Unlock the possibilities of the Shortcuts App

Learn how to create shortcuts, build workflows and automate tasks with the new Shortcuts app with Siri integration for iPhone and iPad.

Shortcuts is Apple’s new (as of iOS 12) automation app for iPhone and iPad. With Siri integration, you can put together all kinds of neat workflows that are fully automated. There are loads of applications for the end-user, but in education we can leverage the power of Shortcuts as well.

More popular Shortcuts

I’ve discovered some great automations that I have been able to quickly create with a few taps. I’ve compiled a list of some of them:

These are all easy to build workflows that take 1 to 3 minutes to piece together thanks to the easy to use interface.

Creating and Automating Repetitive Tasks

Another great use case for Shortcuts is clearing all photos from the camera roll. This can be particularly useful in scenarios where iPads are being shared amongst multiple users and you are not leveraging the Shared iPad model with Managed Apple IDs.

So let’s dive in and take a look at how you can build this simple shortcut. If you haven’t already done so, you can download the Shortcuts app from the App Store. When you launch the app, begin creating a new shortcut by tapping the + on the top right, then search “delete photos”. Select the action, tap next on the upper right, name your shortcut Delete Photos (or whatever name you’d like), then click Done. Now your Shortcut is created and appears in your My Shortcuts area. Each time you tap on it the photos will be deleted.

Now, let’s automate it. Perhaps you want the photos to delete daily at a certain time. Tap Automation on the lower middle of the app, then tap the + on the top right and click “Create Personal Automation”. Then under Events - Time of Day, set up the schedule the way you would like and tap next. Now, you will tap “Add Action”, search for “Delete Photos” and add it to the action list, then tap next. Here you will review the automation and tap “Done.” You’re all set! The camera roll will erase at the scheduled time you have selected.

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