iOS 12 public beta seems to be quite stable on my iPhone X and iPad mini 4. Should I go all-in and install it on my iPad Pro?

Reading a Six Colors post about automating charts and was reminded that I created a workflow almost three years ago for just this task. Hard to believe Workflow has been around that long, and amazing to see how far it's come.

Now that a third public beta of iOS 12 has just been released, time to install it on my iPhone!

I haven't used Instapaper in years, but going independent seems like a good move for them. Hopefully it all works out; companies that change owners every few years spend more time shifting gears than going forward. I'd hate to see Instapaper fade away completely.

I'm a huge fan of Nathan Fillion and the Uncharted video games series, so this fan film was a joy to watch. He is Nathan Drake!

My first Victory Royale in Fortnite on Nintendo Switch!

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Always a good day when a visit to Blue Bottle occurs.

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I was an Apple retail employee (mostly a Mac Genius) from 2005-2011, and left seven years ago today. A lot has changed at Apple since then, but the stores still look and feel very much the same. This always makes me a little nostalgic when I visit one.

Some Initial Observations About Shortcuts

Apple started accepting requests to download the new Shortcuts app earlier today. I received an invite this afternoon and have spent about an hour using the app. Here are some of my initial thoughts.

  • The app may have some new functionality and a fresh coat of paint, but it's still very much the Workflow we know and love. The interface, how shortcuts (nΓ©e workflows) are created, and the actions available are basically the same.
  • I don't like how actions are listed. Shortcuts hides the groups of actions behind a set of suggested actions at first. To view all actions, you have to tap the Search field.
  • Shortcuts are run with just a single tap, not a double-tap. To view or edit a shortcut (or run it and see each action take place), tap β€’β€’β€’.
  • Unlike Workflow, Shortcuts doesn't show you each action step as it takes place. It hides this out of view, so a running shortcut doesn't have that visual distraction.
  • I didn't have any trouble adding some shortcuts to Siri. I was able to set a spoken phrase and run each of them without issue.
  • Siri Suggestions is an interesting feature. Based on your behavior, it offers a selection of actions that you've done before, such as view an article in Apple News or open an email you've recently read. These are actions you can't replicate in Shortcuts, but they're a bit limited in scope for the time being. I'm sure this will improve as time goes on.
  • There are several new system actions that can be used in Shortcuts:
    • Set Low Power Mode
    • Set do not disturb
    • Set Airplane Mode
    • Set Bluetooth
    • Set Cellular Data
    • Set Wi-Fi
  • There are also some new actions that provide some more functionality in iOS:
    • Run JavaScript on Safari Web Page
    • Markup
    • Show Result
    • Send and Request Payments
    • Share with iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Some third-party actions that Workflow supported seem to no longer be available:
    • Trigger IFTTT applet
    • Giphy
  • Some of my workflows no longer work, though exactly why is a bit of a mystery. Granted, these are really complex workflows, but they run fine in Workflow. I need to dig deeper into Shortcuts to see what might be causing it.

Much more functionality is expected to come in subsequent betas and, eventually, the final release of Shortcuts. I'm already impressed with this first beta, and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Update 2018-07-06: Restarting my iPad appears to have resolved the issue of some of my shortcuts not working.

What happens if you try to open an iOS 12 shortcut that has a new action in Workflow.

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