Shortcuts to Siri

When you go into Shortcuts, you see only two tabs — Library and Gallery. The library is where you have all your shortcuts

By Surit Doss
  • Published 30.09.18, 4:19 PM
  • Updated 3.10.18, 3:57 PM
  • 3 mins read
  •  
Siri icon on the Iphone Source: Shutterstock

With the release of iOS 12, Apple has taken a step back to look at how we use our phones rather than adding ways to use them. The focus is on performance rather than flashy features.

Apple is now showing more commitment towards a better and healthier balance between gadgets and life. Screen Time helps to track the time you spend on your phone and which app grabs you the most. You can limit your usage as well as control the usage of your children through this.

Don’t be afraid to update your iPhone even if it is old. Phones as old as the 5s are supported and run much faster after the update. Old tablets such as the iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air are also compatible with this update. If your device has not got the notification, check for it in Settings—General—Software Update, and download and instal it.

Even though this update has been released to rectify the sluggish iOS 11 with its many faults, it does come with a whole lot of interesting features, the most remarkable of which is Siri Shortcuts. You have to download Apple’s Shortcuts app from the App Store after which you can make Siri do all the hard work.

Within the Shortcuts app, you create a command for Siri and it will begin performing a list of things in the order you have fixed. Say, you ask Siri to help you relax. Siri will open the Calm app and play soothing music, launch “Do not Disturb” and even order dinner for you.

When you go into Shortcuts, you see only two tabs —

Library and Gallery. The library is where you have all your shortcuts. You don’t even have to talk to Siri to run the shortcuts. Just press the necessary shortcut and Siri will do the rest. The Gallery is where you will find a bunch of pre-bundled shortcuts. To begin with, browse through these to get an idea of how shortcuts work. After a little bit of fiddling around, you will be able to create your own automated series of actions.

To create a shortcut, go to the library and tap on “create shortcut”. Add actions from the bottom to build your shortcut or you can search for whatever you wish to add. Give a name to your shortcut by tapping on the on/off icon on the top right-hand corner. Tap on “Add to Siri” to run the shortcut with your voice. Then tap Done.

People are using Shortcuts for a variety of things including turning on video recording with a voice command when a traffic cop pulls you over. Siri pauses the music, turns on “Do Not Disturb” and sends a message to a chosen contact. It then starts recording the video. Check out https://www.reddit.com/r/ shortcuts for more interesting ways the app can be used.

Augmented Reality applications have been really enhanced. The Measure app that comes with the update allows you to accurately measure objects. You put the object in the camera frame, tap and drag out a line, and it measures it.

iMessage has become much more fun with Memoji. Now, you can create your own avatar. Open iMessage and tap on the little monkey, the Animoji icon. Tap on the Plus sign to launch the Memoji maker. You can choose your skin tone, hairstyle, eye colour, head shape, nose and lips, freckles, facial hair, earrings, headwear and glasses. And that’s you. Start making faces, and it will mimic you. Press the red record button and you can add content for 30 seconds. This fun feature is available only from iPhone X onwards.

If that is not enough, tap on the camera icon in iMessages and choose video. Press the star on the bottom left corner and this will bring up your Memoji. Swipe over to your avatar and start recording. You can choose whatever effect you want and use it. Once you are finished, click on done and send your video to your friend.

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