Siri Shortcuts and spoken variables

Siri Shortcuts and spoken variables


You can’t create a Siri Shortcut that includes a variable, for example “Add TitleOfBook to reading list”.
But there is a workaround for it, using the Shortcut App. There is a Dictation-command and you can use the result as a variable in following commands.

I’ve done that with Things 3:

Command 1: Dictate Text (I don’t know if it’s the correct naming in English, I’m using German) --> Book Title
Command 2: Dictate Text --> Author
Command 3: “Add Things To Do” with the following parameters:

Title: Dictated Text (the shortcut-App shows this variable on top of the keyboard, so click on it)
Liste: Lesen (the name of the reading list in Things 3)
Notes Field: Dictated Text (the shortcut-App shows this variable on top of the keyboard, so click on it)

How to use:

“Hey Siri, add to list reading” (you have to tell Siri to use “add to list reading” as command for this workflow)
Wait for Dication Window, then dictate the title of the Book.
Wait for Dictation Window, then dictate the name of the author.

That’s it

It’s far away from being optimal. Normally you would say “Add TitleOfBook from TheAuthor to list reading”, but it’s the best approach for now, I think.

(Justin DiRose) #2

Thanks for sharing this workaround!

I haven’t even begun playing with Siri Shortcuts yet, but this is very helpful information.

(David Negrin) #3

What version of iOS do I need for Siri Shortcuts?


Newest version 12 and the apps have to support this too. So Things 3 (newest version) does that.

(Wilson Ng) #5

@Sparky’s Siri Shortcuts is well worth the investment. It’s a great way to rocket your way to a competent level in Siri Shortcuts. It’s split up into multiple videos to make it easier to digest. I’m loving this tutorial.

(Justin DiRose) #6

I’ll eventually invest in this :slight_smile:

Cortex’s latest is an interesting listen on the topic too.

Grey talks about his homescreen that’s 100% Siri Shortcuts. It’s pretty ingenious.


It really is, and I hope that Apple allows native creation of these iOS “app” icons without needing to jump through to Safari. That’s my main gripe with this method. It makes using each of the shortcuts feel infinitely slower than me swiping down and typing a character or two. But if I could tap the icon and it immediately showed Shortcuts, or even did it natively on the system? Oh… the fun! :grinning:

(David Sparks) #8

Aww shucks @wilsonng. Thanks :slight_smile: