Saturday, October 20, 2018

Shortcuts 101

IOS 12 was unveiled a month ago and the greatest change was the newly added app, Shortcuts.  It's somehow a high-level programming language like Basic86 or--later--QBasic, for those who remember those old good days about forty years ago!  What Shortcuts does is combining some activities into one, so performing related chain activities with one tap.

You can start from very basic shortcuts for simple jobs to more complicated ones including if/then/else conditions just like old fashion programming languages.

I have noticed most friends have not started using this wonderful app yet and many friends have no idea where to start and how it works.  So I tried to put a step by step recipe together for you.  In this basic example, the shortcut turns your flash light on with only one Siri command or one tap on the icon you create on your home screen.  So let's start without any further due!

First of all, please note that although Shortcuts is a new IOS 12 app, for some (stupid) reason it's not included and you have to install it!

Step 1. Open your Apple Store and search for "Shortcuts".  Install it (free).

Step 2. Tap on the icon to open the app.

Step 3. If you are new to Shortcuts, you only see the white window "Create Shortcut".  Tap on it.

Step 4. You will see a new window like below snap shot.  You can do many things in this very page already, but we leave it for more advanced shortcuts.  For now, just type in the search tab "set flashlight"

Step 5. Typing only "set f" will bring up "Set flashlight" at the first line.  Tap on it.

Step 6. The new window like the shot below opens.  I have created two separate shortcuts, one to turn the flash on, and another one to turn it off.  If you want to do the same, tap on "On" for the first one for now.  If you choose "Toggle" every time you run the shortcut, it turns the flash on/off.  After deciding to highlight "On" or "Off" or "Toggle", tap on the icon below "Done" at top right.

Step 7. You're almost done.  Stay with's now time to customize your shortcut in the window below.  To start, tap on "Name".

Step 8. Type whatever name you want, such as "Flash" or "Flash On".

Step 9. Then tap on "Icon".  Select a colour for the icon of your shortcut.

Step 10. Now select a glyph for your icon...choose from tens of glyphs provided.

Step 11. Add your shortcut to Siri. This is the best part of Shortcuts.  Use it.  Some people say they are not much into using Siri...why not?  She's a free assistant.  Use her as much as possible!  Just tap on the red record button and say loudly and clearly "Flash" or "Flash On" or whatever you wish.  Save it.

Step 12. Finally add your shortcut icon to the home button.  Tap on the square with up arrow at the bottom bar. 

Step 13. Tap on "Add to Home Screen".

You are done.  Now you can simply say "Hey Siri Flash" (all together non-stop).  Your flashlight will turn on in a moment.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra
Summer Outdoor Concert
Jack Poole Plaza
July 26, 2018

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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