Here's What I've FoundThat's Changed in Shortcuts for a VoiceOver User

iOS & iPadOS

I know this is late, but I didn't have a lot of time to work with it last week. For those of us who were already using Workflow, and might not have had a lot of time to play, here are the differences I've noticed between that and Shortcuts
You can now use the drag and drop commands in the rotor to reorder shortcuts in your library. Also, if your shortcut accepts input, and you're using an iPad, you can drop things onto a shortcut and have it run with what you dropped as input.

Double tapping on a shortcut now runs it, rather than editing it, which, believe me, takes some getting used to. To edit it, flick to edit on the actions rotor.

While we're talking about the rotor, you can also delete, duplicate and rename a shortcut from there, rather than having to go into edit and selecting it.

Editing or creating a shortcut is mostly the same but there are a couple of things. The actions list defaults to what it thinks you want to do next, like before, but now to get all the action categories you have to double tap the search field.

Double tapping an action now puts it at the end of the Shortcut you're working on, the description gets read as a part of the action in that list.

The editor itself is a little different, too. Action names are now headers, making it possible to flick through them with the rotor on header mode. In here, the double tap on an action still works to read the quick help.

The other thing you'll notice is voiceover gives you a lot more information when you're on an action. It tells you what section the action is from, scripting, web, etc. it also tells you if you're inside a block, like an if or repeat.

This can get a bit noisy in complicated shortcuts, giving you things like "inside of repeat, inside of if, inside of if", etc, but it can come in handy.

Variables are proper elements in edit fields. This means that backspacing and moving in edit fields that contain variables is a lot more sane. If anyone else had as much fun formatting text fields with multiple variables as I did this will be worth the upgrade on its own.
And the last one I can think of right now is that the dictate text action now works properly with voiceover. For me at least, this used to not work.



Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I've noticed that if you run a shortcut outside of the app, as soon as the shortcut is run, it drops you off in the shortcuts app itself rather than where you were when you decided to run the shortcut. Is this a bug or is it by design and if it is by design, is there any way of dropping me where i was when i launched the shortcuts app?
I hope you understand what i mean.

The simple answer is probably not.

The more complicated answer is can you tell me what kinds of things you're running and how you're launching them? It often depends on what the Shortcut's doing and how you're launching it as to whether it has to go into the app or not. A shortcut run from the share sheet for example usually stays in the app you ran it from. I'm actually still experimenting with ones I launch with Siri, so I'm not quite sure about that.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I found and shortcut called Speed dial and i linked it to Siri and run it from the home screen. It dialed the number correctly but after having hung up the phone, i found myself back in the shortcuts app again, rather than at the home screen where i was when i called up Siri to run the shortcut.
I think it defeats the whole purpose with automation the way it was described on the WWDC, if you have to always close the shortcuts app after having run a shortcut via Siri on the home screen.

Submitted by Jeff on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Regarding Krister's question, is there an action to close an app, or put another way, an action to return you to the home screen? If so, you could put that action at the bottom of the shortcut.

Another question about actions: I'm wanting to create a shortcut to get my new messages and notifications with a single Siri command. Are there actions for these? In other words, I'm wanting to create a "start my day" shortcut that turns off DND, reads my new messages and notifications, then perhaps a short weather forecast for the day. If this is possible, how is it done?

There doesn't seem to be any action that puts you on the home screen, at least not that i know of, but i have just started with the app, so maybe there is one such action. There's an action to open apps but i don't know if it opens the finder at desktop level.

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Well, after a bit of experimenting, at least on my iPad, whether a Shortcut you call from Siri leaves you in the shortcuts app or where you started seems to depend on what it does.

Shortcuts I have that need input from me end up back in the Shortcuts app. Ones that don't seem to leave me where I was, which seems to make a bit of sense.

About the only hands free thing you could do would be to ask Siri to open the app you were in, although I don't think she can go to the home screen that way.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In reply to by Yvonnezed

This has me wondering if there's an action which can close an app. If so, the shortcut could close the Shortcuts app after it's done.
I also seem to remember that in earlier versions of Workflow, you could make an app out of your shortcut or workflow as it were. Wonder if that option has disappeared?

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In reply to by Krister Ekstrom

Well, as far as I know there isn't a command to close an app.

On the other hand, the options to put a shortcut on the home screen or in a widget or on the share sheet are all still there.