New for iOS 12: How to Create a Driving Directions Shortcut in the New Shortcuts App

One of the iOS 12 features I've been eagerly awaiting is Apple's new Shortcuts app. This new app allows you to instruct Siri to accomplish a task or series of tasks with native and third-party apps, all triggered by a phrase of your own choosing. In addition to creating your own Shortcut, Apple's latest help app also lets you choose from a Gallery of pre-designed shortcuts. Let's get started learning how to find the Shortcuts app on iPhone and iPad, and then use the Gallery to install a Shortcut we all need from time to time: finding directions home. Once you've installed the driving directions Shortcut, you can choose and configure as many other Gallery Shortcuts as you need. We'll go over how to create your own Shortcut in a future tip.

Related: iOS 12: When Should I Update My iPhone & iPad?

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The first thing you'll need to do is download and the Shortcuts app from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad and then open it. To do this: 

  • Open the App Store app.
  • Type Shortcuts in the Search bar and tap Get to the right of the app icon and name to download it.

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  • Once the app has downloaded, open the app in the App Store or from your Home screen.
  • The first time you open the app, you'll see a brief introduction to the app's features, tap Get Started to move on.

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  • A Library page will open; tap Gallery at the bottom of this page. Now you can choose from a selection of Shortcuts that Apple has already created; for this tip, I'll show you how I selected and installed the Directions Home Shortcut.
  • There are several categories in the Gallery; I scrolled down to Essentials, then scrolled left until I found Directions Home and tapped it.

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  • Now, tap Get Shortcut.
  • You'll be prompted to enter your home address, home city, and choose either Google Maps or Apple Maps as the maps app you'd prefer to use. Tap Continue after each entry, and Done at the end.

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  • You'll be brought back to the Shortcuts Gallery; tap Library at the bottom and you'll see your Directions Home shortcut. If you tap the Shortcut you'll enter the maps app you selected; just tap Go to start your route.
  • Now, any time you'd like Direction Home from anywhere you are that your maps app covers, all you'll have to do is summon Siri and say, "Directions Home." Your preferred maps app will open and begin the route to your house.

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.