Apple’s iPhones and iPads can automate small tasks using a feature called “Shortcuts”. This blog post shows you how to display recent changes in your SuperSaaS calendar with a single click, or to have Siri read them aloud. If you have an Android device, we aim to do a blog post on how to do this with Google’s Assistant in the future.
Note that some of these steps will only work if you have the latest version of iOS installed, version 13.4 at the time of writing.
First, try out the Shortcuts app
Before the iPhone allows you to install a shortcut from a third party you will have to do two things: run a shortcut at least once and change the security settings.
So, first find the “Shortcuts” app on your phone by swiping down and typing its name. It’s installed by default on all modern iPhones, no need to download it from the App Store. Pick any one of the shortcuts on display in the gallery and run it.
Next, go to the “Settings” app and scroll down to the settings for the Shortcuts app. Here you will find a setting “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”. You will need to enable this to be able to install the shortcut in the next section. If you don’t like to enable this somewhat ominous sounding option you can also build the shortcut from scratch yourself from the screenshot below.
Install a Shortcut from the gallery
Now you are ready to set up our own shortcut.
Instead of copying these steps one by one you can just click one of the options below and it will install the shortcut from the gallery:
If you see a warning that the shortcut cannot be opened, you will want to make sure you did not skip the steps from the previous paragraph When you install the shortcut it will automatically ask you for a SuperSaaS schedule ID and for a password. Your schedule ID can be found by clicking the “Configure” button next to your schedule on the SuperSaaS Dashboard. The schedule ID will be the number at the end of the URL of the browser window. If you are not comfortable entering your password in the app, then you can enter a so-called API key instead. You can find your API key on the Account Info screen, at the bottom of the page.
You can test the shortcut by clicking it inside the shortcuts app. It should show you a list of upcoming or recently changed appointments on your calendar. Clicking one will open the relevant page on the SuperSaaS site so you can view the details and edit it. If you are happy with the result you can also create a button on your home screen. To put the button on your Home Screen click the circled ellipses (…) and on the pop-up, again click the ellipsis and then click “Add to Home Screen”. You can also simply say the name of a shortcut to Siri to have her (him? it?) activate it for you.
Modify the shortcut to suit your needs
You can rerun the setup at any time if you want to connect it to another schedule: click the circled ellipsis, and on the pop-up click the ellipsis once more, then click ”Customize Shortcut”.
If you have multiple SuperSaaS schedules you can duplicate the shortcut by clicking and holding the shortcut button until a pop-up appears, from there you can choose “Duplicate shortcut”.
You can also change the steps the shortcut performs. For example, if you activate a shortcut by saying its name to Siri then the result will be read back to you. It would be cumbersome to have her rattle off a long list of appointments. So here is a slightly modified shortcut to retrieve only the next upcoming appointment and show it right away, skipping the selection step:
The result is a shortcut better suited to a voice command to use on your watch or in your car. You can look at how these shortcuts are made by clicking the circled ellipsis button, which will show a little flow chart of each step. It’s quite straightforward and it should be possible to modify the shortcut to do many other things than simply displaying a message.
- Show the emails you received from the last person who made a change on your calendar
- Send a WhatsApp message to the next appointment on the calendar with the text “See you soon”
There are many ways you could expand these shortcuts, although it can take some fidgeting to get them to work correctly. If you can think of other cool applications we would love to hear about them.