iOS 12 Complete Guide: Tips, Tricks and How-Tos for Your iPhone

How to Create a Siri Shortcut

iOS 12 brings a whole new way to interact with your iPhone, no purchase of a $1,099 XS Max required. Siri Shortcuts take the work out of your most common iPhone tasks, so you can save yourself a few swipes or taps to get things done faster. Instead, you create a custom Siri command to trigger a shortcut.

Siri Shortcuts will start to reveal themselves to you after you update your device to iOS 12. Shortcuts are endlessly customizable in a separate Shortcuts app, but you’ll notice them first in apps you already use. At launch, those apps include Pandora, Evernote, Things, Google News, Ulysses, Streaks, PCalc, Carrot Weather, The Weather Channel, SkyGuide, Citymapper and Trello.

Here’s how Siri Shortcuts works.—Caitlin McGarry

1. Open an app that supports Siri Shortcuts. In this case, we’ll use Carrot Weather.

2. Find the Siri Shortcuts section in your app. In some cases, there will be an “Add to Siri” button that tells you more about what Siri can do for you.

For Carrot Weather, there’s a Siri Shortcuts link in the app’s settings that leads to a list of potential shortcuts you can select.

3. Tap the red button to record a phrase that you’ll use with Siri to launch a shortcut.

4. Tap Done.

If a supported app doesn’t have an “Add to Siri” button, there’s another way to add a shortcut.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap on Siri & Search.

3. Choose from a list of suggested shortcuts Siri has created for you at the top of the screen. At present, most, though not all, of the suggested shortcuts use built-in iOS apps.

4. Scroll down to a specific app to see available shortcuts — Google News, for this example.

5. Tap on Shortcuts in the app’s settings.

6. Select a shortcut.

7. Record a phrase to prompt that shortcut with Siri.

In this example, we’ll use Siri to give you the daily Google News briefing, record a phrase that will prompt the assistant to do that. Mine is: “Hey Siri, tell me the news.”

8. Tap Done.

As more apps add support for Siri Shortcuts, eventually you won’t have to swipe, tap or type to get the information you need. Siri will do all the work for you.

If you want to take shortcuts to the next level by a cascade of actions across a variety of apps that can be triggered with a single phrase, install the new Shortcuts app in the iOS App Store.

Tom's Guide Staff

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  • cothirteen
    "You don’t need to do anything special to use Google Maps or Waze on CarPlay, though of course, those apps first need to be installed on your iPhone. Once they are, you will see them on the CarPlay home screen alongside all of your other CarPlay-compatible apps. "

    Can anyone confirm this? I have the public beta installed but regular versions of those apps and it does not show up on CarPlay. From what I am reading the betas are needed.
  • cazdabear
    Most likely, those versions of the apps that you have... don't support Carplay. I read from a Waze Community post, that Waze has only likely released this to their own pool of Waze Beta testers.
  • cothirteen
    Makes sense and that's what I've read too. Just didn't want to miss out on information I wasn't privy to!
  • otisjuhl
    I just downloaded the new, full iOS 12 to my iPhone and connected it to my CarPlay (2017 Subaru). Neither WAZE for Google Maps showed up. Does anyone have any idea how to get it appear? (I have them both on my iPhone and opened them while connected). Thanks!
  • rotolosc
    You need to make sure to update google maps in the app store. Waze is not supported as of yet but coming

  • otisjuhl
    Very helpful - thanks! I did update Google Maps and it appeared on my cars's screen yesterday and works! As noted, WAZE isn't there yet.
  • ashwincampbell
    I’m not sure if anyone else is experiencing this but under screen time > always allow, some apps show up as only numbers with no icon. There’s no way to tell what those apps are. Any idea what is causing this?
  • diem2222
    After half an hour recording it is not possible to stop it, just the option restart and stop.
  • Jason3022
    While details/specifics are great, they could have made this much simpler - it is overly complex.

    Here's why:

    I simply want to know how much 'Screen Time' I've used since I unplugged my Ipad from the wall. That information is not available - it does not coincide with 'Battery' either, which is pure lunacy.

    I'm not sure what these techs. are thinking but it positively is not with the average end-user in mind.
    I am not alone in this thought.