Blog Article

10 iPhone Automation Ideas—and How to Set Them Up

Neeraj Shukla
By Neeraj Shukla | February 5, 2024 1:10 pm

In the era of smart technology, automating your iPhone can significantly enhance your daily productivity and convenience. Apple's Shortcuts app, integral to iOS, enables users to automate a variety of tasks, from basic functionalities to complex sequences. Here are eight iPhone automation ideas that can transform your daily routine, along with guidance on how to set them up.

What is iPhone Automation?

iPhone Automation is a feature within the Shortcuts app that allows users to automate various tasks and actions on their iPhones based on specific triggers. These automations can streamline daily routines, enhance productivity, and personalize the user experience by executing predefined actions automatically when certain conditions are met. Conditions can include a wide range of triggers such as time of day, location of arrival or departure, the opening of an app, connecting to a charger, and more.

With iPhone Automation, users can configure their devices to perform tasks like opening their favorite playlist when a workout starts, turning on Do Not Disturb during meetings, sending automated messages, adjusting phone settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth based on location, and much more. This powerful tool leverages the Shortcuts app's capabilities to create custom workflows, enabling users to design a more intelligent and responsive digital environment that adapts to their lifestyle and needs.

Here are 10 iPhone automation and how to set up them:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Automation Idea: Start your day with a custom morning routine that opens your daily planner, weather forecast, and plays your favorite news podcast.

    How to Set Up:Open the Shortcuts app and tap on "Automation." Tap "Create Personal Automation," then select "Time of Day" to schedule your routine. Choose the actions like opening a specific app, fetching the weather, and playing a podcast. Save and name your automation.

  3. Wi-Fi Connectivity
  4. Automation Idea: Automatically turn off your mobile data when you connect to your home Wi-Fi network to save on data usage.

    How to Set Up: In the Shortcuts app, create a new automation based on the "Wi-Fi" trigger. Select your home Wi-Fi network. Add the action to turn off mobile data. Finalize and enable the automation.

  5. Meeting Mode
  6. Automation Idea: Set your iPhone to Do Not Disturb mode, send a custom message to incoming calls, and open your note-taking app during scheduled meeting times.

    How to Set Up: Create a new automation based on the "Calendar" trigger. Choose your meeting calendar events as the trigger. Add actions for Do Not Disturb, messaging, and opening an app. Activate the automation.

  7. Location-Based Reminders
  8. Automation Idea: Get reminders for specific tasks when you arrive at or leave a particular location, such as picking up groceries when you leave work.

    How to Set Up: Use the "Location" trigger to create this automation. Input your target location and select "Arrive" or "Leave." Add the action to display a reminder. Save the automation.

  9. Charging Playlist
  10. Automation Idea: Automatically play a soothing playlist when you plug in your iPhone to charge at night. How to Set Up: Set up a new automation with the "Charger" trigger. Select "Is Connected" and then choose to play a playlist from your music app. Name and save your automation.

  11. Email Digest
  12. Automation Idea: Schedule a daily or weekly summary of your unread emails from VIPs to be read aloud every morning.

    How to Set Up: Create an automation based on the "Time of Day" trigger. Add actions to fetch unread emails from VIPs and use the "Speak Text" action. Configure the time and days for this automation.

  13. Workout Mode
  14. Automation Idea: Automatically turn on Do Not Disturb, play your workout playlist, and open your fitness tracking app when you arrive at the gym.

    How to Set Up: Use the "Location" trigger for when you arrive at the gym. Add actions for Do Not Disturb, music, and opening an app. Enable the automation to activate at the gym location.

  15. Sleep Time
  16. Automation Idea: Dim your lights (if you have smart home devices), turn on Do Not Disturb, and play white noise or a sleep playlist at your bedtime.

    How to Set Up: Schedule this with the "Time of Day" trigger based on your usual bedtime. Add actions for controlling smart home devices, Do Not Disturb, and playing audio. Save and enable this nightly routine.

  17. Smart Commute
  18. Automation Idea: Enhance your morning routine with a smart commute automation that integrates traffic updates and navigation app launching based on your alarm or a set time, streamlining your departure with efficiency.

    How to Set Up: Utilize the Shortcuts app to create an automation triggered by your morning alarm or at a predefined time, perfect for regular commutes. Incorporate app integration by fetching the latest traffic information and opening your preferred navigation app, ensuring you're always ahead of the traffic curve.

  19. Energy Saving
  20. Automation Idea: Automatically turn off unnecessary services like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and lower brightness when your battery drops below a certain percentage, helping extend your battery life.

    How to Set Up:In the Shortcuts app, select "Create Personal Automation" and choose the "Battery Level" trigger. Set the trigger condition to be less than a specified percentage (e.g., 20%). Add actions to turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and adjust your screen brightness to a lower level. Save and name your energy-saving automation.

Benefits of iPhone Automations

iPhone Automations, powered by the Shortcuts app, offer a range of benefits that enhance user experience, productivity, and device functionality. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Increased Productivity: Automations streamline repetitive tasks, saving time and effort. By automating actions like sending messages, setting reminders, or organizing daily schedules, users can focus on more important tasks.
  • Enhanced Convenience: Automations can perform tasks based on the context, such as turning on Do Not Disturb mode during meetings, playing music when you start a workout, or sending your ETA when you’re driving home, enhancing the convenience of using your device.
  • Improved Device Management: Users can automate settings adjustments, such as enabling Low Power Mode when the battery is low, turning off Wi-Fi when leaving home, or adjusting screen brightness based on the time of day, helping to optimize device performance and battery life.
  • Personalized Experience: Automations allow for a tailored user experience. Whether it's opening your favorite app at a specific time, setting up custom greetings, or automating smart home devices when you arrive or leave your house, these personalized actions make your iPhone feel more intuitive and responsive to your needs.
  • Seamless Integration: iPhone Automations can integrate with a wide array of apps and services, enabling seamless workflows. This means you can automate tasks across different apps, like scheduling social media posts, tracking water intake, or even automating email and message responses.
  • Smart Routines: Automations support the creation of smart routines for both personal and professional life. From morning routines that prepare you for the day to bedtime routines that help you unwind, automations can significantly enhance daily life quality.
  • Accessibility Support: Automations can also be a boon for accessibility, providing support for users with disabilities by automating frequent actions or tasks that might otherwise require manual effort, thus making the device easier and more comfortable to use.
  • Safety and Security: Certain automations can enhance safety and security, such as sending location updates to family members during a trip, automating emergency messages, or enabling security settings when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.


iPhone Automations significantly transform how users interact with their devices, bringing about a blend of efficiency, convenience, and personalization. By leveraging the Shortcuts app, users can create a variety of workflow automations that not only streamline daily tasks but also optimize device management and enhance overall productivity. From simplifying morning routines to ensuring energy savings, each automation idea is designed to fit seamlessly into the user's lifestyle, making the iPhone an even more powerful tool. Whether for personal use, enhancing accessibility, or ensuring safety and security, iPhone Automations pave the way for a smarter, more connected digital experience, embodying the true potential of workflow automation in everyday life.

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Neeraj Shukla

Content Manager at Appy Pie