Apple introduced shortcuts for Macs running macOS Monterey during WWDC 2021. The latest Mac operating system isn’t available just yet, but here’s what you need to know about shortcuts and how it can help you get ahead. things once Monterey arrives.
How can I run a shortcut on my Mac?
Apple has built in shortcuts throughout the system. When using your Mac, you will be able to run shortcuts using the menu bar icon, Spotlight, from the Finder, through Siri, and using context menus. You can drag regularly used shortcuts to your Dock to run them from there.
In a contextual machine learning app, your Mac will do what it thinks are relevant shortcuts available in the lower right corner of the Finder menu when you select a file, document, or image. Finally, if you have a Mac with a touch bar, you will see icons appear for the recommended shortcuts.
What kind of things can shortcuts do?
During the WWDC keynote and in various reports since, we learned a few ways to apply the shortcuts:
- You can create a shortcut that will share selected picture files with a group thread in Messages.
- Use shortcuts to manage the working windows. So when you have too many apps open, you can ask Siri to sort them for you.
- Shortcuts are invaluable for batch editing images.
- If you are using smart lighting, you may want to create a lighting setup for video conferencing calls, which can then be invoked with a shortcut.
- Create a shortcut to open two frequently used apps next to each other in Split Screen.
- You can even create shortcuts for sharing digital business cards.
Where can I create shortcuts on a Mac?
The new Shortcuts app on your Mac gives you a gallery of predefined shortcuts and an editor that lets you create your own. The predefined shortcuts include tasks like adding batches of reminders or transforming text to audio, but you might need more specific automations.
The editor allows you to create your own actions from a menu of options. So you can receive photos from a gallery that you explore in Photos and turn them into GIFs or automatically crop and share those images, for example.
If you are using a Mac M1, shortcuts created on your iPhone and / or iPad will run on your Mac.
One more thing, the shortcut creation user interface looks much, much easier to navigate on the Mac, enhanced by a much smarter shortcut editor; he suggests what might be relevant “Suggestions for next action”.
Do shortcuts work on all devices?
Where it makes sense, shortcuts will work on all of your devices. You can create them on your Mac and send them to use on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.
Can I share shortcuts?
Lots of people are creating and sharing shortcuts already online, and Apple has made that a little easier. When Monterey ships this fall, it will be possible to share your shortcuts by sharing a link. This will make it easier to share the automations created for your business with everyone.
You can also share shortcuts privately, without iCloud.
What new actions are available with shortcuts?
I’m a big fan of Automator, but it seems likely that Apple has plans to deprecate this feature over the years. For now, the Automator app is still available and it is possible to convert your existing Automator workflows to Siri shortcuts using an Apple migration tool.
Essentially, the new automations introduced by Apple mean that you can automate all kinds of routine tasks on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, and all of the most popular Automator tasks are now also available in Shortcut.
What about AppleScript?
You can create AppleScripts in shortcuts, which allows you to perform powerful automations.
What about the developers?
Developers can perform actions offered in their applications and make them available as shortcuts. Apple has provided a lot of information regarding shortcuts on Mac and service enhancements across all of its platforms available using the Developer app or through its developer website.
When will it be available?
You will be able to use shortcuts on your Mac when Monterey ships. If you participate in Apple’s public beta software program, you may be able to try out these features before the final release, once that beta is released. The developers will already be working with the first versions of the operating system.
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