Apple announces Shortcuts, a Workflow-like automation app for iOS

Folks hoping to see Apple improve upon its digital assistant Siri in iOS 12 will be happy to hear it has announced a new app called Shortcuts. The app, which looks every bit like the Workflow automation app it acquired a year ago, will allow you to connect ‘Shortcut’ operations to Siri, making complex tasks as simple as speaking a command.

Any app can expose quick actions to Siri. For example, if you order coffee every morning, Siri can now suggest it in the morning with your usual order loaded up in the app of your choice, ready for you to press ‘Pay.’ Another example Apple gives is a surf report: tell Siri you want to go surfing, and you can get the surf report, current weather, ETA to the beach and even a reminder to put sunscreen on when you get there.

Here’s the blurb on Shortcuts from Apple’s website:

Siri Shortcuts deliver a new, much faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri. Siri intelligence can suggest an action at just the right time — whether it’s to order a coffee in the morning or start an afternoon workout. Users can customize Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to kick off the task or download the new Shortcuts app to create a series of actions from different apps that can be carried out with a simple tap or customized voice command. It’s easy for developers to take advantage of this new capability using Shortcut APIs.

We’ll obviously learn a lot more about Shortcuts as we install the iOS 12 beta and see it for ourselves, so stay tuned for more coverage!