Device Actions

Shortcuts can control many of your device settings.

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Device Actions Shortcut


One of my favorite categories of application actions and shortcuts are the Device Actions. You can find those under the Scripting button. And if you just scroll down, you'll see the Device heading. Underneath that, you’ve got all these device actions. These are all things that showed up when Shortcuts got bought by Apple and incorporated into the software. There's no way they give a third-party access to this kind of stuff like setting the appearance or the wallpaper. But it's great to have this little tool kit.

For instance, if you want to turn on Do Not Disturb, you just drag it in. And you can click it, so it's on or off. If you click it on, you've got some options, you can leave it on for a certain amount of time or until you leave or until the current event ends. You can even have it ask you each time, how long you want to left on for.

There's other stuff you can do. You can turn on the flashlight. You can set the volume to your device by a percentage basis. One of the newer ones is, you can choose and set a specific wallpaper via automation. Get Device Details is a nice way to get a bunch of information about your device. There's a lot of options available, you don’t just get the name, you can get the operating system, the brightness, the volume, the screen height, you can use that information in building more complex scripts.

Now the obvious example for using all these device scripts is Airplane mode, you know getting on an airplane and having it do certain things for you. But, for instance, this Do Not Disturb one, I use all the time. Like if I'm going to start doing important legal work, I've got a shortcut. And I'm going to share it with you in the Useful Shortcut section, which is kind of my focus mode and I push a button, it turns off a bunch of stuff on my phone that would otherwise interrupt me and turning on Do Not Disturb is a piece of that.

Once you know these tools are here, I think the real trick is going out of the box, you know remembering that they are there and as you're developing your shortcuts, bringing them into play whenever they make sense. I incorporate the device shortcuts all the time. You're going to see them throughout chapter six, with several of the shortcuts that I've got there as examples. Now you know that they're there, your challenge is to start using them.

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