The iOS Shortcuts app.
The iOS Shortcuts app.

iOS Shortcuts

These are a few shortcut scripts I've made for Apple's iOS Shortcuts app.

You know how some websites will include a helpful "this article takes X minutes to read" message? I wanted that feature on every website, so I made the Reading Time shortcut. It does exactly what you'd expect: takes an article, does some math on the number of words, and outputs a rough estimate of how long it will take you to read it.

This shortcut sends anything to your inbox. No frills, no nonsense. Send to Inbox is probably my most-used shortcut.

Send Photo to Inbox opens your camera to snap a photo and then sends it to your inbox. It’s useful for when you come across a poster or other visual bit of information that you need to process later

On a bike, the weather can become harsh without proper clothing. Cold air can numb your hands, the hot sun can soak you in sweat, and rain can just plain soak you. To make it more complicated, you can’t always trust the weather when you walk out the door. It may be drastically different during your ride home.

Bike Commute Clothes will look at your calendar and give you the important weather details for the times that matter. It then provides clothing recommendations, such as if you should bring a rain jacket, or if it’s too hot to wear your office clothes.

This shortcut is probably my most subjective. It’s based on my climate, my biking habits, and my preferences. It probably won’t be suitable if you plan on biking for an hour through a blizzard, but you are free to customize it to suit your own lifestyle

The Roman Catholic teaching on abstaining from meat is fairly straightforward, except for when it’s not (canons 1249-1253). If you’re having trouble keeping up with solemnities, Can I Eat Meat Today? checks if today falls on a Friday or other day of abstinence, and then it checks if today is a solemnity which would overrule the abstinence obligation. This won’t account for any of your local rules or exceptions (e.g. USCCB). So if you follow a non-meat-related fasting practice, just edit that into the shortcut instead. Powered by the Church Calendar API.

About my shortcuts

As the iOS Shortcuts app inspires a new generation of script junkies to program their iPhones and iPads, I’ve seen a lot of shortcuts plagued by bloat and unneeded complexity. Although I understand the urge to use Shortcuts as a means to make your own “app,” I see this as ultimately an attempt to square a circle. By the time you’ve hacked together a user setting panel, iCloud storage, updater, and subroutines, you’ve created neither a good app nor a good shortcut. Like writing a sonnet, writing a good shortcut means only using the exact number of lines you need to reach the final couplet.

My shortcuts are as trim as they can afford. They aren’t versioned. Because iOS Shortcuts makes editing them so easy, I assume that every download is essentially a fork. My analogy is that each shortcut is like the knowledge of a real-life shortcut. If I figure out a faster way of completing a task and then share it with someone, that person is free to use that knowledge however they want.

So I hope you find these useful. Feel free to change, or do whatever else, you want with them.