Shortcuts (formerly Workflow) is a visual scripting application developed by Apple and provided on its iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS operating systems. It allows users to create macros for executing specific tasks on their device(s). These task sequences can be created by the user and shared online through iCloud. A number of curated shortcuts can also be downloaded from the integrated Gallery.[1]

Original author(s)DeskConnect, Inc.
Operating systemiOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS
Available in34 languages

Shortcuts are activated manually through the app, shortcut widgets, the share sheet, and Siri. They can also be automated to trigger after an event, such as the time of day, leaving a set location, or opening an app.[2]

Shortcuts was originally created by DeskConnect, Inc. (Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, Veeral Patel, and Nick Frey) for MHacks Winter 2014 competition and was awarded first place for Best iOS App.[3]

History edit

Workflow originally began as a project at The University of Michigan's MHacks.

In 2015, Workflow received an Apple Design Award for its integration with iOS accessibility features such as VoiceOver.[4]

On March 22, 2017, Apple acquired Workflow for an undisclosed amount. Following the purchase, the software was made available for free. An accompanying update also changed some of the service providers used within the app to those owned or preferred by Apple, such as Apple Maps and Microsoft Translator, and closed submissions of workflows to Gallery.[5][1]

On September 17, 2018, the Workflow app became the Shortcuts app, which runs shortcuts with Siri, along with iOS 12. The app was announced on June 4, 2018, at WWDC 2018.

On September 19, 2019, with the public launch of iOS 13, the Shortcuts app became a default app installed on all iOS 13 devices.

On June 7, 2021, at WWDC 2021, a desktop version of the Shortcuts app was announced for macOS.[6]

On September 12, 2022 Apple launched an update to the Shortcuts app as a part of iOS 16. This update included the ability to integrate Siri voice assistant with Shortcuts.[7]

URL scheme edit

Shortcuts also supports a URL scheme. This works as follows:[8][9][10]

  • shortcuts://
    Opens the Shortcuts app.
  • shortcuts://gallery
    Opens the Gallery with Shortcuts that have been premade by Apple.
  • shortcuts://gallery/search?query=[search words] Searches the gallery for the search word. URL encoding is required to use multiple search words.
  • shortcuts://create-shortcut
    Creates a new shortcut and opens that shortcut in the editor.
  • shortcuts://open-shortcut?name=[name]
    Opens the shortcut in the editor that has the specified name. Spaces are URL encoded using %20.
  • shortcuts://run-shortcut?name=[name]&input=[see note]&text=[see note]
    Executes a shortcut, optionally including an input.

    Note: The parameters "input" and "text" are optional. If you pass "clipboard" to input, the clipboard is passed as input. If you pass "text" to input, the parameter "text" is retrieved and the text stored there is passed as input. There, spaces must be replaced by %20.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Apple snaps up Workflow, an iOS automation app for power users [Updated]". Ars Technica. Conde Nast. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Create a new personal automation". Apple Support. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  3. ^ "Workflow". 21 March 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Fantastical 2, Workflow, Robinhood Among Winners At Apple Design Awards". TechCrunch. AOL. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Apple bought the best utility app for the iPhone, Workflow". The Verge. Vox Media. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  6. ^ Clark, Mitchell (2021-06-07). "macOS Monterey lets you run Shortcuts and share files between Macs and iPads". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  7. ^ "iOS 16: Apple Latest iPhone Software, Available Now". MacRumors. Retrieved 2023-02-08.
  8. ^ "Shortcuts User Guide: Open or search the Shortcuts Gallery using a URL scheme on iPhone or iPad". Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  9. ^ "Shortcuts User Guide: Open and create a shortcut using a URL scheme on iPhone or iPad". Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  10. ^ "Shortcuts User Guide: Run a shortcut using a URL scheme on iPhone or iPad". Retrieved 2023-02-07.

External links edit