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iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Time and location triggers make Shortcuts far more useful in iOS 13

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Shortcuts iOS 13
This is Shortcuts in iOS 13. It looks great.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Shortcuts app is already great, but in iOS 13 it gets even better. You can still create simple or complex workflows to do all kinds of tasks, from downloading YouTube videos or setting a quick meditation timer to resizing a whole folder of photos. But until now, you had to trigger those shortcuts manually.

In iOS 13, your iPhone or iPad can run a shortcut at a preset time or when you arrive at a specific location. This is huge.

How to resize a JPG on your iPhone

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If only you could resize and share all pictures.
If only you could resize and share all pictures.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever wanted to resize a photo before sending it, or posting it to the web? The quickest and easiest way to do this is with a shortcut. And it’s even quicker and easier because I’ve already written it for you. All you have to do is share the photo from inside the Photos app, pick this shortcut, and you’re pretty much done. Check it out.

Rumor roundup: What to expect in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 [Video]

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holding iPhone with
iOS 13 could offer tons of huge improvements to Apple's mobile operating system.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The last few weeks have been packed with rumors and leaks about what Apple may have in store for us with iOS 13 and macOS 10.15. With so much information coming out day after day, it’s hard to keep track of all the possible rumors.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the full list of expected features coming this year to iOS and macOS. From dark mode to iPad updates, and new Mac apps to Siri improvements, here’s everything we are expecting (so far) in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

How I wrote a shortcut to calculate the length of playlists

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Shortcut sign.
Shortcut sign.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This weekend I made a shortcut that takes a list of songs, adds up the total duration, and shows it in a notification.

The first part was easy. The Shortcuts app has a great action that can tell you anything about an iTunes Media file (or any other media file), including its duration. I whipped up a shortcut to cycle through a list of music tracks, adding up the durations along the way. It took five minutes, tops.

Then things started to go wrong. The shortcut returned the total duration in seconds. I don’t know about you, but for me, a number like 4,166.867 isn’t that useful. I prefer something like 01:09:26, or 1 hour 9 minutes and 36 seconds. The problem was, I couldn’t get from one to the other.

How to merge PDFs on iOS

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This is how we used to merge PDFs before computers.
This is how we used to merge PDFs before computers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Contrary to what you might expect, merging PDFs is easier on your iPhone than on your Mac. On the desktop, you first need to open both PDFs in the Preview app, and then work out how to combine the two of them. On the iPhone or iPad, you can select your PDFs in the Files app (or in the Mail app, or anywhere else you find them), and use a quick shortcut to combine and save them in one go.

It’s instant, foolproof, and Just Works™. Let’s see just how easy it is to merge PDFs on iOS.

How to use iOS Spotlight like a launchbar for your iPad

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Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Every morning, after I park my iPad in its desk stand, I start writing the same way: I play the same music playlist; I start the Focus app, which reminds me to take breaks; and I create a new Ulysses sheet to start typing in. And I do all of these almost without touching the screen.

You’d be surprised at how much you can do on the iPad with just the keyboard. Today we’re going to see some cool examples, plus a bonus Good Morning shortcut.

How to iMessage a photo with just one tap

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Just one tap.
Just one tap.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I got sick of having to tap a zillion buttons just to iMessage a photo to somebody, so I made a shortcut that lets me tap an icon on my Home screen, and sends my latest photo automatically to a preselected friend.

That’s it. You tap it, and the shortcut grabs the last photo you shot, and sends it. If that sounds like something you want, check it out.