Scriptable controls your iPhone with JavaScript

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Scriptable works a lot like Siri Shortcuts, only more difficult.
Scriptable works a lot like Siri Shortcuts, only more difficult.
Photo: Scriptable

Now that you’re finally getting used to iOS 12’s new Shortcuts app, here comes Scriptable, a new automation app that runs JavaScript. It can make powerful and deep connections with your iPhone or iPad — working with the Files app, for example, or Reminders.

Why would you want such a thing? Well, maybe you know how to program JavaScript. Scriptable lets you take your code, and integrate it with iOS. You can make your own scripts and use them to automate iOS. For instance, how about creating something as simple as a custom save menu that lets you rename files as you save them?

Automate anything with Scriptable

How about some train times?
How about some train times?
Photo: Dhruv Vemula/Twitter

Scriptable has the potential to be huge, because it ties together actual JavaScript with built-in iOS features. You can display and edit photos, show a native date picker, and then use the input from that in your code. Here’s some of the stuff Scriptable can use:

  • Alerts
  • Calendar
  • Clipboard
  • Dictation
  • Document Picker
  • Files
  • Location
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Photos
  • Quick Look
  • Reminders
  • Safari
  • Share Sheet
  • Speech
  • UITable
  • URL schemes
  • Web views

That is, it works with pretty much everything you might want. It even integrates with Siri Shortcuts. That means you can add Scriptable sections to your Shortcuts, then run them just by talking to your iPhone.

Here's a handy script that tells you the local air quality.
Here’s a handy script that tells you the local air quality.
Photo: Scriptable

I don’t know much about using JavaScript, other than the few bookmarklets I’ve created to do things like forcing full-screen view on YouTube videos. But this is pretty exciting stuff, especially if you run up against something you just can’t do in Shortcuts. Now you can scour the web for useful JavaScript snippets to do the job, and add them to Shortcuts via Scriptable.

I’m going to dig into this app a lot more, and eventually write some how-tos on useful ways to employ it. Until then, the app is free, so you may was well take it for a spin yourself. And be sure to share any neat tricks.

Price: Free

Download: Scriptable from the App Store (iOS)