iOS 16.2: What’s New in Shortcuts

BY Parth Shah

Published 15 Dec 2022

iOS 16.2: What's New in Shortcuts app

Shortcuts – the default automation app on iPhone received a major feature boost with iOS 16. It hasn’t undergone any major redesign or technical revamp. Instead, Apple has focused on implementing more actions for built-in apps, offering the required APIs to developers, and bringing more stability to the Shortcuts app. The company promised new scripting actions at WWDC22, which are now finally available with iOS 16.2 on iPhone.

You should head to Settings > General > Software Update menu to install iOS 16.2 build on your iPhone. Otherwise, you won’t find the below-mentioned app shortcuts.

Shortcuts Actions for Better Wallpaper Management

Apple completely revamped the lock screen and wallpaper picker menu in iOS 16. The new additions in the Shortcuts app reflect the changes. Following the iOS 16.2 update, you shall find new scripting actions in the Shortcuts app.

Get Wallpaper

Gets all your Lock Screen wallpapers and returns them as output so you can use them with other actions. Since the Lock Screen customization add-ons are limited to iPhone, you can’t use the same action on iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

Switch Between Wallpapers

It allows you to automate the lock screen wallpapers based on a specific action, input, or time. For example, you can create a shortcut to switch wallpaper during the day, noon, evening, or night. If you have linked a focus to a specific lock screen wallpaper, the action changes the Focus status too. So be careful while using the script as it may disable linked Focus on your iPhone. As expected, the same isn’t available for iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch users.

iOS 16.2 renames the Set Wallpaper action to Set Wallpaper Photo. The function remains the same as before. It’s just a name change.

You can launch Shortcuts and open the Add Action menu while creating a new shortcut from scratch. Open Scripting under the Categories and scroll to System to find wallpaper actions.

New App Shortcuts for Apple Books Users

Apple Books gets ten ready-to-use shortcuts to spruce up the reading experience. Let’s check them out.

1. Change Book Appearance

As the name suggests, it changes the appearance and theme of an open book.

2. Change Page Navigation

Navigate an open book by turning pages or scrolling continuously.

3. Change View in Books

The action changes the tab or sidebar view in the Books app.

4. Open Book

Simply opens a specific book based on action.

5. Open Collection

Launches a standard collection in the Books app.

6. Open Current Book

Open your most current book.

7. Play an Audiobook

Starts playing an audiobook in the background.

8. Play the Current Audiobook

Play your most current audiobook in the background.

9. Search in Books

Search for books and audiobooks in the store and your library by author or title.

10. Turn Page

Turn to the next or previous page in an open book.

You can follow the steps below to find these actions in the Shortcuts app.

Step 1: Open Shortcuts on your iPhone.

Step 2: Hit the + icon in the top right corner.

iOS 16.2: Add Action button in Shortcuts app

Step 3: Select Add Action and slide to the Apps menu.

Books app support in iOS 16.2 Shortcuts app

Step 4: Open Books to find all app shortcuts.

Apple Books integration in iOS 16.2 Shortcuts app

When Shortcuts was first made available on the iPhone, Apple relied on users to create scripts for shortcuts. It was confusing, inconvenient, and time-consuming for many, and the app never got traction among iPhone, iPad, or Mac users. With iOS 16, the company aims to simplify the experience with App Shortcuts.

App Shortcuts are easy-to-use one-action shortcuts that developers implement on their apps. Instead of letting users figure out everything, Apple wants developers to put extra effort into eliminating the learning curve. Once you install an app from the App Store, the relevant shortcuts will be available to use in the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.

We can’t wait to see how third-party developers explore APIs to create useful app shortcuts for users. iOS 16.2 update isn’t limited to new features in the Shortcuts app. There are plenty of other new features in iOS 16.2 that will further enhance your iPhone.