iOS 14: 11 cool tricks your iPhone’s Shortcuts app can do for you now


It’s easy to ignore the preinstalled Shortcuts app on your iPhone, simply because at first glance it’s not all that clear what it does. Or maybe it’s that it appears to do a lot, and can be overwhelming. Either way, with the release of iOS 14, the Shortcuts app has finally hit the mainstream thanks to its ability to create custom app icons.

The customization options, which include the option to add widgets to your home screen, are endless and they’re sure to look just as good on the iPhone 12, which Apple will announce on Oct. 13.

We’ll go into shortcuts that can save you time or help you out of a jam, and go even deeper into a sophisticated routine that kicks off a ton of actions when you say barely a few words. Let’s get started.

This story is updated periodically with new shortcuts and information.

First, install Shortcuts

The first step is to install Shortcuts from the App Store for iOS 12 or later on your phone or iPad ($275 at Back Market) (it should be built in to iOS 13 and later devices), and then make sure to add it to the Today View Widget by swiping to the right on your iPhone’s home screen and tapping Add Widget at the bottom of the screen. Finally, tap on the green plus button next to Shortcuts.

You also need to be aware of “untrusted” shortcuts. Scroll to the end for more.

1. Create custom app icons

Perhaps the most popular addition to iOS 14 and the Shortcuts app is the ability to create custom app icons. Combine custom app icons with widgets anywhere, and you can create a unique home screen that looks stunning. The process is a little tedious, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you can have a totally custom look. Take that, Android fans!

2. Siri, I’m getting pulled over

This shortcut has been around for a while now, but it resurfaced earlier this year, prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests. After setting up the shortcut, you can tell Siri, “I’m being pulled over” and your iPhone will both send your current location to a designated friend or family member and automatically begin recording from the front-facing camera on your phone. When you’re done recording, you can send the video to a prefilled contact, and upload to it iCloud or Dropbox with a couple of taps.

3. A spellchecker for anything

Autocorrect is nice, but it doesn’t catch and change every tpying mistake we make. See? You can copy or share any block of text from another app to the Check Spelling Shortcut, which will check it for spelling errors and present you with a corrected block of text, and then activate the share screen to copy the new text or share it with another app.

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