According to recent reports, the average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phones. That amounts to just over 82 full days a year. Kind of depressing, right?
For most of us, ditching our phones is simply not an option. From work to entertainment, the devices in our pockets are just too intertwined with our daily lives for us to quit them cold turkey. BUT, using our phones more productively and reducing our screen time is 100% possible!
In this article, we’ll examine the 10 best iOS Shortcuts in 2021, i.e. the workflows that will help you get more done in less time and with less effort.
Does that sound interesting? Then keep reading!
What is the iOS Shortcuts App?
First things first, what is the iOS Shortcuts app?
With the release of iOS 12, Apple updated its useful Workflows app and rebranded it under the name Shortcuts. Essentially, Shortcuts allows iOS users to run detailed workflows, which help them accomplish complicated tasks in less time.
For example, let’s say you just finished watching an explainer video on YouTube. The information was top-notch and you really want to save the footage to your phone for future viewing. But how? Most mobile phone’s make tasks like these incredibly difficult for anyone who doesn’t have a degree in rocket science — unless you have the iPhone Shortcuts app, that is.
Simply add the “Download YouTube” workflow to your phone. Then copy the YouTube video’s URL to Shortcuts and let the app do the rest!
Later in this article, we’ll key you in to the best shortcuts for iOS in 2021. But first, let’s cover all of our bases and discuss how to use iOS shortcuts on your Apple device.
How to Download Shortcuts
When you first download Shortcuts to your phone and begin exploring it, you’ll realize that the app comes with a bunch of handy workflows already installed. But there are a TON of custom iPhone shortcuts floating around the internet. To gain access to them, follow these 3 steps:
- Select the “Download” button (or something similar) for the shortcut you want to add to your phone. All shortcut downloads on reputable sites will have some sort of link that will allow you to easily add the workflow to your own device.
- When prompted, select either “Get Shortcut” or “Add Untrusted Shortcut” if you trust the website you’re attempting to download the workflow from.
- Depending on the way your iOS device is configured, you may receive a “Can’t Be Opened” error message when you try to activate a custom shortcut. To get around this security measure, head to your phone’s settings, choose Shortcuts, and select the option labeled “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”.
And that’s all there is to it. You now know how to add a shortcut to iphone. Just remember to be smart and only download workflows from sites you trust!
Below, we’ve listed 10 useful shortcuts to get you started:
The 10 Best iOS Shortcuts
Hopefully you’re excited to download the Shortcuts app and begin exploring the different workflows it comes with. But if you really want to boost your productivity and enjoyment levels while using your iOS device, you’ll want to download each of the workflows below:
1. Listen to Your Favorite Apple Music Playlist
Are you an Apple Music user? Then you’ll love this shortcut, which will allow you to access and play your favorite playlists with a single tap.
Tell us if this sounds familiar: you’re at the gym, working up a sweat, feeling the burn. Your favorite song comes on and you’re pumped. You’re probably even bobbing your head along to the beat as you run on the treadmill or lift weights.
Then the song ends, the next track is a slow ballad, and your mojo is completely thrown off. You suddenly feel more like sleeping than working out.
Without this shortcut, you’d have to fumble around with your phone and navigate your way through multiple screens to adjust your playlist — by which time you’ll have completely lost the edge you had before and your workout will undoubtedly suffer.
But once this workflow is installed, you’ll be able to easily repeat songs, skip to the next track, and enable shuffle with a single click. Pretty cool, right?
2. Tip Your Waiter or Waitress the Perfect Amount
Eating out is one of the good parts of life. The chance to taste delicious food — that you didn’t have to prepare! — and enjoy the company of others is priceless. But if you’re not careful, a night out at your favorite restaurant can quickly grow sour when it’s time to pay the bill and choose your tip amount.
Don’t get us wrong, your waiter or waitress deserves a quality tip for the services they provide. But calculating 18% of a $46.37 bill isn’t an easy task for most of us.
Fortunately, this shortcut will quickly determine a custom tip amount for you. All you have to do is input your bill amount, select the percentage tip you’d like to leave, and then write down the number your phone spits out. Never tip too much or too little again!
3. Determine the Exact Location of Your Favorite Photos
Have you ever been surfing the web or scrolling through Instagram and seen a picture that literally took your breath away? Maybe it was a beautiful sunset, a peaceful lake surrounded by trees, or a downtown architectural wonder.
Whatever it was, you probably wanted to know where it was located. You think, “If I’m ever in that neck of the woods, I’d love to stop by and see this in person.” But if the photographer neglected to state where the photo was taken, it might be difficult to learn its precise (or even general) location. This next shortcut is for times such as these.
Use this shortcut to extract GPS information from any picture, find out when the photo was taken, and even how far away the photographer was from the subject when he/she shot it.
The workflow will then engage your phone’s navigation app and show you exactly where in the world the location is. Amazing!
4. Quickly Pinpoint Exact Travel Times
Most of us have incredibly busy schedules. We have work meetings to attend, the kids need to be picked up from school at specific times, and our favorite network TV shows won’t wait for us to sit down and get comfortable before starting.
Get where you need to go on time by using this handy shortcut. It will tell you exactly how long it’s going to take to arrive at a certain location — be it the office or your own home — and send you an alert when it’s time to leave.
If you need directions, the workflow will allow you to quickly engage your phone’s navigation app, which you can follow to your desired destination.
5. Stay Up-To-Date With Current Events
Thirty years ago, there weren’t that many ways to get the latest news. You could watch TV, read the paper, talk to a friend with the inside scoop… that was pretty much it.
These days, just about every single news story can be accessed and consumed in matter of minutes via our phones. But like we mentioned before, our calendars are fuller than ever. When you want to be up-to-date with the happenings of the world, but don’t have time to scroll through multiple news feeds, you can use this shortcut.
Setup this workflow to display RSS feeds from your favorite news outlets. Once this is done, you’ll be able to see all of the stories that matter to you from your device’s home screen. When a headline catches your eye, simply click on it and the shortcut will send you to the website where you can read and/or view the entire story.
For busy folks with a desire to know the latest information in the world of politics, sports, entertainment, and other industries, this shortcut is awesome.
6. Clip Online Text Directly to Apple Notes
Apple Notes is an incredibly useful app. Whether you want to jot down this week's grocery list, sketch a quick image, or even write your very first novel, you can do it in Notes. But there’s one feature that this app doesn’t have that many Apple users wish it did: a simple web clipper.
Enter this next shortcut, which will allow you to easily copy an online article’s text to a new Note. Here’s how it works:
- First, copy the URL to your device’s clipboard and run the shortcut.
- Then sit back as the workflow adds the text to your Notes.
- The shortcut will even scan the original text and input information like the article’s title, author, the date it was written, and more.
This workflow is handy for anyone who uses the internet and wants direct access to the specific information they find there. In other words, it’s handy for everyone.
7. Setup Location-Based Reminders
What if you need to remember something important, but you’re not exactly sure when you need to remember it?
For instance, maybe you’ve been working on a new report and it’s due tomorrow morning. But it’s your turn to drop off the kids at school, your boss asked you to pick up a form on your way into the office, and downtown traffic is completely unpredictable. Who knows what time you’ll actually arrive at work?
Because of this uncertainty, you can’t set a traditional alarm to remind you to send the report. But, if you use this shortcut, you can set up a location-based reminder instead!
A location-based reminder will only activate when your device registers that it’s in a specific location. All you have to do to use this shortcut is input the right address and give it access to your device’s Reminders.
8. Search Amazon For the Products You Need
We’ve all done it…
We walk into a store hoping to purchase a certain product. When we finally find it on the shelves, we take a look at the price and grimace. “Wow,” we say, “That’s a lot more expensive than I planned. I wonder what I can get it for on Amazon?” And thus the search begins.
But there’s an easier way!
Rather than pulling up the Amazon website, typing in the product name, and scanning through the hundreds of offerings on the site, you can use this shortcut to quickly scan a barcode and automatically check Amazon for it.
It’s super fast and convenient and definitely a must-have shortcut for anyone who uses Amazon on a regular basis.
9. Protect Yourself Against False Accusations
We hope you never find yourself in a situation where this shortcut is needed. But if you do, you’ll be glad you have it, guaranteed.
The shortcut is called "Police" and allows you to easily record conversations and/or altercations between you and other people. It was originally designed to catalogue interactions between citizens and members of the police force, hence the name. But it can be used to record any interaction you deem necessary.
You simply program the workflow to activate when you speak a specific command. Once Siri hears those words, it will automatically engage your phone’s camera, record what it sees, and then send the video to a pre-programmed contact of your choice.
10. Easily Backup Your Shortcuts Library
Trust us, once you start downloading shortcuts and experience the convenience they provide, you'll be hooked. Pretty soon, you’ll have dozens of shortcuts on your phone and you’ll quickly grow accustomed to using them on a regular basis.
Because of this, we suggest you backup your iPhone shortcuts with this workflow. That way, if something happens to your Apple device, you won’t have to re-download each of your shortcuts onto your next phone and/or tablet.
Bonus: Using the CloudApp iOS , Mac, or Win app
CloudApp Free Screen Recorder - Record your screen on the go to help with better work collaboration. With CloudApp, your video is instantly saved to the cloud with a short link generated to help with sharing.
CloudApp Screenshot tool - If you are tired of screenshots filling up your photos app, give the CloudApp screenshot tool a try. Take and save your screenshots to the CloudApp and get a link for sharing with others.
CloudApp GIF Maker - If you have a short video clip that you want to repeat, give the GIF Maker a try.
See what 91% of the Fortune 1000 are using CloudApp for and get started for FREE today.
Supercharge Your iOS Workflow With Shortcuts
Shortcuts will revolutionize the way you use your Apple devices and make you much more productive and efficient. So what are you waiting for? Download the app today and get started. You’ll be glad you did, we promise!