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Siri shortcuts to run your smart home

17th March 2020

If you're an Apple user, your voice just got way more powerful.

Siri shortcuts is a voice control integration that lets you activate scenes by talking to Siri, using customisable voice ‘shortcuts'. These shortcuts integrate into your existing routines and reflect how you naturally talk, making it even easier and more intuitive to interact with your smart home.

You can activate your Siri shortcuts with any compatible device with at least iOS12 installed. These include your iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, and in your CarPlay-enabled vehicle dashboard, enabling you to voice control your home from the road.

As well as setting up easy shortcuts for your devices, you can even congifure scenes with other apps in your Apple ecosystem (see below for details), making things even more convenient.

Here's what you can do with Siri shortcuts:

1: Let Siri know it's time for a scene

Scenes let you control any or all of your smart devices - lights, electrical appliances, locks, and your security system - all with a single command.

Siri shortcuts gives you a new way to activate scenes with your voice alone. Just use your app to set up a custom Siri voice command to trigger any scene - you can be as creative or as natural with your commands as you like - and get talking.

You could start the day with a cheery "Hey Siri… good morning!" command to activate your Wake Up scene, which turns on your lights and disarms your security system. Later on, a whispered "Hey Siri: baby's nap time," could activate a custom scene for your nursery that turns the lights down and switches on the smart plug for your baby's sound machine.

2: Voice control your home from inside or outside

Siri shortcuts extends hands-free voice control outside your home to wherever your iPhone is. Next time you pull out of the driveway and wonder if you armed your security system, you can confirm it by triggering your Away scene with a pre-set Siri shortcut like: "Hey Siri: secure the house!"

When you arrive home, you don't even need to open your app. Just use Apple CarPlay or your iPhone to activate Siri and use your shortcut phrase to trigger your "Home" scene.

Note: As a home security precaution, the app requires your phone to be unlocked for Siri shortcuts to activate a scene.

3: Combine commands with other app

You can also use Apple's shortcuts app to create multitasking shortcuts that combine actions with other app commands. It's a new way to eliminate ‘app overload' and weave your smart home's useful abilities closer together with the other technology you use every day.

For example, you could incorporate your "Sleep" scene into a "Good Night" Siri shortcut. As well as turning your lights down, locking the doors and arming the security system, you could have this shortcut set your iPhone's morning alarm and activate its "Do Not Disturb" mode.

For the morning, you could incorporate your "Away" scene into a "Heading Out" Siri shortcut that not only secures your house and turns the lights off, but also pulls up directions to your next calendar appointment via car, walking, or even public transport.

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