Use this app to add nearly 150 features to Apple shortcuts

Apple Shortcuts is a powerful automation tool, but the number of built-in actions is a bit lacking. It's easy to feel bogged down when building something when you realize something is impossible. Free App Actions now helps by adding 141 actions, many of which Apple actually should have included in the first place.

I could spend the rest of this article listing features, but I'll save you the trouble and just say it has a lot. Highlights include many tools for converting units, a range of system integrations for things like checking whether a specific Bluetooth device or WiFi device is connected, and a range of functions for working with images and lists. The app is available for mobile devices (including iPhone and iPad) as well as Mac. Some of these actions only apply to one or the other device, but the vast majority of them apply to all devices.

First, just install the app and create a new shortcut. The best way to experience the new features is to go to Shortcuts, create a new shortcut, and browse actions by app. You can find everything under "Shortcuts",

I had a lot of fun playing this. The first workflow I built converted any highlighted text to an image, with a random image from Unsplash as the background. Here's how the shortcut works:

Here's a random image I made with it:

As far as imagery goes, this is just the beginning. For example, you can get the average or dominant color of an image, which is useful for automatic font selection. You can also blur the image.

There are also some handy tools for automating URLs. For example, if you have the URL, you can get the title of any web page. I used it to make a plug-in that can quickly get the name of the latest Lifehacker article and output a link in markdown format with the title.

There is still much to discover. There are some device-specific things like checking which Bluetooth devices are connected, which apps are currently open, and whether cellular data is turned on. As with shortcuts in general, the best way to figure out what you can do is to dig in and try it.