Apple Tests Siri Shortcuts for iOS 12 Based on Workflow App
This June, Apple's WWDC 2018 had a bunch of interesting announcements. One of those announcements was the new Shortcuts app in iOS 12, designed by Apple to work with Siri and make shortcuts for related tasks.
Now, the beta version of Siri Shortcuts has been released on TestFlight, a platform dedicated to testing apps and getting user feedback. Interested iOS developers who have access to the Developers Center can request for an invitation to test the Shortcuts app. Apple will invite selected users to test the beta via email.
In 2017, Apple purchased Workflow, an app that allowed users to create multi-step shortcuts using third-party apps. Workflow has now been developed and revamped to create Shortcuts, which can be activated using Siri voice commands.
The way Shortcuts works is that you can set a bunch of tasks related to just one command. For example, you can set the command “I’m going home” to set your thermostat to a particular temperature, text your roommate and open the Maps app to navigate home.
Testers of the new Shortcuts app who already had Workflow will have their shortcuts on Workflow migrated to the new Shortcuts app.
Right now, the iOS 12 beta has a taste of shortcuts. Some shortcut combinations can be made under Siri's settings page, but the fully customizable functionality of Shortcuts will be available with the app only.
The Shortcuts app is deeply customizable, with third-party apps offering a series of quick actions that Siri can perform using Shortcuts.
When iOS 12 was announced, Shortcuts was officially set for release with it during the fall. Nobody knew, however, if there was going to be a beta version of the Shortcuts app that would be made available to users.
The initial beta has been released, and Apple qualifies the release by clarifying that the initial beta will have limited functionality. The beta will also not sync to iCloud for now, nor will it be able to open third-party apps via Siri when the device is locked.
The initial beta is limited to developers only. It is yet to be seen whether Apple will release a public beta for widespread testing.
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