, my automation happens and we scroll down and we tap convert to shortcut. We delete this action and then we can run, get contents of URL. Now you might be thinking this doesn't add a reminder. No it doesn't, but it does send us a notification.

Rosemary Orchard (01:14:31):
So what I'll do is I'll just paste this here and I've put a link in that we can include in the show notes to show you all of the different options that you can add. But if I, if I do a post, then I can add some options to add, for example, the title and description and everything. And then what will happen when this happens? I'll just quickly disable my podcasting focus mode so that I can show you then I actually got a little notification here, see home automation, this shouldn't be empty because I need to actually fill in the data. Now, assuming I've filled in the data, then what happens is when this runs, it gets the contents of this URL, which causes the push cut service to go, oh, cool. Let's send her a notification. Now what you can do behind the scenes in push cut, for example, is you can add actions.

Rosemary Orchard (01:15:17):
So when you then tap on this, then it can actually do things like add the reminder for you. Or you can get really nerdy and get something like this. So this is a spare iPhone that I have, and I know not everybody has a spare iPhone, but maybe there an older iPad running around in your family or something. And this just has a experience, says automation server. If I tap on it, then actually it's an automation server for push cut. So it sits here all day, doing things for me. So for example, it will send messages that are delayed. So if I want to send somebody a message at four 30, and I remember at 10 o'clock in the morning, then I can queue it up. And after four 30, that message will be sent and other things, but it could also add that reminder for you. Now of course, that side of it is potentially a bit overkill, but we can certainly self a notification problem for you Toby. So fingers crossed that gives you a good place to get started.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:16:11):
Okay. I have some questions as oh, of course, is someone who loves push cut and has hasn't done this enough because again, the scale thing I think is where I needed to figure out my actual set first, before I can do some of this automation. I totally, as we were saying this, like, I wanna request from push cut just a time parameter, because if this is all triggered from push cuts servers, in theory, we could even, when a web hook is hit, you could still pass in a time value and it could wait 10 minutes and then just send it for you. 

Rosemary Orchard (01:16:46):

Matthew Cassinelli (01:16:47):
But it's not built into this at all right now, but I would, it, it feels like this is something I should add because it seems like a pretty and thing to, if, if you could just get the push cut notification 10 minutes later, that could be the reminder that your window was open and you should close.

Rosemary Orchard (01:17:01):
Yes. Yeah. So I did actually talk to the folks at push cut about this Simon, one of the original creatives. And, and I've talked to some of the other developers there as well about this because what they, what they're aware of is the ability to lose data. And basically if they're holding onto things for, I say 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 weeks, then first of all, you might forget that you've queued that thing up and go, what the heck is this? Why is this coming now? And secondly, there's always the possibility that, you know, something disappears in that timeframe. And so their suggestion for things like this is instead of queuing up a notification to send later that you use the push cut server, which of course is unfortunately an, an extra subscription though. There is a one time in a purchase for that.

Rosemary Orchard (01:17:47):
And then you queue that up. And so that this then handles the 10 minutes, send me the notification to do this. Yeah. Part which I have to say I do that for a whole bunch of things and it works very well. And I quite like the fact that it's under my control then instead of me potentially needing to go log into a server to see a queue of things that are queued up for the future, where especially if, if I've got an automation that's gone awry, I might have 50, 60 different things in there and having to clear those out, which would not be great. Totally. So, so their, their suggestion was that you, you take that into your own control and do something so that things get queued up for later or whatever it is on your end, but I can see why people would want that feature. And of course, if you, the feature you should ask the CROs of push got, if you'll add

Matthew Cassinelli (01:18:32):
It for you. Yeah. I mean, that's a pretty good reason. I think it's just fair too. That part of it is that just with home automations in general, they don't run on your phone at all. They're running on the home pod. And so that's like why this there's this split in personal automations versus home automations and the functionality it's like anything in the home automations, they are all just functions that Apple can make and without actually using any sort of app. So like calling the weather data or making URL requests, or just things that they're, they're basically just making their own API request from your, from your device. And so that's where there's not this overlap of your home podcast, like open your phone and run something. And even what we were saying before about executing stuff in the background from the Mac, bringing that to iOS could enable personal and home automations to become no, there's like no difference between the mean you could run things on your different devices.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:19:34):
And that mm-hmm <affirmative>, that would be very, very cool. Like this is a, a huge downside of shortcuts right now is that people want home kit things to trigger actions in the shortcuts app. And to be fair, there also is I can't even remember it off the top of my head, right? The home signals for home kit on the Mac can, if you have a always on Mac can act as a server that monitors for home kit triggers and then kicks off real shortcuts on the Mac and sets a reminder for 10 minutes from now. So like, if you did have a Mac mini, you could technically do some of these things now, but it's again, you're like trying to execute iOS stuff from a Mac and home. So you're like, this is now this other different Daisy chain of devices. But that is possible.

Rosemary Orchard (01:20:24):
Yeah, it's complex. And I, it's one of the reasons why Apple's not looked into this all that much is because, you know, somebody else opens a window and you're not even at home and you get a notification, say the window's open. Does everybody in the home get the notification? Do you just, you get that notification it's complex of a can of worms. I think they'll presence. Figure it out.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:20:43):
Yeah. Is I think the same, they just take time to do it. Right. And not a way that would create huge issues. And there's, there's like legitimate security reasons for all of this stuff. So I think that's something that's like, we of course want it to work right away, but they don't just want your, your like mom to set it up. And then she's suddenly getting all the like home kit reminders constantly. No, what temperature it is and has no idea how to turn it off or something. So

Rosemary Orchard (01:21:11):
Exactly. Yes.

Mikah Sargent (01:21:13):
All righty folks we need to head into the end of the show. So coming up will be our, our app caps after this ad break. So if Matthew hasn't gotten an app cap yet, now's the time for him to do that? While I tell you about wealth front to bringing you this episode of iOS today, stock trading, it can be a wild ride, but the thrill of risking it all is best enjoyed in moderation. Like everything, including casino, gambling, and eating questionable food. If you're playing the market, I hope for you are sake that you're stashing some safer money in a play, a like wealth front. You might think that day trading stocks is the secret to investing success. But wealth front has a ton of data to show that time in the market. Almost always beats timing in the market.

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Rosemary Orchard (01:23:56):
Head it's red, it's white it's Stripe. It's got a white brim. There's also a little red bow tie and some white gloves. And I am today, the cat and the hat, which is amazing appropriate because apparently I spent quite a bit of time sleeping, which is one of the things that I've been tracking with the Uber at ring. So I know a lot of people have, you know, tried out the Apple watch and they find a smart watch is not right for them. They don't like the notifications that they get. They don't like the distractions, the display. They don't like the fact that everybody can kind of tell that they've got a smart watch on. And the U ring is an alternative solution to the ability to track data without the abil, the, you know, the parts of the Apple watch the pay, be people don't enjoy or Fitbit or similar because, you know, they all work in a very similar way and the URA is a ring.

Rosemary Orchard (01:24:42):
It comes in a, a couple of different colors and so on. And then it gives you a whole bunch of different datas. So you can see, for example, your activity, goal progress. I've not done lots of work work working out today, but I am gonna go to a ballet class in a little bit. I can see my heart rate tracked over various times. I can see whether or not I'm ready for the day and so on. And there's other integrations as well. I should note that I've got 63% battery, which is not bad. And the battery charger is adorable. It's this little circle. And you just pop the ring off, which is a little difficult to do live on camera, of course. And then you pop it on the ring and it charges wirelessly and immediately updates to show that it's charging.

Rosemary Orchard (01:25:23):
So I, yeah, that works pretty well. But I have say I'm impressed with the you ring. It is. So the app of course is free. But purer ring is $299. But to start with you, don't get a ring. You get lots of rings, you get mm-hmm, <affirmative> I believe it's eight plastic rings. And the idea is that you try them out for D for size to see which one fits you the most comfortably along with the parameters. And the idea is you wear it for 24 hours to make sure that you go through all of the different temperatures and everything that you might have whilst wearing a ring so that you, you know, actually can decide whether or not it fits. And I'm just gonna pull out the biggest one to just quickly show people, because it's a little difficult on my actual ring to see that there are some little bumps inside, and these are the sensors, so I'll hold up my actual ring next to it.

Rosemary Orchard (01:26:14):
Just for comparison. But the, the outside the ring is silver. This is heritage silver. And then the inside is, it's a lovely, and there's like chipboards and everything in there with the little sensors. And this was a pretty great device. I'm really pleased with it. I believe they did actually sponsor the show back with the first generation version. But I'm very pleased with how comfortable this is and how easy it is to track things. And also the battery life. I've not charged this and it's at 63%. That's pretty great going. Wow. so yeah, so if you're looking for a way to track some data, but you don't necessarily feel that you need all the data that you could get from the Apple watch and you certainly don't want the notifications. Then I would recommend checking out the Uber ring, the, the sizing kit does come for free after you've for the watch.

Rosemary Orchard (01:27:05):
And then when you picked it, you, you selected, and I have to say, they told me it would be a couple weeks after I selected my size before the actual ring arrived and it arrived three days later. So I'm very impressed. Oh that they can, they can do that. Their logistics seem to be pretty great. And they offer a bunch of different colors and everything. They also offer a subscription in their app where you can do meditation and more, and all of the data syncs to Apple health kit, which means of course, all of your data can be centrally stored in one place, making it really easy for you to do for you to keep an eye on.

Mikah Sargent (01:27:39):
I keep meaning to get one of these. I just need to go ahead and make it happen. Because I, a lot of folks I know who like to do the quantified self are big fans of the aura ring. And I totally now that it's in its third generation, I think it's well worth taking a look at it. The body temperature features more than anything else, I think because that's one thing the Apple watch does not current only do. And it's always nice to have comparisons of data to see how different things are tracking you differently. All right. Next is Matthew Castelli. Tell us about the cap at top of your head, and then tell us about your app cap.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:28:20):
This hat that I have is my favorite hat that I lost a couple years ago for years on end, and then found it it one day I, I like wore it and it's in my profile picture, which is like a film photo from Hawaii. And I was like, this is great. And then I got home from the trip and was like, where the heck is my hat. And I couldn't find it for so long. But the reason I wanted to share it is because I want to scan the symbol in that at using the laundry scan app. Here, I'm gonna have to take off my

Mikah Sargent (01:28:50):
Hair work

Matthew Cassinelli (01:28:51):
And forgive me if my hair just got messed up. But basically I have this app called laundry scan, which of course has a shortcut. But here, wait, let me, I guess that's the only interface is just a scanning capability, but the shortcut just opens this camera too, to make it easy, but you basically can go in and scan the symbols. And it'll tell you like, oh, you need to machine wash it. The camera is wasn't focusing. I was having trouble with this a second ago, but it's basically, it

Rosemary Orchard (01:29:23):
Might be cuz it's connected to EAM. It occasionally causes the camera to go slightly out of focus. I found, which is very frustrating.

Matthew Cassinelli (01:29:32):
That's probably what it is. It did it a second ago, but it was like machine wash at, oh, there we go up to 86 degrees and stuff like that. And so it's just like a cool little, like I it's basically like nobody knows what the heck does actually mean. And this it's obviously just a symbol that it can scan and just let you know. So I guess this works better when it's not plugged. Of course, every time you try to demo it, it doesn't work, but <laugh>,

Mikah Sargent (01:29:54):
That is my well, yeah, so that's a laundry lens, right?

Matthew Cassinelli (01:29:57):
Yeah. Awesome. Or laundry. Yeah. That's it.

Mikah Sargent (01:30:01):
Laundry lens. All right. Cool. and that is available for free in the app store, which is quite nice last but not least is my I'm wearing a straw hat at top of my head. You can tell it was in a box. And so it's very bent normally that this brim should be pretty flat, but a last that is not the case. The app that I wanna talk about is a new app called momently it's available for a dollar 99 in the app store. And this is an app for keeping track of memories based on events that you go to or things that you do. And they, it's a, what I like about it is that it's a very private app. It's not connected to a bunch of weird online services that are taking your photos and putting them in a, all these different places.

Mikah Sargent (01:30:43):
It's a very simple, but I think clean and neat way to keep track of memories. So a concert that I went to alt J Portugal man and cherry Glazer I posted some of the photos into this just so that I could swipe into it. There's the jacket that I wore than us at the concert, that kind of thing. And if you tap into the event, wait, this'll let you, yeah. Oh, there we go. Then you could see the photos. But all the information. So for example, I recently hung out with a couple of my friends. The guy in the middle is the creator of co-founder and co-creator of PocketCasts which is the podcast app that we love here at TWI. And the gal on the left is yame eon who used to do a show about Google, but then ended up working at Google.

Mikah Sargent (01:31:39):
And so we hung out in San Francisco and you can see, it's got kinda like the location where we were a little bit of information about this meeting. You can pop in your, your contacts so that you can add them. You know, these are the people that you went with to this moment. And then on April 25th was when I set up momently. So I just took a couple of photos of things and like this avocado here and the plant and just because those were things that were nearby while I was <laugh> setting this up. And so you've got the option. I can tap on the pencil to create a new moment. You can add a title. So recording iOS today, for example, and then here I would type in what I was doing, but then I could add Rosemary Orchard.

Mikah Sargent (01:32:34):
If I can spell that's, that's helpful rose and then tap add, and then I could add Matthew and, and I don't have a nickname for Matthew, so that's just Matthew and then tap done. And then those, those folks are in there. I could add a location. If you go on a trip, you can also add a trip and give a summary of a trip and sort of summarize it with a photo. So it's just a very, a simple way to keep track of different memories that you've had. And then as you add memories that you'll see that there's the on this day tab. And so you will be able to go back and see memories from before. So no machine learning, no AI, no ads, none of that, it's, it's a very simple timeline based moment tracker that you can use to keep everything there, as it says, make every moment count.

Mikah Sargent (01:33:29):
And they're really focused on the privacy aspect. It's a private journal for you to keep track of different things that you've done in the past. And the friends that you've hung out with along the way, dollar and nine, very inexpensive and easy to, to sync across different devices using the iCloud syncing features. All of those apps are available in the app store. And with that, we have reached the end of this episode of iOS today. If you have questions, feedback, shortcuts, corner requests, you send those to iOS We'll answer some more of those next week, including an somebody who wrote in and also included some audio. So that's exciting. Get your questions in again, iOS you can tune in live to watch us record the show. Every Tuesday we record at 12:00 PM Eastern 9:00 AM Pacific.

Mikah Sargent (01:34:19):
You can do that by going to we're you, we're on YouTube. We're on Twitch. We're on all the different places where you can stream live. But we think the best way to get the show is by subscribing to it, what you do by going to There you'll find a page where you can subscribe in different places, including PocketCasts. As I mentioned earlier in the audio and video versions of the feed, we think the video version is a lot of fun cuz you can see our funny caps and all that kind of stuff, but we do our best to describe things as we are going along so that the audio version is just as valuable. And I should mention too that if you'd like to get all of our shows ad free, we've got a way to do that. You can check out club TWI at TWI for seven bucks a month.

Mikah Sargent (01:35:01):
You get every single one of TWI shows add free. You get access to the TWI plus bonus feed that has extra content. You won't find anywhere else, including an interview. This Thursday that I'm doing with editor, John Ashley here at TWI you get outtakes behind, behind the scenes stuff. All sorts of fun stuff gets popped in there and then access to the members only discord server. That's a place where you can hang out with your fellow club, TWI members. And also those of us here at TWI Rosemary Orchard is super active in the club, TWI discord. If all that sounds good to you, well, we would love it. If you would support us directly seven bucks on month, TWI do TV slash club TWI to check it out. And we now also have an annual plan available. So if you're all in and you just kind of wanna, you don't wanna have to think about the seven bucks coming out every month while you can join for a years long plan as well. Super easy to do. Let's start with Matthew Castelli. If folks wanna follow you online, check out all your great work, where do they go to do so?

Matthew Cassinelli (01:36:02):
The best place is Matthew shortcuts and then, or slash newsletter where I'm relaunching my what's new and shortcuts newsletter that I took a short break to finish out my catalog, but otherwise I'm also on Twitter and I'm doing YouTube videos again, Mount shortcut suit.

Mikah Sargent (01:36:20):
Awesome. And Rosemary Orchard. What about you?

Rosemary Orchard (01:36:24):
Hi, you can find, which has links to all the things I do online. As Mike mentioned, I'm also in the club to discord and I do try and keep an eye on the IRC during the show as well. Other than that, you can find me on social media generally with these name, Rosemary Orchard, such as microdot blog and Twitter. And yeah, I tend to lurk around the internet. What about you, Micah?

Mikah Sargent (01:36:44):
I can be found at Mica Sergeant on many, a social media network or you can add to That's C H I H where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. And yeah, I think that's that, that takes care of it that has all the links that you need until next time. Thank you so much for being here, Matthew Cassin LA, thank you all out there for tuning in to watch this very special episode of iOS today, we will be back next week with more and until then we say goodbye.

Jason Howell (01:37:16):
The world is changing rapidly so rapidly. In fact that it's hard to keep up. That's why Mikah Sargent and I, Jason Howell talk with the people making and breaking the tech news on Tech News Weekly. Every Thursday, they know these stories better than anyone. So why not get them to talk about it in their own words, subscribe to Tech News Weekly and you won't miss a beat every Thursday at

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