How to use the Shortcuts app on iPhone and iPad like a PRO

shortcuts app

Having your own J.A.R.V.I.S like assistant can make all our lives easier. But being Iron Man is not a cup of tea, unless of course you are Elon Musk. But do not worry, now that we have technology that has been made so easy to access for everyone at such low costs today, even if we can not make our own Mark suits like Tony Stark, we still can have something a little bit like JARVIS in our own hands.

“Shortcuts” app on iOS is one such tool that can make a lot(if not all) of similar tasks possible.

So what is this ‘shortcuts’ application, how do we use it, what can we make out of it? We are going to find out everything about this fantastic app.

How To Use The Shortcuts App on iPhone and iPad Like A Pro?

The “shortcuts” application can be installed on our iPhone or iPad from the Apple App Store and we can use it for free.

“Shortcuts” app is useful for us in a lot of ways on our iPhones and iPads. There are numerous ways it can give us shortcuts for our tasks and destinations. So what is this “shortcuts” app?

Shortcuts app

What is Shortcuts?

Shortcuts by Siri is an excellent but often overlooked application that provides us with many shortcuts on our phones to open applications, execute tasks/commands, and make customized tasks too. These shortcuts can be used using Siri voice commands too.

To use the Shortcuts app on iPhone, it must have iOS 12 or above, and iOS 13 for iPad.

Here is the link to directly reach the page to install the application.

Now that we are ready with installing it, let us move on to what its capabilities are.

Shortcuts app

Default Shortcuts

In the application, there are predefined shortcuts that can be enabled directly from the application itself and be used with voice commands via Siri. How to do that?

To enable preloaded tasks from the shortcuts app, we have to start with opening the app itself. In the application, go to the “gallery” tab.

Shortcuts app

In the gallery tab, you will find options to set voice commanded actions using the default applications, for example, making calls, playing music, setting alarms etc.

Using this, we can add shortcuts that can automatically on command open the navigation for us and play music alongside.

To enable this from the gallery, find and choose the desired shortcut and edit with some necessary information that needs to be changed, such as the playlist you want to play, the location of your destination for navigation, etc.

With this, some applications will need extra permission too, which will have an option coming up in the shortcut itself while setting it up.

To use these shortcuts even faster, we can enable them via voice commands over siri. To do so, we will go to the library tab of the application again, then tap on three dots to open its properties.

Once opened, click on the “add to Siri” option, and record your voice command using the red circular button below it.

This, for now, is something not very impressive, but we have more upcoming that are surely not ordinary.

Create Custom Shortcuts

Other than navigation, music, and alars type of shortcuts, some other applications also can be used to create shortcuts that can be used with Siri voice commands.

Shortcuts app

So to do that, open the library of the app, which is usually the home screen of the app itself. In the library menu, click on the “create shortcut” button to make your own shortcut using applications that come by default and other third-party applications too.

[We can use only some third-party applications, those which are built to support shortcuts, many applications can not do that so check for that info first]  

In the create shortcut tab that we have opened, we can add tasks such as dimming the brightness of the screen, starting to record the front camera, using the “Do” tab.

“When I say” option will be used to allocate and place a voice command to initiate that shortcut task. For example, we made a shortcut for sleep time, so if we use the voice command of “Hey Siri, it’s bedtime” and set up the tasks of –

  1. Reduce the brightness of the screen
  2. Play a particular slow music playlist at low volume
  3. Put the phone in silent mode
  4. Set an alarm for 6 am for next morning
  5. Reminds you of prescribed medicine (if any of course)

So basically it makes your errands go in one simple go, either by using a shortcut button, or a voice command. Now, this sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Automatic Suggestions

When you are habitual of using any application on a regular basis repeatedly, the shortcuts app will automatically provide you suggestions of that task.

Shortcuts app

Add to Home/Lock Screen

Using the widgets, we can also add our designated shortcuts to the home screen or lock screen too.

To do so, go to the home screen of your iPhone or iPad, then tap and wait on your background till the apps start moving and the plus(+) icon appears on top of the screen. This is the widget adding section.

Find and tap on the “shortcuts” icon in the list and adjust the settings of the widget according to your needs.


So this was our detailed and easy to go guide for the application “Shortcuts” on the iPhones and iPads.

“Shortcuts” application has a lot of benefits, making tasks easier and doable in just one go, that is, one tap on the screen from your lock screen or the home screen itself.

It also has a very pleasant option of adding the shortcuts to Siri, using that we can just use a small Siri voice command and get our multiple shortcut tasks executed within almost a few seconds, without even touching the phone. This feature can help us out a lot in situations of emergency.

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