Exploring topics beyond our day-to-day coverage.
In researching topics for the Automation Academy over the past few months, I’ve been digging into all the details of Apple’s built-in actions and comparing them against older versions of the Shortcuts app as well as third-party options offered by developers. In doing this, I’ve realized something that has been bothering me for a while: there is a clear inconsistency between modern features in Apple apps and their associated Shortcuts actions. The gap between functionalities in apps and matching Shortcuts actions has expanded over the years, and I think it’s time Apple takes a serious look at its app actions to reverse this trend.
If I had to guess, much of this problem boils down to Apple’s internal structure, how different teams communicate, and whether or not they are aware of each other’s latest work. For example: if the Reminders team is adding tags in iOS 15, who’s in charge of updating the ‘Add New Reminder’ action with support for a ‘Tag’ field? Is it the Reminders team? Or the Shortcuts one? We can’t know the answer to this question. All we know is the predicament we’re currently in: the Reminders actions in Shortcuts for iOS and iPadOS 15 have no tagging support whatsoever, despite tagging and smart lists being the highlight of the Reminders update this year.