The Shortcuts app in iOS and iPadOS is an awesome utility that lets you automate tasks on your iPhone or iPad. Tasks can be automated to trigger based on time of day or even location. You can get started exploring using Shortcuts with a few easy steps. In this example, we will automate launching an app at 9:00 PM every evening. It actually gives a notification for you to tap “Run” to launch the app. Since I am forgetful and lazy, going through a few extra steps to create the shortcut now helps ensure that I’ll use the app successfully on a daily basis over time.
The Shortcuts app runs on Apple iPhones and iPads. It can be downloaded from the AppStore or by clicking on the following link on your phone: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shortcuts/id1462947752
Shortcuts deliver a quick way to get things done with your apps with just a tap or by asking Siri. With the Shortcuts app, you can create personal shortcuts with multiple steps from your favorite apps. You can easily get started with the hundreds of example shortcuts provided in the Gallery, or drag and drop actions to create your own. The Shortcuts app includes over 300 actions for many of your favorite apps including Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Music, Photos, Camera, Reminders, Safari, and more. We will automate launching an app at 9:00 PM every evening.
- Open the Shortcuts app and tap “Automation” at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on Create Personal Automation
Next, we want to automatically launch the app at 9:00 PM each day.
- Select “Time of Day”
- Change the time to “9:00 PM“
- Select or De-Select the days of the week so the app runs on the days you choose. Then tap “Next“
Now that we’ve set the time and days of the week we want this to run, we need to tell it what we actually want it to do. In this case, we want to make a Script to Open an App.
- Tap on “Add Action“
- Tap on “Scripting“
Next, create a script to open the app we want. The scripting feature is pretty powerful, but we’ll keep it nice and simple for this example.
- Tap on “Open App“
- Tap “Choose” and select the app you want opened.
- When the app you chose appears next to “Open” tap “Next” to continue.
Review the final screen to make sure you have everything the way you like for this shortcut. You can modify When the shortcut runs and what you want it to Do by simply tapping on those settings.
Now you are all set to receive a notification on your phone at the designated time to run your app. I like this tool better than Reminders because I simply tap “Run” on the notification to launch the app.