How to use the Siri Shortcuts app in iOS 13 to easily retrieve important information

Reminding yourself of important information is now a lot easier thanks to Siri Shortcuts. Siri can now read information through your AirPods, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or HomePod.

Image: Apple, Inc.

Accessing important things such as pin codes, addresses, or other pieces of information while walking, driving, or other activities can be cumbersome and annoying if that information is stored in Apple’s Notes app or somewhere else on your phone.

Fortunately, you can ask Siri for information using the Siri Shortcuts app on your iPhone with iOS 13. You can then ask Siri to read that information through your AirPods, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or HomePod without unlocking your iPhone .

In this tutorial I show how you can create this Siri shortcut and how you can use it to read back information.

SEE: Apple Card: a cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The first step is to open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. If you have not enabled it, you can enable it by searching and reinstalling Siri Shortcuts in the App Store.

I create a new shortcut on the My Shortcuts tab and complete the following steps.

  1. Tap the + to create a new shortcut.

  2. Tap Add Action.

  3. Search for text and add it.

  4. Place in the text field the text that you want Siri to talk to you.

  5. Tap Add action again.

  6. Search for Speak and add (Figure A).

  7. Tap Next.

  8. Enter a shortcut name (I use important information).

  9. Tap Done.

Figure A

If you enter the correct actions in the shortcut workflow, it looks like this. Add the text that you want Siri to read in the Text field.

Image: Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

If you have read Siri numbers, add spaces to make them read one digit at a time; otherwise Siri will read them as whole numbers. For example, 1234 is read as “one thousand two hundred and thirty-four.”

The name that you specify as the shortcut name is the name that you use to activate this shortcut with Siri.

Follow these steps to read this information.

  1. On your iPhone, tap the side button (iPhone X or newer) or the Touch ID button (iPhone 8 or older) to activate Siri.
  2. Say “Important information” (or whatever the shortcut is called).

When you do this, Siri reads aloud the text entered in the text field of the shortcut (Figure B). Siri shortcuts should not be used to store passwords or other extremely sensitive information, because anyone who activates Siri can get the information. However, storing numbers and items that cannot be traced to how they are used is fine and synchronized between your devices with iCloud.

Figure B

Siri can read this text to you on AirPods, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or HomePod connected to the same iCloud account.

Image: Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

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