The various flavors of Siri shortcuts

Rene Ritchie, iMore:

Developers can tap into the Continuity-derived user activity to make locations available within their apps. And they can use a new Intents API to let the system know, more expansively, the actions available in the app.

Once that’s done, Siri keeps track of what you do with them and when you do it, and tries to guess when you’ll do it next.

Rene clarifies this with examples:

For example, if you always order pizza before the game on Sunday, instead of having to go to the pizza app, pick your favorite, and place your order, it’ll have a banner waiting for you right on your Lock screen ready with your favorite order.

If you always text your child to say you’re on your way home from work, instead of having to go to messages, find the conversation with your child in the list, and tap to start a new message, a banner will be waiting for you, ready and able to send that message with a single tap.

Rene’s article is long and full of interesting detail. But the part that struck me was the way he distinguished between shortcuts you create yourself (using the Shortcuts app, rebranded from Workflow), and the voice triggers you create to label shortcuts (Hey Siri “Get pizza”), and the shortcuts Siri creates (driven by user activity reported by various apps) and suggests to you.

I’ve been using the iOS 12 beta for a week now. In that time, my Lock screen has offered to put my phone into Do Not Disturb when a Wallet pass, Open Table, and even simply iMessage indicated I might be having dinner or breakfast.

I hasn’t offered to let me order my usual Philz Mint Mojito, because I don’t have the Shortcuts enabled version of that app — yet! — but it has offered me directions to Philz after I used Maps for walking directions the first couple days of the conference.

Read Rene’s post to take advantage of his iOS 12 experience, wrap your head around what’s coming. Good stuff.