#wwdc2019: Siri Shortcuts awakes

As a lover of automation on the Mac who sometimes attempts timid experiments with Siri Shortcuts, yesterday was more than interesting.

For many, the “conversational part” (the possibility to add paramenters to the request and have Siri ask follow-up questions) is the most interesting news, because it will lead to a more natural experience; for me the game-changer is the introduction of automatic triggers that will allow to perform multi-steps shortcuts when something external / planned occurs.

The possibility are endless, because there are already lots of different triggers (specific time, arriving or leaving at a location, launching a specific app, changing the state of the device like enabling Wifi, etc…) and we can already imagine that more will follow:

  • When I leave home, send an SSH command to my computer to start running some operations, turn off the lights and enable DND on the phone;
  • Every Friday at 7 p.m. blast “The Final Countdown” at maximum volume and trigger an AppleScript via SSH to copy some files to a specific location;
  • When I launch Tweetbot after 10 p.m., automatically search Google for “productivity killers”;
  • If I enable Airplane mode, also lower the device volume; when I disable it, send a message to a family member to tell I’m back online.

I could go on forever on the most implausible automations… it’s so freaking cool that we will finally have access to all that power without the need to manually start any action.

For now I can only dream, though: Shortcuts comes preinstalled with iOS 13 but I don’t plan to rush with the new operating system on my phone, so I tried playing with automatic triggers in the Simulator, where they don’t seem to cause any actions yet.