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How to Trigger Automatic Shortcuts in iOS 13

3 min read

The iOS 13 beta is out for developers, and testers are finding a host of new features that the rest of us will be able to get our hands on in a few months. One of the most convenient changes to iOS 13 is the addition of automated triggers to the Shortcuts app.

The current version of the Shortcuts app lets users set up complex, multi-step actions that can be enabled with a single tap or Siri voice command. However, with iOS 13, users will be able to set up automatic triggers for shortcuts. They’ll fire off in the background without you having to do anything (though some actions may still require an approval from you, in which case a push notification will be sent when the shortcut is triggered).

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For example, you could set up smart home devices to activate at certain hours when your iOS device is nearby, designate specific locations where your phone will enter Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode, or even change your phone’s performance settings when you open a particular app.

Shortcut automation has the potential to not only reduce the number of times you have to pull your phone out of your pocket, but also help with time and productivity. You might even feel like a wizard if you use it to turn your lights off and on when you enter a room, and we’re eager to check that part out for ourselves.

The full list of iOS 13’s triggers for automatic shortcuts

Here’s the list of everything that can trigger an automatic shortcut so far, with one caveat—we’re still early in the iOS 13 beta, so it’s possible that new triggers might be added or removed in future (or final) builds. If you’re beta-testing iOS 13, you’ll find these new triggers in the Shortcuts app.

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  • Airplane Mode: Trigger actions when Airplane Mode is enabled or disabled.
  • Alarm: Triggers can be set for various alarm behaviors, such as when an alarm is snoozed, stopped, or first goes off.
  • Apple Watch Workout: Triggers can run when a workout is stopped or started on your Apple Watch.
  • Arrive: Set behaviors for when you arrive at specific locations. You can also set time windows for when these triggers go off, such as immediately when you arrive, 10 minutes after, etc.
  • Before I Leave: Can be set for 5, 10, 15, 30, or 60 minutes before you leave home.
  • Bluetooth: Can create device-specific triggers for when a device is paired.
  • CarPlay: Triggers actions to occur when you connect or disconnect from CarPlay.
  • Do Not Disturb: Set up triggers for when Do Not Disturb is turned on or off.
  • Leave: Similar to the Arrive trigger, but for when you leave a specific location instead.
  • Low Power Mode: Can set shortcut triggers for when the setting is either enabled or disabled.
  • NFC: Create triggers for when your phone recognizes specific NFC tags.
  • Open App: Set actions to happen when specific apps are opened.
  • Time of Day: Can set up triggers to happen are specific times of day. These can be general—such as at dawn or dusk—or more granular, down to an exact hour and minute on designated days.
  • Wi-Fi: Triggers for when you connect to a specific network.

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