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Home > Tips > Everything You Need to Know About iOS 13 Shortcuts Automation

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 13 Shortcuts Automation

Shortcuts app is powerful. With Automations, it is even better. Here is all you need to know to make your iOS 13 shortcuts automation even more powerful.

Updated Sep 26,2019 | by Cody

The powerful automation app, as people who use it claims, Shortcuts app is now a built-in feature comes with a few new actions and automation triggers. With iOS 13 Shortcuts automation, you can run a shortcut or many shortcuts automatically when a trigger is met.

iOS 13 Shortcuts Automation

In this article, you will learn how Shortcuts automation works and how to create your own automation flow. Well, some triggers will run without prompting you but some require user intervention to run. Luckily, there is a trick to work this around. Keep reading to find out.

Title List

All the Available Automation Triggers

When you tap on the Automation tab on the bottom, you will see two types of automation, Personal Automation, and Home Automation. Personal Automation allows you to run tasks on your iOS devices while Home Automation controls your smart home devices.

Personal Automation

Personal Automation

 Personal automation triggers enable you to executive actions solely on your devices. As of iOS 13.1, you have the following triggers included:

Time of day: Triggers a shortcut or a set of automation at a specific time.

Location Trigger: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when you leave or arrive at a location.

Alarm: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when an alarm starts or stops.

Apple Watch Workout: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when you start working out using the Apple Watch.

CarPlay: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when you connect to CarPlay.

New Automation

Imagine that you can combine all these triggers with more than 300 actions and many pre-made shortcuts. A lot of things can be done automatically. For example, you can set an automation task to play your favorite music when you connect to CarPlay.

Home Automation

You can also create automation that works for everyone in your home if you have HomeKit-enabled accessories connected. Home automation triggers are listed as below: 

People Arrive: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when someone arrives home, using geolocation.

People Leave: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when everyone leaves the house.

Time of Day Occurs: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when it hits a specific time.

An Accessory is Controlled: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when a certain HomeKit device is turned on or off.

A Sensor Detects Something: Triggers a shortcut or a set of actions when a home-based sensor device detects something — movement, smoke or dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

As you can see, these are equally as powerful. You can have a shortcut that plays relaxing music and activates a thermostat when you arrive home or a shortcut that turns on a home alarm when everyone leaves. 

How to set up shortcut automation in iOS 13.1

You have learned all the automation triggers in Shortcuts Automation. Now, it is time to set up simple shortcut automation to better help you understand the basics of this new feature. For example, let’s create easy automation that plays a playlist at a certain time in the morning. Step 1. Open Shortcuts app and tap on the Automation button at the bottom.

Step 2. Tap on the Plus icon to create new automation and select Create Personal Automation. From there, select ‘Time of the day’ as the trigger.

Step 3. Now you can specify the time of day to trigger the actions. You can uncheck the weekends if needed.

Step 4. Now you can tap Add Action to add Find Playlist and Play Music action. Be sure to select your favorite playlist.

Add Actions

Step 5. You can tap the Play button to run this shortcut to see if it works. After that, save this automation task.

 Edit Automation 

Once you enable the automation, it will get activated automatically and perform the action as planned in most of the cases. However, as of iOS 13.1, the Time and location triggers require your confirmation. When it reaches the specific time, it shows you a notification and you need to tap on it to run the shortcut, so it works like a reminder.  Luckily, there is a nice workaround.  

A Trick to Run Shortcuts Automatically without User Intervention

There’s a way to really make your time of day automation work in the background without user intervention by combining it with Do Not Disturb mode in settings. You can refer to the steps below to see how it works.

Step 1. Go to Automation, create a shortcut and choose the  Do not disturb option.

Step 2. Select when it Is turned on, you click on Next and you drag the actions you want to perform or you can add the Run Shortcut action and select a pre-made shortcut.

Step 3. Click Next and you will have a recap of your shortcut. From there, toggle off the option Ask before running.

Step 4. Go to Settings and find the setting for Do not disturb mode. Create a Schedule to turn on Do Not Disturb mode.

That’s it.  Your shortcut is ready and will activate every time the Do not disturb mode is activated automatically. You can also add an action to disable Do not disturb mode in the automation. 

NFC-based Automation in iOS 13.1

Shortcuts in iOS 13 also support NFC tags. For example, you can place an NFC tag in your car and you can set it to automatically enable Do Not Disturb While Driving or send someone your current ETA.

 Even though many iOS devices have NFC support, you will need an iPhone XS or iPhone XR or newer to actually use NFC tags.

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