As I defined in as we speak’s concern of MacStories Weekly for Membership MacStories members, we’re bringing the publication’s Shortcuts Nook part to the location, with a twist: on this collection, you’ll discover easier shortcuts that you may obtain at no cost, and which shall be added to the general public MacStories Shortcuts Archive; you’ll additionally get a preview of an unique shortcut accessible as we speak for Membership MacStories members.

On this week’s Shortcuts Nook, I share shortcuts to rapidly launch a search question within the YouTube app, preview the contents of a folder in iCloud Drive, and begin playback for considered one of your just lately performed albums within the Music app. Let’s dive in.

Search YouTube

Since I created this straightforward, three-action shortcut just a few weeks in the past, it’s develop into considered one of my most used automations: with this shortcut, you’ll be able to kind a search question in an ‘Ask for Enter’ dialog, then faucet ‘OK’, and the chosen search will open within the YouTube app for iPhone or iPad.

Searching YouTube from Shortcuts.

As you’ll be able to see from the screenshots above, the YouTube app can do that by including youtube:// earlier than a normal URL – on this case, the URL to open a search outcomes web page. You possibly can seek for each movies and channel names with this shortcut, and outcomes shall be displayed within the YouTube app. Because of conversational mode in iOS and iPadOS 13.1, it’s also possible to ask Siri to seek for movies, and the assistant will launch the YouTube app.

I’ve been utilizing this shortcut to rapidly launch searches in YouTube so typically, I’ve added it to my iPhone and iPad House screens utilizing MacStories Shortcuts Icons. You possibly can learn extra particulars on MacStories Shortcuts Icons right here and purchase them straight right here.

The top section of my iPadOS Home screen, featuring MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

You possibly can obtain the ‘Search YouTube’ shortcut beneath and discover it within the MacStories Shortcuts Archive.

Search YouTube

Kind a search question and open search ends in the YouTube app. The shortcut helps each keyboard enter and conversational mode in Siri.

Get the shortcut right here.

Preview Folder Contents

I initially created this shortcut to extra simply search the contents of the MacStories Shortcuts Icons folder, however it may be repurposed to work with any folder saved in iCloud Drive/Shortcuts.

Right here’s the thought: when you have a folder containing paperwork you need to rapidly search or preview, you should utilize this shortcut to deliver up a preview for all of the objects within the chosen folder. You possibly can filter objects by identify beforehand; when you go away the search dialog empty, the shortcut will preview all of the information contained within the folder.

All the contents of a folder (left) can be previewed inside the Shortcuts app.

As a consequence of sandboxing limitations within the Shortcuts app, the folder must be positioned in Shortcuts’ personal paperwork listing in iCloud Drive. As I argued in my iOS and iPadOS 13 evaluation final week, Apple ought to do away with these limitations, however we’re caught with them for now. For that reason, I like to recommend this shortcut to preview the contents of folders you continuously entry, and which you wouldn’t thoughts storing as sub-folders contained in the Shortcuts listing (equivalent to MacStories Shortcuts Icons).

Shortcuts can return the complete contents of a folder because of the ‘Get File’ motion: if the motion doesn’t level to a person file, it’ll cross again a listing of all information contained in a folder as an alternative.

Reading the contents of a folder with Shortcuts.

Moreover, the wealthy preview generated by the ‘Select from Record’ motion adjustments relying on the information you’re previewing: if it’s a folder of pictures, ‘Select from Record’ will show a grid of picture thumbnails; if they’re textual content information or .zip archives, you’ll get a plain record as an alternative. On the finish of the shortcut, you’ll have the ability to preview a single chosen file with Fast Look or share it with different apps through the share sheet.

You can preview or share a selected file.

I’ve been utilizing this shortcut to preview the contents of various folders I retailer in iCloud Drive/Shortcuts; ideally, Apple ought to permit Shortcuts to learn the contents of any folder in any file supplier no matter its location, however this may do for now.

You possibly can obtain the ‘Preview Folder Contents’ shortcut beneath and discover it within the MacStories Shortcuts Archive.

Preview Folder Contents

Preview the contents of a folder saved inside iCloud Drive/Shortcuts. The shortcut allows you to filter objects by identify; if no identify is entered, all information contained within the folder are returned. You possibly can select to preview a particular file with Fast Look or share it with extensions.

Get the shortcut right here.

Play Latest Music Albums

This shortcut is unique to Membership MacStories members and has been printed in as we speak’s concern (#193) of the MacStories Weekly publication.

The Shortcuts app doesn’t supply built-in Music actions to search out your just lately performed albums, mirroring what the Music app reveals within the ‘Not too long ago Performed’ part of the For You web page. So I constructed my very own customized shortcut to work round this limitation and begin taking part in albums I’ve just lately been listening to. With a few faucets, I can now get a listing of songs I listened to and instantly play the complete album.

Taking part in latest albums with Shortcuts.


There have been some choices I wanted to make when constructing this shortcut to work round different limitations of the Shortcuts app. To obtain this shortcut and skim my technical rationalization of the way it was constructed, subscribe to Membership MacStories and take a look at Subject 193 of MacStories Weekly, both in your e-mail inbox or the E-newsletter Archive.