Let’s learn to use Apple Shortcuts

Apple shortcuts, is an app underestimated by many. Its potential is enormous, it makes it possible to perform operations that would require several steps with a single tap or asking Siri. It is practically the equivalent of Automator present on Mac OSX.

Commands comes from Workflow, an app acquired some time ago by Apple. It may not be present on your iPhone or iPad, if is your case you have to download it from the App Store. The first time you use Commands you may be a bit confused. Below are some examples of use that will help you understand how it works.

use shortcuts to track the water we drink

In the Health app we can keep track of the water we drink every day. We have two possibilities to enter data, open Health every time and enter data by hand or install an app that does it automatically. With Commands instead we can create a shortcut in the widgets menu between the quick commands, thus avoiding app installations, let’s start!

We open Commands and at the top right tap on the “+” symbol. In the “New Command” screen we tap on the three dots “…”. Here we give the name to the command (I called it “Register water”, but you can choose what you want), activate the check mark on “Show in widget”. Done that tap on the upper right end.

Now we can proceed with “+ Add action”, in the search box we search for the action “List” and select it. We select the default value “one” and rename it to 200 (average quantity of a glass of water). We rename “two” to 100, finally we add a new element and insert 50.

Another tap on the blue circle “+” to add a new action, this time we try choose and add “Choose from list”. “Choose from List” should appear.

Now add the last action, usually tap on the blue circle “+” and search for “Save sample of health data”. In the typical field we choose “Water”. In the value field we select “variables”, tap on “Selected element”. Set the unit of measurement to “ml” if it is not already. In the date field, select variables again and scroll down the list to the left looking for and selecting “Current date”.

The final result must be like the one shown below.

Tap on end and let’s try our shortcuts. Let’s go to the widget screen, we will have to see the icon of record water among the choices as in the figure, select it.

At this point you will be shown the choices set “200, 100, 50”, select the one you want. Then, check whether the data entered is in the health app.

Let’s monitor caffeine

You can also monitor caffeine, below are the screens with actions: