A few weeks ago, Apple opened up the iOS 14 Beta to the public, and as I do every year, I downloaded it. However, this year, I decided to put it on my daily driver. Usually I play around with the latest updates on an old phone I have lying around. However this year, since I'm working from home, my main concern of battery drain isn't really a problem, since I can constantly have my phone plugged in, so I took the plunge!

One of the cool new features which comes with iOS 14 is Widgets, and one of these Widgets is the Shortcuts widget. I played around with the iOS Shortcuts app when it initially came out, but it didn't seem convenient having to click into the app every time I wanted to run a shortcut, and I don't regularly use Siri enough to call them. This meant I never really used any of the features, and pretty much ignored its existence.

That is... until now. Since I found out I could put them on my Home Screen in the form of a Widget, I decided to revisit the app and take another look. One thing I can say is: it's changed a lot in the last few years!

First, I saw a new section called Automations, which i found out came with iOS 13, and allows Shortcuts to be triggered automatically. I also saw the Gallery, which had some pre-made Shortcuts. After exploring the app more, I decided I wanted to start setting up some of these, with the eventual goal of automating my day-to-day life.

In this blog series, I want to write about any cool and useful automations I discover, not just using the iOS Shortcuts app, but also things like Alexa and IFTTT (one of which I have already written an article about).

I've started making a list of everything I currently automate in my day-to-day life, and have another list with plenty more ideas which I could do. If you have any suggestions, feel free to reach out and share them, I always love to hear any cool new ideas!

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