iPhone Lock screen - an example of a shortcuts suggestion from the app Phils Coffee

iOS uses its proactive Siri assistant to learn your routines across apps in order to, among other things, provide suggested shortcuts from your favorite apps right on the iPhone Lock screen.

Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Siri suggests shortcuts from apps you use on the Lock screen.
  • Siri learns your usage patterns across apps that support shortcuts.
  • Shortcut suggestions increase clutter on busy Lock screens.
  • You can disable Lock screen shortcut suggestions for specific apps.
  • Siri also suggests these shortcuts in Search and Look Up.

Follow along with iDB to learn how to adjust your Lock screen shortcut suggestions.

About Siri Shortcuts

It should be mentioned that Siri shortcut suggestions are supported on any iPhone or iPad from iPhone 6s or iPad Pro and later, respectively, in addition to the fifth-generation iPad or later, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4.

Siri Shortcuts is a powerful automation feature for iPhone and iPad that was built on Apple’s Workflow acquisition. The feature first released appeared in iOS 12 in September 2018.

Shortcuts let you combine steps across multiple apps to simplify everyday task.

The Siri Shortcuts app on iOS 12 - hero image

Automate your iPhone like a pro using the new Shortcuts app in iOS 12

You can build your own shortcut from app-specific actions in Apple’s Shortcuts app, assign it a personal phrase to invoke it with a voice command, make the shortcut available in other apps from iOS’s multi-purpose Share sheet, and much more.

Here’s Apple’s pitch:

Siri can now intelligently pair your daily routines with third-party apps to suggest convenient shortcuts right when you need them. So if you typically pick up a coffee on the way to work, Siri will learn your routine and suggest when to place your order from the Lock screen. You can also run shortcuts with your voice or create your own with the Shortcuts app.

Shortcuts can perform any number of actions, from simple ones like sending out mass invites via Messages to moderately complex shortcuts such as adding any Apple Music album to your Home screen, and beyond.

Suggested shortcuts on your Lock screen

If an app supports shortcuts, Siri analyzes how you use it. Armed with that knowledge, Siri then surfaces on the iPhone Lock screen appropriate shortcuts to speed-up common tasks. If you order coffee every day via the Starbucks app, Siri might suggest a shortcut to order your favorite beverage with a tap. Stock Apple apps support shortcuts, too.

Shortcut suggestion on the Lock screen for the Phone app recommends returning a missed call

A suggestion from the Phone app recommending returning a missed call

Another example worth mentioning: if you missed a call from a friend, the Phone app may put a shortcut on your iPhone Lock screen to call back or message that person. Or, Siri may suggest turning on Do Not Disturb before a meeting on your calendar.

ROUNDUP: 10 popular apps with useful Siri Shortcuts implementations

With a growing number of third-party apps implementing support for Siri Shortcuts and shipping with their own shortcuts, these Lock screen suggestions can quickly spiral out of control. To help with that, Apple gives you some much-needed options to tame and curate the apps whose suggestions Siri may display on the iPhone Lock screen.

Here’s how…

Curating app shortcuts on iPhone Lock screen

Toggles for disabling suggested shortcuts for specific apps, as well as other controls pertaining to the Lock screen suggestions, can be found in two places within Settings: in the general Siri & Search section and within your man notification settings.

Siri suggestions - the Phone app shown suggesting calling a person whose birthday was found in Contacts

A suggestion from the Phone app ensures you don’t forget about people’s birthdays

Disabling these shortcut suggestions is managed in both these places (toggling something in the search settings is auto-reflected in your notification settings, and vice versa).

Here’s how to pick apps that should display shortcuts on your Lock screen.

From your notification settings

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Choose Notifications from the main list.

3) Tap Siri Suggestions.

4) Disable specific apps that shouldn’t suggest shortcuts on the Lock screen by toggling the switch next to them. I don’t really need those pre-written text suggestions so I’ll disable Siri’s suggestions for the Messages app.

Siri Suggestions disabled for the Messages app

Disable Messages to stop those pre-written text suggestions on your Lock screen

The way I manage these things is I first slide all the switches to the OFF position. Now I can be really particular about picking only the suggestions that have real value for me (you can managing other settings this way, too, like Background App Refresh and Location Services).

From your Siri settings

You can selectively disable app suggestions on the Lock screen in the Siri and search settings.

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Choose Siri & Search from the main list.

3) Tap a desired app on the list.

4) Slide the switch labeled Allow on Lock Screen to the OFF position.

I don’t need Siri to remind me about missed calls so I’ll turn off Allow on Lock Screen for the Phone app, which stops those pesky Phone app reminders from populating the Lock screen.

Siri Shortcuts - allow on Lock screen

Do this for the Phone app to remove missed calls suggestions from your Lock screen

Disabling all Siri suggestions for specific apps

Like before, you can prevent any data that Siri has found in apps from being surfaced elsewhere, like the system-wide search feature or Look Up.

Do this to stop app data from appearing elsewhere in iOS, like the system-wide search feature:

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Choose Siri & Search from the main list.

3) Tap a desired app on the list.

4) Slide the switch labeled Search, Suggestions & Shortcuts to the OFF position.

Siri suggestions - app-specific toggles showing search, Siri suggestions and shortcuts disabled for the 1Password app

The switch stops all Siri-powered suggestions for that particular app from appearing in:

  • Search (formerly Spotlight)
  • Look Up
  • QuickType Keyboard
  • Lock screen

Disabling just the Allow on Lock Screen toggle stops any suggestions for that app from appearing on the iPhone Lock screen without removing any suggestions from the stock keyboard, Look Up and Search features.

Disabling Siri Suggestions entirely

You can elegantly stop these Lock screen shortcut suggestions altogether.

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Choose Siri & Search from the main list.

Siri suggestions settings - Suggestions in Search, Suggestions in Look Up and Suggestions on Lock Screen

The lats toggle removes all Siri suggestions, including shortcuts, from your Lock screen

3) Turn of desired items underneath the Siri Suggestions heading:

  • Suggestions in Search: Disable to stop seeing any suggestions in system-wide search.
  • Suggestions in Look Up: Disable to stop seeing Siri Suggestions in Look Up.
  • Suggestions on Lock Screen: Disable to stop Siri Suggestions on the Lock screen.

You can disable Suggestions on Lock Screen but leave the other options intact, like so.

If you do that, however, please keep in mind that toggling off this master switch will stop all Siri suggestions. For example, you will no longer see suggestions for a specific app that’s rarely used or a reminder from the proactive assistant to start listening to your favorite playlist.

And that’s how you fix the mess on your iPhone Lock screen!

Hands-on with the Shortcuts app

Be sure to watch our hands-on video walkthrough of the Shortcuts app, embedded below.

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For those wondering, shortcuts aren’t supported on Apple TV and macOS.

Have you stumbled upon a cool shortcut created by the community? If so, do not hesitate to share your personal favorites with fellow iDownloadBlog readers in the comments section down below to help us popularize this powerful iOS automation feature.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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